Conference: Call for Papers (Closed)

Genealogies of Curiosity and Material Desire:
How has consumer taste been constructed?

26-28 March 2012, Gakushuin University, Tokyo
*** Conference date has been changed. ***

Confirmed Keynote Speakers:

Professor John Brewer (California Institute of Technology, US)
Professor Avner Offer (University of Oxford, UK)
Professor John Styles (University of Hertfordshire, UK)
Professor Toshio Kusamitsu (Open University of Japan)

Abstract Deadline: 11 February 2011 (Closed)

The programme committee warmly invites papers on any topic in the broadly defined history of consumption, from scholars across disciplinary and national borders. Early-career researchers as well as established scholars are welcome to participate. A special session for graduate students will be held on the last day of the conference. The organisers are particularly keen to have papers that examine the historical development of consumption related to the concepts of ‘culture’, ‘taste’, ‘curiosity’, and ‘material desire’, as well as papers that will provide a comparative perspective – historical and international – on the relationships between consumption, culture, art, and leisure. The committee will give priority to papers based on case studies over purely theoretical ones.

Some tentative questions are: How have popular perceptions of culture and art changed within the context of consumption since the seventeenth century; what have been the roles of intellectual and material desires in consumer society; how has ‘good’ taste been constructed, negotiated, and institutionalised in consumer society; to what extent are consumers important as cultural intermediaries; what is the role of class in shaping the culture of consumption; what has been the contribution of leisure activities to the popularisation and instillation of the culture of consumption; and how do curiosity and taste work as the motivators for certain types of consumption? These questions can be approached from a number of perspectives, including those of an economic historian, cultural historian, literary historian, or cultural theorist. The conference will bring together researchers from diverse fields to tackle these questions, and we hope to establish a global community for further co-operative efforts to study the history of consumer culture.

The committee invites proposals for papers of 20-25 minutes in length. For each proposed paper, please send a short abstract of 300-400 words with the author’s name, affiliations, and email address, to: (Dr Hiroki Shin, University of York, UK)
or (Dr Shinobu Majima, Gakushuin University)

Proposals should be reached by 11 February 2011, and notification of acceptance will be sent by 12 March 2011. Further details of the conference programme and events will appear on the Conference website.

A selection of papers (subject to the normal reviewing process) may be published in the conference proceedings.




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Updated: 2011-12-21