Cultures of Consumption. Co-ordinator, Dr. Karl Gerth, Oxford; Partner: East China Normal University
This network brings together scholars and others to: address the historical parallels between China’s recent transformation, and the rise and development of markets and consumer practices earlier in history; assess what we can learn about China’s recent cultural developments in the light of comparable trends in mass consumerism and neoliberal marketization unfolding elsewhere; and discuss the role of the Chinese Party-state in managing the transition to ‘market socialism’. The network will produce three outcomes: the foundations for a UK-based international, interdisciplinary network of scholars interested in Chinese consumerism and its historical roots; a series of workshops at member institutions in the UK and China; and a conference volume mapping this emerging and important field.
Update, August 2013: The network will hold a conference in Oxford on 26-28 September on ‘Learning from Big Brothers: What Soviet and Central European Histories of Everyday Life May Teach Historians of the Mao Era’. For more details see the conference announcement, and the Learning from Big Brothers conference, 27-28 September 2013.