Dec 06, 2023  
2018-2019 Undergraduate Catalog 
2018-2019 Undergraduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

HIST 2122 - Introduction to the History of Modern Consumer Culture

Where did modern consumer society originate? How can a study of the material things of everyday life help us understand the world today? This course will address these questions by examining the intersection of consumerism with the major themes of the eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth centuries including imperialism, class relations, nationalism, gender, urbanization, and globalization. In so doing, this class will examine consumer demand for new types of clothing, food, art, and home furnishings and the ways that individuals discussed and classified these items. As such, this course will be heavily reliant on several disciplines including history, art, architecture, and economics. Key topics of discussion will include perceptions of the exotic, the creation of imaginary geographies, debates about luxury and necessity, the construction of gender, and the place of fashion and design in society and culture. The course will draw on a wide variety of evidence such as novels, paintings, poetry, advertisements, and advice manuals.