Material and Consumer Culture Network
Products, environments, circuits and people
Our focus in this network is on the production, distribution and consumption of material goods, and the systems of value, knowledge and meaning that link these together. We are concerned with the materiality of objects, technologies and environments, and the ways in which this creates discourses and impacts upon people and space. This is closely tied to an interest in the social and cultural frameworks within which these material objects circulate and acquire or generate meaning.
Christine Fertig, University of Münster, Germany
Jon Stobart, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK
Ilja van Damme, University of Antwerp, Belgium
In 2025 our focus will be on Materiality, Time and Space
Consumption brings together goods, people and ideas. However, the myriad ways in which these combine vary across space and time, responding to and moulding local, national and global economics and cultures. Reflecting on the ways that materiality shapes environments through time, and vice versa, and gauging the causality of changing spaces (cities, homes, supermarkets, rural shops, etc.) in our altering interaction with goods and services, is a central research ambition of Material and Consumer Culture studies.
As a network, we wish to reflect upon these ideas at the 2025 conference. We welcome submissions on any subject linked to Material and Consumer Culture, but particularly invite proposals that explore the theme of Materiality, Time and Space, for example under the following headings:
- Spaces of consumption: domestic, commercial, leisure, and virtual
- Consuming spaces: commodification of the countryside, seaside, city, home, etc.
- Time and/for consumption: histories of leisure and tourism
- Global-local mobility: travel as consumption and the mobility of objects
- Objects as agents: the material turn, its impact on space (streets, homes, etc.)
- Shopping cultures: social and cultural interactions around goods in real and virtual retail spaces
You can propose an individual paper: the network chairs will assemble papers to sessions, or allocate them to an appropriate session. However, we especially invite session proposals, to include four papers on a specific theme, plus a chair and a discussant/commentator. Ideally, sessions will include a mix of countries, and certainly a mix of universities. Comparative and inter-disciplinary sessions are particularly encouraged.
Sessions take two hours, with oral presentations and a comment of c.15 minutes, and half an hour minimum is reserved for a plenary discussion. The conference language is English.
Proposals for individual papers or panels should be submitted via the ESSHC website. We welcome the opportunity to discuss panel proposals in advance of formal submission.