Another editorial project is nearing completion. Waiting for the page proofs now for Consumer Engineering, 1920s–1970s: Marketing between Expert Planning and Consumer Responsiveness, ed. Jan Logemann, Gary Cross, and Ingo Köhler (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2019).
One of the new research focuses at the GHI since our director, Simone Lässig, began her tenure last October is the history of knowledge.1 The study of knowledge in its… Read more A Few Notes on the History of Knowledge →
Seen at an upscale mall in Guiyang, China this summer.
Video: Imagined in the 1950s (a future seemingly impervious to changes in normative gender roles)
One evening after work recently, I was half-starved and wanted something I could cook quickly. I saw some packaged gnocchi in the cupboard, made by De Cecco, which I thought would fit the bill, until I started reading the directions. Unfortunately, these were quite long, and they mentioned all kinds of ingredients not in the package, so I gave up. I didn’t want a detailed recipe. I just wanted to know how to cook the gnocchi. A few days later, while editing an English translation of a book about Italians… Read more History and the Packaged Gnocchi →
I recently reviewed an interesting anthropological study by Milena Veenis entitled Material Fantasies: Expectations of the Western Consumer World among East Germans (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press in cooperation with the Foundation for the History of Technology, 2012) for the Dutch Tijdschrift voor Sociale en Economische Geschiedenis (Journal of Social and Economic History). The two-page review is in English and is openly available on the web at https://www.tseg.nl/articles/abstract/10.18352/tseg.301/.
My research deals with war and society, while my editorial work addresses mainly consumption history. One might think these are two different worlds, but I’m coming to doubt the validity of such assumptions. Indeed, the subfields of military and business history have a lot of similarities. Most obviously, they are both interested in organizations, knowledge, experts, and elites—among other things. They are also both informed by a tension between the historian’s ethos to understand the past for its own sake and the practitioner’s desire to learn lessons from that past… Read more Military History and Business History →
Yesterday I asked how I could integrate the consumption history I’m learning into my teaching, and I pointed to a couple examples where it’s already there. But I missed a… Read more Consumption History Again →
Since I began my editing job a little over a year ago, I have begun learning a little about a lot of history that I had previously never experienced. While my editing has included a variety of smaller projects as diverse as the interests of the institute’s fellows and recent alumni, my main area of responsibility is editing a new series on consumption history. Two volumes are under contract, and a third will be very soon, but I’ve been forcing myself to sit on my hands and not go into… Read more Editing and Consumption History →