Politics and consumption in the modern age: new research perspectives

This two-day international workshop was organized on 10 and 11 February 2022 by the                           Centre for Urban History, the Centre for Political History and the N.W. Posthumus Institute                          at the University of Antwerp.

Confirmed Keynote Speakers

  • Martin Daunton (Cambridge University, UK)
  • Carlotta Sorba (Università degli Studi di Padova, Italy)


The history of consumption has been written from many disciplinary perspectives and those working on material culture and consumption have largely overcome the initial divide between economic and sociocultural approaches. In the last two decades, innovative points of view have been adopted within this strain of historical research bearing attention to shopping practices, consumer identities and spatiality. However, the aspect that has been often overlooked is the political dimension of consumption in the past. At this very moment, it is absolutely relevant to think about the political implications of consumption in order to develop a critical thinking that will allow us to deconstruct contemporary discourses (developed during the Covid19-crisis) related to the consumption of activities and goods: who defines what is necessary, desirable or reprehensible and why? Which parts do time and space play in this evolution?


Charris De Smet