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First historical handbook on consumption published

21 Mar 2012

The first ever guide to the historical literature on consumption from ancient Greece to the contemporary world has been published, edited by Professor Frank Trentmann from The University of Manchester.

The Oxford Handbook of the History of Consumption brings together 35 of the world’s leading experts on consumption.
Professor Trentmann is based at The University’s Sustainable Consumption Institute. He said: “Questions of consumption have become defining topics in all branches of history, from gender and labour history to political history and cultural studies.
“And the study of the desire, acquisition, use, and disposal of goods and services,  has grown enormously in recent years.
He added: “The book offers an overview of how our understanding of consumption in history has changed in the last generation, taking the reader from the ancient period to the twenty-first century.
“It includes chapters on Asia, Europe, Africa, and North America, brings together new perspectives, highlights cutting-edge areas of research, and offers a guide through the main historiographical developments.”
Contributions from leading historians examine the spaces of consumption, consumer politics, luxury and waste, nationalism and empire, the body, well-being, youth cultures and fashion.
The Handbook also showcases the different ways in which recent historians have approached the subject, from cultural and economic history, to political history and technology studies, including areas where multidisciplinary approaches have been especially fruitful.

Notes for editors

Professor Trentmann is available for interview
For media enquires contact:
Mike Addelman
Press Officer
Faculty of Humanities
The University of Manchester
0161 275 0790
07717 881567