"New Era Capitalism" and the Consumer Ethos
Dr. Stephanie Yuhl, College of the Holy Cross
Saturday, March 3, 2007
8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Someone once said, "He who dies with the most toys, wins." And surely, one
of the most profound shapers of American culture has been the impulse to
consume material goods. But this consumer ethos has not been a static
entity. Rather, from the late nineteeth to the mid-twentieth century,
consumerism (including leisure practices) evolved, matured and "consumed"
America society. In this seminar, we will act as critical cultural
historians and examine this compelling change over time. We will discuss
what consumerism might tell us about our nation's past (and the politics
of class, race, gender, public/private, nationalism and ethnicity) and
also how consumerism might be a useful teaching topic for today's
consumer-oriented students. We will chart briefly the rise of the new
industrial order of the period, and then focus our attention on the
system's promoters (capitalists/advertisers) and its consuming public
(middle-classes and workers). We spend significant time analyzing primary
visual and textual sources (such as advertisements, film and wartime
propaganda) as well as scholarly interpretations of the pervasive and
not-to-be-overlooked phenomenon of consumerism.
Each seminar is worth 5 PDPs, and you are expected to attend the entire
event. You do not have to be enrolled in the fall Teaching American
History (TAH) course to be eligible to register for the Saturday seminars,
but you must be a teacher in the Worcester, Millbury, or Sutton public
school districts. Some pre-reading may be required. Space is limited.
Registration Deadline: February 23
register, please contact Amy Sopcak at (508) 471-2129
or asopcak[at]mwa.org. Preference will be given to teachers from the
Worcester, Millbury, and Sutton school districts, but teachers from other
districts who are interested are encouraged to contact Amy to be placed on
a waiting list.
TAH Courses, Saturday Seminars,
and Summer Institutes,