Consumption Theory


Consumption Theory: Canon of Classics, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, 10-16 Aug 2014; Deadline 15 May

University of Southern Denmark, Odense organizes

Consumption Theory: Canon of Classics

Ph.D. Seminar

August 10-16th 2014

The “Odense seminar” – officially entitled Consumption Theory: a Canon of Classics – will take place again in 2014. The seminar is part of the European Consumer Culture Theorizing doctoral seminar series, offered in collaboration with Bilkent University, University of London Royal Holloway and University of Lille 2.

Aim of the course: Consumption is taking center stage as a subject of study in multiple disciplines, including sociology and anthropology among others.  Marketing and consumer research disciplines, along with economics, which had claimed consumption studies as their terrain, are both energized and challenged by this new interest in consumption.  The purpose of this course is to critically investigate some of the key classics that constitute the foundation for many of the current perspectives in consumer research. Authors covered during the seminar include but is not restricted to Roland Barthes, Jean Baudrillard, Pierre Bourdieu, Michel de Certeau, Michel Foucault, Erving Goffman, Jürgen Habermas, Karl Marx, Marcel Mauss and Marshall Sahlins. The learning goals of the seminar are on the one hand to provide a basic academic education for doctoral candidates within some of the major founding texts behind the current work of consumer culture theorists. On the other hand, the goal is also to demonstrate the relevance of general and classical theory for the specific empirical projects and contexts of the doctoral students.

Therefore, the program includes three major types of tutoring: 1) lecturing from the faculty on the canon of classics, 2) dialogues where faculty and students elaborate on the relationship between the bodies of theory covered and specific applications in contemporary consumer research and the students’ own projects. The seminar covers classical works and authors within a multitude of disciplines such as sociology, anthropology, critical theory and philosophy.

Faculty: The invited faculty members for this seminar are Benoît Heilbrunn; Paris Business School, Jeff B. Murray, University of Arkansas and Craig J. Thompson, University of Wisconsin. In addition, faculty will consist of Eric Arnould, Søren Askegaard, Matthias Bode, Dannie Kjeldgaard and Per Østergaard, all from University of Southern Denmark – Odense,

Location and dates: The seminar will take place on the Odense campus of University of Southern Denmark. Students will be lodged in a downtown hotel and take a bus to reach campus. The students are expected to arrive during the day of Sunday August 10th and leave Saturday August 16th at the earliest.

Other course information: The seminar will be held in English, and is 6 ECTS credits.  The number of students will be held at 25. Other junior faculty may apply, but priority will be given to students inscribed in a doctoral programme. The tuition for the seminar, which includes accommodation and all meals, is 950 Euros. 

Seminar coordinator: Søren Askegaard, Professor of Marketing, Department of Marketing & Management, University of Southern Denmark – Odense, Campusvej 55, DK-5230  Odense M, Denmark.  E-mail:  Tel: +45 65 50 32 55.  Fax: +45 66 15 51 29.

Seminar prerequisites: There are no particular prerequisites for Ph.D. students.  Selection will be made from among applicants on the basis of a letter of interest, which should address the student’s dissertation research interests and the fit of this seminar within their doctoral program or other research interests.  The letter of interest including research project presentation should be no longer than 1.000 words, and should be submitted to the seminar coordinator no later than May 15th 2014.

The students who are selected will be required to read the literature included in the program.  They will come to the seminar ready to make a brief presentation of their research project (scheduled on Sunday August 10).  Each of the faculty-presented sessions will be based on a combination of lecturing and dialogue based on the readings and the lecture. At the end of the seminar, students will make another presentation that will indicate how the seminar has expanded and enriched their research project.  An important and by experience very valued part of the program, however, is a set of small group interactive sessions with the faculty, where a few students and one of the faculty members meet and address particular questions and issues concerning the doctoral students’ own work.

To acquire the credits for the seminar, the student must deliver satisfactory presentations and participate actively and constructively in the seminar discussions as well as in the one-to-one sessions with faculty members. The group of faculty will meet at the end of the seminar to assess each of the students’ performance.


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