Consumption Theory: Canon of Classics


PhD Seminar (The "Odense Seminar"), Odense, Denmark, 22-27 Jun 2018; Deadline 1 Feb

University of Southern Denmark, Odense organizes
Consumption Theory: Canon of Classics
Ph.D. Seminar

June 22-27 2018 (immediately preceding the CCT conference)

The “Odense seminar” – officially entitled Consumption Theory: a Canon of Classics – will take place again in 2018. 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 has taken 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 interdisciplinary interest in consumption.  The purpose of this course is to critically investigate some of the key classics that constitute the foundation for many current perspectives in consumer research. Authors covered during the seminar may include but not necessarily restricted to Roland Barthes, Jean Baudrillard, Pierre Bourdieu, Judith Butler, Mary Douglas, Emile Durkheim, Michel Foucault, Jürgen Habermas, Claude Lévi-Strauss, Karl Marx, Marcel Mauss, Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Paul Ricoeur. A final list will be provided once the program is finalized. We offer a program, focused on exemplars rather than an exhaustive survey of social science theory germane to consumption. The learning goals of the seminar are on the one hand to provide a basic academic education for doctoral candidates on some of the major foundational 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 research contexts the doctoral students will share at the Canon.

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 Eric Arnould, Aalto University and EM Lyon, James Fitchett, Leicester University, Benoît Heilbrunn; ESC Paris, Jeff B. Murray, University of Arkansas, Craig Thompson; University of Wisconsin.  In addition, faculty will consist of, Søren Askegaard, Dorthe Brogård Kristensen, Gry Høngsmark Knudsen, Niklas Woermann, Ian Woodward, all from University of Southern Denmark – Odense,

Location and dates: The seminar will take place both on the Odense campus of University of Southern Denmark or in other locations in the city center. Students will be lodged in a downtown hotel and take a bus to reach campus as needed. This is a short bus ride on regularly scheduled city buses. The students are expected to arrive during the day of Friday June 22nd and the seminar ends on Wednesday June 27th. The CCT conference will start June 28th with an evening reception.

Other course information: The seminar will be held in English, and provide 6 ECTS credits in the European system.  The number of students will be held at 25. Junior faculty are welcome to 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 1000 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. 

Seminar prerequisites: There are no particular prerequisites for Ph.D. students, but applicants should know that admission is highly selective.  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 February 1st 2018.

Selected students will be expected to read the literature included in the program and made available in advance.  They will come to the seminar ready to make a five minute presentation of their research project (scheduled on Saturday June 23).  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.  This is not an empty ritual. An important and by experience very valued part of the program, however, is 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.