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Conference: Connections in Commerce and Consumption: Production, Distribution and Consumption in Britain and Europe, 1500-1800

15 September, 2017 @ 10:00 am - 16 September, 2017 @ 6:00 pm

Keynotes: Evan Jones (Bristol) and Jon Stobart (Manchester Metropolitan)

Call for papers are now closed.

This two-day conference hosts postgraduate students, ECRs and academics working on the production, distribution and consumption of goods and materials in early modern Britain and Europe, broadly defined as 1500-1800 (see below for full programme details).

The conference will forge discussion between different historical approaches to production, distribution and consumption. On the one hand, continued growth and interest in material culture studies has fostered a wide-ranging field in which the cultural reception of goods and meanings of consumption have been discussed under prisms of intimacy, interaction and representation. On the other, economic and political histories have understood with increasing depth and precision the complex series of networks, transactions and communications which facilitated the production of materials and goods and brought them within the access of consumers. Each field foregrounds more long-standing social questions: what were the normative attitudes shaping the behaviour and responsibilities which dictated how, when and what individuals consumed? What were the material realities of the act of consumption? How were individual’s lives shaped by their access to materials and their duties to production? How did the ‘world of work’ intersect with the home?

This conference therefore follows trends of more recent historiography by promoting an inclusive historical approach that traces the links between production, distribution and consumption in early modern history. Ultimately, it seeks to identify where and how the interrelationships between these three substantive fields were realized and manifested, and what impacts these connections had on the historical actors who produced, distributed and consumed.

Registration for the conference is open to non-speakers. Register for the conference here. For more information about the conference, as well as to request a pdf of the draft programme, please email Alex Taylor and Tom Rusbridge at: connections@sheffield.ac.uk

Draft programme (STC):

Friday, September 15th
(Venue: Workroom 2, 38 Mappin Street)

1200-1300  Arrival, registration and coffee

1300-1430 Cosmopolitan Colonies

Michelle Fitzgerald (Delaware), ‘“The Best House in Annapolis”: Designing a Castle for the Colonial Public’

Elisabeth Meir (Delaware), ‘Colonial City Views and the British Print Market’

Lan Morgan (Delaware), ‘Kinship and Commerce: James Earl and the Business of Portraiture in the Atlantic World’

1445-1615 The Everyday

David Postles (Hertfordshire), ‘Rivers of Jordan: the metaphor of the pisspot’

Jessica Davidson (Oxford), ‘Goods of almost every description: the English provincial fair revisited’

Tom Rusbridge (Birmingham), ‘Making Production Public: Tanning and its Innovations in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries’

1630-1800 Keynote Lecture 1: Evan Jones (Bristol)

1800-     Pub followed by dinner


Saturday, September 16th

(Venue: Workroom 1, The Diamond)

0900-0930 Arrival and coffee

0930-1100 Monopoly and Intoxicants

Peter Taylor (Liverpool), ‘The Relationship between the Stuart Monopolies on raw materials and finished products – Pipeclay and Clay Pipes; A Case study’

Lila O’Leary Chambers (New York), ‘“So long as rumm held”: The Royal African Company and Alcohol Diplomacy on the Gold Coast, 1672-1712’

Alex Taylor (Sheffield), ‘Tobacco and Monopoly in Early Modern England’

1115-1230 Luxury Goods

Artemis Yagou (LuxFaSS Project/Deutsches Museum, Bucharest/Munich), ‘Popular Luxury Between East and West: A Case-study of Italian ceramics and Ottoman Greeks in the Long Eighteenth Century’

Michael Pearce (Dundee), ‘Making arrangements for luxury in Scotland, 1605-1650’

Serena Dyer (Museum of Domestic Design and Architecture, Middlesex University/University of Warwick), ‘Stitching and Shopping: Material Literacy and the Female Consumer of Dress, 1750-1820’

1245-1330  Lunch (provided)

1330-1500 English Merchants, Foreign Exports

Mabel Winter (Sheffield), ‘Politics, Commerce, and Banking in Seventeenth- Century England: The Case of Thompson and Company’

Tom Leng (Sheffield), ‘Such poer younge ould men caesses as myne’: frustrated transitions to independence within the Company of Merchant Adventurers’

Edmond Smith (Kent), ‘A Cloth for All the World: Global connections for Kentish textile producers, 1580-1620’

1515-1645 Keynote Lecture 2: Jon Stobart (Manchester Metropolitan), ‘Sites of consumption: shops, streets and houses, c.1700-1850’

1645-1700 Closing remarks


***This conference is generously funded by the Royal Historical Society the University of Sheffield Research Centres and the Petrie Watson Exhibition***


15 September, 2017 @ 10:00 am
16 September, 2017 @ 6:00 pm
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38 Mappin street, Workroom 2 (Friday) and The Diamond, Workroom 1 (Saturday)
38 Mappin street
Sheffield, United Kingdom
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