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Canon of Classics 2021: Preliminary Program & Enrollment

University of Southern Denmark, Odense organizes

Consumption Theory: Canon of Classics

Ph.D. Seminar


August 22-28 2021


The “Odense seminar” – officially entitled Consumption Theory: a Canon of Classics - will take place again in 2020. The seminar is part of the European Consumer Culture Theorizing doctoral seminar series, offered in collaboration with Middle Eastern Technical University and University of Lille.


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 Mikhail Bakhtin, Jean Baudrillard, Pierre Bourdieu, Mary Douglas, Michel Foucault, Marcel Mauss, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Marshall Sahlins, Edward Saïd, Raymond Williams and Ludwig Wittgenstein. 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 3) one or two faculty leading group discussions of 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: So far, the invited faculty members for this seminar are Eric Arnould, Aalto University and Olga Kravets, University of London Royal Holloway. Additionally, faculty will consist of Søren Askegaard, Domen Bajde, Julie Emontspool, Dannie Kjeldgaard, Dorthe Brogård Kristensen, Niklas Woermann and Ian Woodward, all from University of Southern Denmark – Odense. The faculty list may not be final.


Location and dates: The seminar will take place in Odense. The first evening we will gather at the Convent of Noble Virgins (!), Albani Torv 6, DK-5000 Odense C. However, the rest of the seminar will be held in the Danish Institute for Advanced Study Building, SDU Campus, Campusvej 55 5230 Odense M. Students will be lodged in a downtown hotel within walking distance from the convent. We will arrange for bus transport to campus. The students are expected to arrive during the day of Sunday August 22nd and leave Saturday August 28th at the earliest.


Other course information: The seminar will be held in English and is 6 ECTS credits.


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: aske@sam.sdu.dk. Tel: +45 65 50 32 55


Suggested general reading: Søren Askegaard & Benoît Heilbrunn, eds. (2018). Canonical Authors in Consumption Theory, London: Routledge. Specific readings for each lecture will be made available on a designated webpage.


Evaluation: 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 convene at the end of the seminar to assess each of the students’ performance.



Preliminary program


Sunday, August 22:


-15:30 Students and faculty arrive in Odense


15:30-15:45 We meet at the Convent for Noble Virgins - welcome from the organizers.


15:45-19:00 Students will briefly announce who they are, their institutional affiliation and give a short (max. 5 minutes) presentation of their topical and theoretical interest


20:00- Dinner in town




Monday, August 23: Anthropologies of consumption from Potlatch to the ecstasy of communication


9:00-12:00 Eric Arnould: Marcel Mauss and his legacy (including coffee break)


12:00-13:00 Lunch & Social Hour


13:00-15:30 Søren Askegaard: Jean Baudrillard – the Nietzsche of our times?


15:30-16:00 coffee break and social gathering


16:00-17:30 Doctoral tutorial session – multiple faculty


20:00- Dinner in town




Tuesday, August 24: From the structural to the poststructural


9:00-12:00 Ian Woodward: The structuralism of Mary Douglas (including coffee break)


12:00-13:00 Lunch & Social Hour


13:00-15:30 Dannie Kjeldgaard: Bourdieu, capitals and practices


15:30-16:00 coffee break and social gathering


16:00-18:30 Dorthe Brogård Kristensen: Foucault, Merleau-Ponty and embodiment


20:00- Dinner in town



Wednesday, August 25: Culture, materiality and consumption


9:00-12:00 Niklas Woermann: From Ludwig Wittgenstein to ANT (including coffee break)


12:00-13:00 Lunch & Social Hour


13:00-15:30 Domen Bajde: Raymond Williams and cultural materialism as social critique


15:30-16:00 coffee break and social gathering


16:00-17:30 Doctoral tutorial session – multiple faculty


20:00- Dinner in town



Thursday, August 26: Epistemic challenges


9:00-12.00 Olga Kravets: “The Canon and The Mushroom”: Bakhtin, Formalism, and Memes (including coffee break)


12:00-13:00 Lunch & Social Hour


13:00-15:30 Julie Emontspool: Saïd’s Postcolonialism


15:30- Time off for shopping – and/or workspace for students to prepare their Friday learning outcome presentation


20:00- Dinner in town



Friday, August 27: Closing time…


Morning: Finalizing presentation


10:30-12:00 Doctoral tutorial session – multiple faculty


12:00-13:00 Lunch & Social Hour


13:00-17:00 Seminar outcome group sessions: Students present their insights to faculty


19:00-20.30 Dinner in town


20.30 Faculty musical interlude / post-seminar party



Saturday, August 28: Participants leave Odense




Enrollment information


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