Summer School starts with Lecture by Sheldon Garon
Jul 25, 2011
The Cluster's Summer School "Cultures of Consumption in Asia and Europe" has started on Monday, attracting more than twenty young scholars from various disciplines. Prof. Sheldon Garon (Princeton) talked in his public keynote lecture on savings in the world.
Under the title "Why America Spends While the World Saves", Prof. Garon reviewed the history of savings in various countries in Europe, in the United States of America and in Asia. He showed how other nations encouraged their citizens to save by means of special savings institutions and savings campaigns, while the U.S. administration promoted mass consumption and reliance on credit. Subsequently, Prof. Garon discussed with the participants -among other issues- what the U.S. can learn from European and East Asian countries, and vice versa.
Sheldon Garon is the Nissan Professor of History and East Asian Studies at Princeton University. A specialist in modern Japanese history, he also writes transnational history examining the flow of ideas and institutions among the U.S., Japan, and several European and Asian nations. Publications include "Beyond Our Means: Why America Spends While the World Saves" (2012), "Molding Japanese Minds: The State in Everyday Life" (1997), "The State and Labor in Modern Japan" (1987, awarded the John K. Fairbank Prize), and the co-edited volume "The Ambivalent Consumer: Questioning Consumption in East Asia and the West" (2006).
The Summer School 2011 "Cultures of Consumption" is held from July 24 to 29, 2011, at the Karl Jaspers Centre for Advanced Transcultural Studies. The programme combines lectures by the foremost researchers in the respective disciplines with interactive seminars and workshops. Among others, the scholars discuss the following questions: Is the term “consumer society” still topical today? What are the actual forces that determine the spread and appropriation of consumer goods in the new cultural contexts? What were the past accounts of the phenomena of consumption and consumerism? And what moral, psychological, political, economic vocabularies have been used to make sense of what has been termed the “consumer society”?
The Summer School 2011 is organised by Prof. Harald Fuess, Cluster Professor of Cultural Economic History and Speaker of the Research Area C “Health and Environment”, and David Mervart, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Japanese History and member of the Cultural Economic History research team at the Cluster.