This series of six seminars will be hosted at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow. Nostalgia is a shaping cultural force in the new millennium and is impacting on a wide range of consumer behaviours and cultural productions. The primary aim of the proposed seminar series is to encourage dialogue between different disciplinary approaches in order to promote further enquiry into the uses of nostalgia in contemporary culture.
Each one-day seminar will deal with a specific theme and will involve between three and five expert speakers, including academics from various disciplines and non-academic stakeholders. Our speakers include some of the most distinguished theorists of nostalgia and our related research themes. Each seminar will conclude with a practically-oriented discussion, identifying possible future actions. In addition to the five project leaders, we will aim to have approximately twenty participants in each seminar. Our participation strategy involves providing financial support for postgraduate attendance.
This seminar will address current trends towards retro consumption. Lowenthal (1985) suggests that aged objects acquire nostalgic resonance when they are imagined as ‘relics’: we will ask whether contemporary marketers deploy similar strategies to give new products a patina of age? On the other hand, what marketing strategies are used to achieve an effect of modernity through nostalgic styles, as in current fashions for the 1920s and 1930s?
The second seminar will explore nostalgic trends in publishing, and perspectives on nostalgia in film, art and the media. Topics for discussion will include the gendering of the consumer/reader/viewer of nostalgic texts (film and literature); the merchandising of ‘high’ cultural texts; post-modernity; the relationships between nostalgia, taste and sophistication.
This seminar will examine the construction of Glasgow’s identity through heritage marketing, architecture, cultural and sporting events. It will also consider representations of collective memory in other cities.
This seminar will focus on nostalgic evocations of the homeland, and the impact of new technologies such as the Internet on diasporic communities.
This seminar will examine nostalgic desires for authenticity: for example, the growth of voluntary simplicity movements and the demand for ecologically sound products and technologies, such as bicycles.
This seminar is aimed at PhD students and early careers researchers, who will be asked to submit an abstract. Successful applicants will give twenty-minute presentations and receive feedback from a panel of experts, to include presenters from previous sessions. This seminar will also include a speed networking session to foster discussions about career development.