CONF: Advertising and Marketing in the Early Modern World (1400-1800) – London 05/19

Christina Brauner, Tübingen; in cooperation with Michael Schaich, German
Historical Institute London; the Institute of Advanced Study at University College London

30.05.2019-31.05.2019, London, German Historical Institute London / Institute for Advanced Study, UCL

Deadline: 26.05.2019

Advertising has long been interpreted as a hallmark of modern capitalism. As such, it plays a prominent part in different narratives about the birth of capitalism and the rise of the consumer society, viewed both as an indicator of and a catalyst for economization processes. At the same time, human activities of persuasion and promotion are characterized as a basic anthropological feature that may be traced back to the walls of stone age caves or to the graffiti of Pompeji. Indeed, discourses about advertising’s role in modern capitalism appear to be intimately tied up with different and controversial assumptions about human nature and universal workings of ‘the market’.

Advertising stirs emotions – both intentionally and unintentionally. Advertising scandals play on a calculated break with existing norms and standards whereas the moral ambiguities of persuasion serve to draw boundaries between legitimate and illegitimate economic practices and to put unwelcome competitors beyond the pale. Debates on history of advertising are obviously connected to divergent attitudes towards market economy and verdicts about its inevitable rise or equally inevitable failure.

Such inherent tensions in both popular and scholarly discourse call for
a more thorough historicization of advertising, engaging recent attempts
at rethinking early modern economic history beyond revolution narratives
and ongoing discussions about the role of shopping and retailing in the
early modern world. Focusing on the period between 1400 and 1800, the
workshop brings together scholars from early modern and medieval history, art history, and literary studies and aims at initiating a more
comprehensive debate. To enable such a discussion in broader perspective, it joins case-studies analysing different commodities and different spaces of buying and selling with reflections on historiographical discourses and conceptual interventions.

All students and academic researchers pursuing related interests are very welcome to attend. There is no charge for attendance but due to limited space booking is essential. Please RSVP to Carole Sterckx by 26 May: sterckx(ghi)

Thursday, 30 May
Venue: German Historical Institute London, Bloomsbury Square

2.00 pm
Christina von Hodenberg & Michael Schaich (GHI London) / Christina Brauner (Tübingen)
Welcome and Introduction

2.45 pm
Chair: Allison Stielau (UCL)

Thomas Ertl (FU Berlin)
Commercial Clamour in Late Medieval Cities

Berit Wagner (Frankfurt/Main)
Displaying art for sale and promoting the art of collecting in Rudolfine

4.15 pm
Coffee & Tea

4.45 pm
Chair: Hannes Ziegler (GHIL)

Natacha Coquery (Lyon)
The growth of advertising in 18th century Paris (1760s-1790s): rhetoric, evolution, efficiency

5.30 pm Break

5.45 pm
Chair: Hannes Ziegler (GHIL)
Jon Stobart (MMU Manchester)
Putting early modern advertising in context

Friday, 31 May
Venue: IAS, UCL, Wilkins Building, Common Ground (room G11, ground floor, South Wing)

9.30 am
Chair: Christina Brauner (Tübingen)
Bert de Munck (Antwerp)
Value in History: Pragmatic, Material and Epistemological Perspectives

10.30 am
Coffee & Tea

11.00 am
Chair: Michael Schaich (GHIL)

Ursula Rautenberg (Erlangen)
Advertising Books in the Early Modern Period

Dániel Margócsy (Cambridge)
Marketing Lists: The Functions of Early Modern Auction Catalogues

12.30 am

Chair: Tobias Becker (GHIL)

1.30 pm
Christina Brauner (Tübingen)
Advertising in Translation, Or: How to Sell Fire-Engines in Early Modern
London (1690s-1720s)

Emma Hart (St Andrews)
Newspaper Advertisements and Settler Colonialism in Eighteenth-Century
British North America

3.00 pm Coffee & Tea

3.30 pm
Project presentation
Chair: Michael Schaich (GHIL)

Susanna Burghartz / Alexander Engel / Anna Reimann (Basel)
Printed Markets. The Basel Avisblatt – a new information platform for
the emerging consumer society? (1729-1844)

4.30 pm
Concluding discussion