Travelling Goods Travelling Moods. A Transcultural Study of the Acculturation of Consumer Goods, 1918-1933

Travelling Goods Travelling Moods. A Transcultural Study of the Acculturation of Consumer Goods, 1918-1933

Project owner / organizer
FAU Erlangen, German Research Foundation (DFG) ()
Hosting organization
Erlangen, Germany
From - Until
01.01.2008 -
Knoblauch, Francesca

The research project employs methodologies developed in the realm of literary and cultural studies for the analysis of transcultural/transnational economic processes. By comparing the acculturation of foreign goods in different cultures, a universal, purely rationalistic economic theory of supply and demand will be supplemented by an analysis that is sensitive to the construction of meaning, value, and desirability in differing cultural environments.

Key questions to be answered by the study are:
Why, how, and by whom were consumer products brought to a foreign country? What images were created for theses products? Why did they appeal to the ‘natives’? Which cultural stereotypes were employed and constructed in this process?
In order to answer these questions, the overall study includes four case studies – conducted by four researchers – analysing the historically specific acculturation of consumer goods in four different environments. A later, concluding study will compare the findings of the case studies and integrate them into a theory of acculturation of consumer goods.

1) SHANGHAI >> American Apparel (postdoc)
2) NEW YORK >> Chinese Food (PhD)
3) LONDON >> German Cars (PhD)
4) HAMBURG >> English Books (group leader)
5) COMPARISON & THEORY (postdoc)

Applications are invited for several positions within the newly established research group. The research project aims to employ hermeneutic and semiotic methodologies, developed in the realm of cultural studies, for the analysis of transcultural economic processes.

Three positions are available to work on three individual sub-studies:
Position 1 (postdoc): American Apparel in Shanghai
Position 2 (Phd): Chinese Food in New York (American Studies)
Position 3 (Phd): German Cars in London (English Studies)

For more information on the overall project as well as the individual studies and expected qualifications please see the rest of this website. Applicants who consider developing their own study within the general framework of the project are also invited to send proposals.

Deadline for applications is January 15, 2008. Payment is according to the German public sector rate TVL 13/2 for the PhD-positions, and TVL 13 for the postdoc-position (ca. € 36.000). Interviews will be held in February; starting date is April 1, 2008; all appointments are limited to three years. Applications including CV, publication list (postdoc), copies of relevant university degrees, a copy of the M.A./Phd-disseration and a research outline (max. 5 pages) should be sent to the address below. Please arrange for two letters of recommendation to be sent to the same address.

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