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The Leverhulme Warwick-CNAM Research Interchange on Cultures of Commerce and Invention

The Research Interchange, directed by Professor Maxine Berg (History, University of Warwick) and Liliane Hilaire-Pérez (CNAM), developed the comparative and interdisciplinary study of cultures of commerce and invention in Europe 1550-1850. It brought together researchers from the Warwick Eighteenth Century Centre and the Centre d’Histoire des Techniques, a collaboration between the Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers (CNAM), Paris and the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) at the Universités de Paris IV and VIII. Scholars studying in conventionally distinct disciplines of economic history, cultural history, history of science and technology, art history, museum studies and material culture have contributed to an ongoing series of joint workshops and seminars exploring the histories of inventive cultures and consumer society. The topics investigated by the Research Interchange ranged from the role of product innovation and the commercial arts in culture to the promotion and advertising of new techniques and products and its connections with the transmission of knowledge.

Between 1998 and 2001 the Centre ran a major Research Project, the Luxury Project, directed by Maxine Berg. Major international conferences and workshops were held over this period, and resulted in an edited volume published by Palgrave Press. Maxine Berg and Elizabeth Eger, eds., Luxury in the Eighteenth Century: Debates, Desires and Delectable Goods. Research Fellows of the project were Dr Elizabeth Eger and Dr Morag Martin. Research students and assistants on the project were Dr Jonathan White and Ms Caroline Fontaine.

The Centre also ran the Leverhulme Art and Industry Project, directed by Maxine Berg between 2000 and 2003. Research Fellows were Dr Sue Gordon and Dr Claire Walsh.

Past bibliographies are available on taste and luxury.