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Consuming Colonialism

Session Leader


  • How useful is Arnold Bauer’s concept of ‘civilising goods’?
  • What is the relationship between colonialism and consumption?
  • To what extent did shared cultures of consumption create more homogenous colonial societies?


  • Bauer, Arnold, Goods, Power, History: Latin America's Material Culture, Cambridge University Press (Cambridge, 2001).
  • Collingham, E.M., Imperial Bodies: The Physical Experience of the Raj, c1800-1947, Polity (Cambridge, 2001).
  • Earle, Rebecca, ‘Consumption and Excess in Colonial and Early Independent Spanish America’, Imported Modernity in Post-Colonial State-Formation: The Appropriation of Political, Educational and Cultural Models in Nineteenth-Century Latin America, eds. Marcelo Caruso and Eugenia Roldán Vera, Peter Lang (Frankfurt am Main, 2007), pp. 341-61.
  • Norton, Marcy, ‘Tasting Empire: Chocolate and the European Internalization of Mesoamerican Aesthetics’, American Historical Review, vol. 111:3 (2006).
  • Said, Edward, Culture and Imperialism, Chatto & Windus (London, 1993).
  • Sheller, Mimi, Consuming the Caribbean: From Arawaks to Zombies, Routledge (London and New York, 2003), chapter 3: ‘Tasting the Tropics: From Sweet Tooth to Banana Wars’.
  • Stoler, Ann Laura, Race and the Education of Desire: Foucault’s History of Sexuality and the Colonial Order of Things, Duke University Press (Durham, 1995).