Proposal preview

Consumers and retailers in the countryside – Europe/North America, 18th to mid 20th century

The history of consumption is by now a well-established field – but one that has privileged certain spaces, time periods or questions and neglected others. Rural consumption (especially in the 19th century) remains relatively understudied, and this despite the fact a large proportion of Europeans and a majority of North Americans lived in rural areas until the early 20th century. In addition, little is known about consumption in large parts of Europe.
Our session intends to bring together scholars working on those neglected consumers and on those who brought consumer goods to them. It will address the following questions:
1. Who distributed goods in the countryside during this time period and how?
2. What goods were distributed, how fast did new goods appear on rural markets, and how quickly were they adopted?
3. Who purchased what and what do those consumption patterns tell us about the meaning of goods among rural people?

(We have recruited a fairly large number of participants, because we expect that between now and summer 2018, some will pull out for various reasons, especially for lack of funding.)
We also intend to ask Frank Trentmann to be our second commentator.

The proposals cover the US colonial period, Quebec in the first half of the 19th century, gentry consumption in Britain, informal markets in late 19th and early 20th Britain, North-western Germany in the 19th, Rural Sweden in the late 18th-19th, Late 19th Russia, Transylvania in the 18th and 19th century, Moravia and Silesia in the ate 19th early 20th and France from 17th to early 20th.

( the system did not let me upload paper topics- I got an error message)


  • Craig Béatrice, University of Ottawa/department of history,,
  • Jon Stobart, Professor of History, Manchester Metropolitan University,,
  • Marache Corinne, Department of History-University of Bordeaux-Montaigne,,
  • Ulianova Galina, Institute of Russian history/Russian academy of sciences,,

Session members

  • Sarah Templier, History/Johns Hopkins University,
  • Elizabeth Jones-Minsinger, History-University of Delaware,
  • Maggie Andrews, History- University of Worcester,
  • Görang Ulväng, economic history- University of Uppsala ,
  • Marie Ulväng, economic history- University of Uppsala ,
  • Daniela Detesan, Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj ( Romania),
  • Iosif Marin Balog, Romanian Academy, Cluj Branch,
  • Maria Pakucks, Nicolae Iorga Institute of history, Bucarest,
  • Andrea Pokludova, Ostravska university, Czech republic,
  • Christine Fertig, University of Munster (D),

Proposed discussant(s)

  • Mccalla Douglas, University of Guelph (economics),