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There is a wide academic literature that focuses on consumer culture in explaining radical changes in Euro-American societies, and such attention is usually accompanied by statements regarding the consequences of modern life. Where best to understand this modern moment than in ethnographic examples across time and space. Taking objects that we regard as trivial and holding them up to scrutiny, this course will cover a series of themes including: (1) historical trajectories and the consumer revolution, (2) different forms of materiality such as the fetish, the animated artefact and the commodity, (3) the politics of consumption, (4) consumption, the senses and design. All students are required to attend and participate in all sessions.