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Invisible Designs: New Perspectives on Race and American Consumer Capitalism

October 24-25, 2013

Regenstein Library

This conference takes design as an object and a theme to gain new perspective on the study of race in American consumer society. How has racialized imagery sustained the work of capitalism and American dreams of the “good life?” Considering design in relation to problems of self-fashioning, material culture, immigration, urban and suburban development, and decorative commodities, we will engage with the latest scholarly conversations about race and capitalism and explore paths for future inquiry. Ultimately the conference aims to uncover the otherwise “invisible” cultural logics and historical processes that have woven racial difference into the fabric of American life.

Conference presenters include Michelle Everidge Anderson, Davarian Baldwin, Rhae Lynn Barnes, Jacqueline Goldsby, Dylan Gottlieb, Nicole M. Guidoitti-Hernández, Tisha Hooks, Laura Landers, Katie Lennard, Joe Madura, Danielle Mastrangelo, Monica L. Mercado, Paul Mullins, Shoniqua Roach, Kristine Ronan, and Lauren Rebecca Sklaroff.

This conference is co-sponsored by the Special Collections Research Center of the University of Chicago Libraries; the Department of History; the Social Science Division; the Franke Institute of the Humanities; the Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture; the Karla Scherer Center for the Study of American Culture; the Object Cultures Project in the Chicago Center for Contemporary Theory (3CT); and the Rebuild Foundation.