11 novembre 2021 – 13h30
Universität Bern, Mittelstrasse 43, Raum 220

Consuming the City: Cultures of Consumption in Latin America

While in many areas, a deceleration of production and consumption could be observed due to the Corona pandemic, the destruction of the rainforest in some Latin American countries continued unhindered. Since the 1980s, an economic and development model has been pursued that has increasingly displaced indigenous communities and small producers by strengthening agrobusiness. In the course of this development, some of Latin Americas' nations rose to become important economic powers. As a result, especially in the last decades, the middle classes in many Latin American countries have grown, giving thousands of people new opportunities for consumption.

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Photo: "Latin American Shop", Marion Penning, 09.12.08

For example, since the 1980s more than half of the deforested areas in Brazil has been transformed into grazing land for cattle breeding. Unsurprisingly, Brazil’s huge meat producers export enormous quantities to Europe. However, most of their production, c. 75%, are consummated in the land itself. Since the 1980s, consumer history has been a fast-growing field of historical studies. Although it has not yet established itself as a proper area of study within the history of Latin America, consumption has been central to many debates in Latin American history. Latin America has mostly been studied as a highly important producer in the global economy. The workshop’s aim, however, is to examine both: Latin America’s role in the global economy, its changes in the last decades, and the transformation of urban lifestyles from a history of consumption viewpoint. Based on the assumption that Latin America is the world’s most urbanized region, cities are examined as important places of household consumption, shopping, retailing among other things.

Série: Consommation

Hybrid workshop (in English).
November 11-12, 2021
Registration is required on the one hand due to space limitation on site (Covid-certificate required) and on the other hand due to Zoom access data for online participation.​ To sign up, please send an email until 10 November to: 


A focus of the workshop is on the actors of consumption, their ideas, stories, and dreams and how categories such as gender, class, racial and ethnic identities were constructed through consumption. Furthermore, problems and conflicts arising from the ever-increasing exploitation of the hinterland and alternative consumption patterns will be addressed. The workshop is intended as an event bringing together scholars interested in the history of global inequalities and the history of consumption from different career stages. The keynotes will offer guidance in the form of new perspectives and theoretical concepts in a global perspective, while younger scholars will have the opportunity to present their research on certain case studies.

Thursday, 11.11.21: 1.30 p.m. - 7.00 p.m.
Friday, 12.11.21: 9.00 a.m. - 5.45 p.m.

Program here