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Professor Frank Trentmann

On research leave 2015/16

B.A. History (First), MA and PhD Harvard University (History)

Professor of History

Contact details

Department of History, Classics and Archaeology
Birkbeck, University of London
Room 1.05
28 Russell Square
London
WC1B 5DQ

Office Hours: by appointment

Email: f.trentmann@bbk.ac.uk
Tel: 020 7079 0603

Profile

  • A full curriculum vitae can be downloaded here.
  • Frank Trentmann was made Professor of History at Birkbeck in 2007. He has been at Birkbeck since 2000, after teaching as Assistant Professor at Princeton University. He is the principal investigator of the AHRC project “material cultures of energy” (2014-17), and also a member of the multidisciplinary EPSRC – ESRC research centre DEMAND (Dynamics of Energy, Mobility and Demand).
  • He was the director of the £ 5 million Cultures of Consumption research programme, co-funded by the ESRC and the AHRC. He has also been Fernand Braudel Senior Fellow at the European University Institute, as well as a Visiting Professor at Bielefeld University (Germany), the British Academy, and at the École des hautes études en sciences sociales, Paris. In 2014, he was Moore Distinguished Fellow at Caltech. Prof. Trentmann
  • His recent work has been on consumption, materiality, energy and everyday life. He has also published on political culture, political economy, and civil society in modern history.

Research and teaching

  • Introduction
  • Why do we consume as much and the way we do? What are the historical dynamics that have shaped our material lifestyles? And what have its consequences for power, identity, ethics and everyday life?
  • Research interests
  • History of energy and daily life
  • History of consumption
  • Teaching interests
  • BA Modern Britain
  • MA courses on Consumption in History; Globalization
  • PhD supervision
  • I have been, or currently am, supervising dissertations on:
  • Silk in Early Modern London
  • The Sport shoe in the 20th century
  • Missionaries and Statistics in the British Empire
  • Architecture and Material Culture in Ibadan, Nigeria
  • The Decline of Merchant Banks in early 20th century Britain
  • Consultants and the British State

Publications

  • Books
  • Empire of Things: How We Became a World of Consumers, Fifteenth Century to the Twenty-First, (London: Allen Lane/Penguin; New York: HarperCollins 2016)
  • Free Trade Nation: Consumption, Civil Society and Commerce in Modern Britain (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008). Whitfield Prize, Royal Historical Society.
  • The Oxford Handbook of the History of Consumption, editor (Oxford University Press, 2012).
  • Elizabeth Shove, Frank Trentmann and Richard Wilk (eds), Time, Consumption, and Everyday Life (Oxford: Berg, 2009).
  • Is Free Trade Fair? New Perspectives on the World Trading System, editor (Smith Institute, London 2009).
  • Food and Globalization: Consumption, Markets and Politics in the Modern World, edited with Alexander Nützenadel, (Oxford and New York: Berg, 2008).
  • Governance, Citizens, and Consumers: Agency and Resistance in Contemporary Politics, edited with Mark Bevir, (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007).
  • Beyond Sovereignty: Britain, Empire, and Transnationalism, c. 1860-1950, edited with Kevin Grant and Philippa Levine, (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007).
  • Citizenship and Consumption, edited with Kate Soper, (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007).
  • Consuming Cultures, Global Perspectives: Historical Trajectories, Transnational Exchanges, edited with John Brewer, (Oxford and New York: Berg, 2006).
  • The Making of the Consumer: Knowledge, Power and Identity in the Modern World (Editor), (Oxford and New York: Berg, 2006).
  • Food and Conflict in Europe in the Age of the Two World Wars, edited with Flemming Just, (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006).
  • Civil Society: A Reader in History, Theory and Global Politics (edited with John A. Hall), (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005).
  • Worlds of Political Economy: Knowledge and Power in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries (edited with Martin J Daunton), (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004).
  • Markets in Historical Contexts: Ideas and Politics in the Modern World (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004), co-edited with Mark Bevir (Chinese edition in press).
  • Critiques of Capital in Modern Britain and America: Transatlantic Exchanges, co-edited with Mark Bevir (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2002).
  • Paradoxes of Civil Society: New Perspectives on Modern German and British History, (Editor), (Oxford and New York: Berghahn Books, 2003, 2nd rev. paperback edition. 1st edition 2000).
  • Articles and chapters
  • ‘Liquid Politics: Water and the Politics of Everyday Life in the Modern City’ (with Vanessa Taylor), Past & Present, no. 211 (May 2011), pp. 199-241.
  • ‘The Odd Couple: Consumption and Civil Society’, Recherches Britanniques: Société, culture, politique en Grande-Bretagne du 18ème au 21ème siècle, Vol. I – numéro 1 (2011), pp. 37-51.
  • ‘Consumer Society – RIP’, Contemporary European History 20/1 (2011), pp. 27-31.
  • ‘Crossing Divides: Consumption and Globalization in History’ Journal of Consumer Culture 9/2 (2009), pp. 187-220.
  • Reprinted in: The Routledge International Handbook of Globalisation Studies, ed. Bryan S. Turner. (New York: Routledge, 2010), pp. 447-69.
  • ‘Materiality in the Future of History: Things, Practices, and Politics’ Journal of British Studies, 48/2 (April 2009), pp. 283-307.
  • ‘The Long History of Contemporary Consumer Society: Chronologies, Practices, and Politics in Modern Europe’, Archiv für Sozialgeschichte 49 (2009), pp. 107-28.
  • Reprinted in Consumption, ed. Alan Warde, Sage Benchmarks in Culture & Society (2010),
  • vol. 2, ch. 20.
  • ‘Drought is Normal: The Socio-Technical Evolution of Drought and Water Demand in England and Wales, 1893-2006’, Journal of Historical Geography 35 (2009), pp. 568-91, with Vanessa Taylor, Heather Chappells, and Will Medd.
  • ‘Before “Fair Trade”: Empire, Free Trade, and the Moral Economies of Food in the Modern World’, in Environment and Planning D, 2007, Vol. 25(6) 1079-1102.
  • Short version reprinted in Food and Globalization, eds. A. Nützenadel and F. Trentmann.
  • ‘Introduction: Citizenship and Consumption’, special issue for Journal of Consumer Culture, (editor), Vol. 7(2) (2007), pp. 147-158.
  • ‘The Politics of Necessity’, special issue for Journal of Consumer Policy, edited with Bronwen Morgan, Vol. 29(4) (2006), pp. 345-35.
  • ‘Beyond Consumerism: New Historical Perspectives on Consumption’, in Journal of Contemporary History, Vol. 39(3) (2004), pp. 373-401.
  • Reprinted in Consumer Behaviour I: Research and Influences, ed. Margaret Hogg, (London: Sage, 2005), pp. 303-329.
  • Reprinted in Consumption, ed. Alan Warde, Sage Benchmarks in Culture & Society (2010)
  • ‘Social Justice and Modern Capitalism: British Critiques, Traditions, and Practices’. A special journal issue for the International Society for the Study of European Ideas, The European Legacy, VI, 2 (London: Taylor and Francis, 2001). Co-edited and introduced with Mark Bevir.
  • ‘Political Culture and Political Economy’, Review of International Political Economy, 5:2 (1998), pp. 217-251.
  • ‘Wealth versus Welfare: the British Left between Free Trade and National Political Economy before the First World War’, Historical Research, LXX, 171 (1997), pp. 70-98.
  • ‘The Transformation of Fiscal Reform: Reciprocity, Modernization, and the Fiscal Debate within the Business Community in Early Twentieth-Century Britain’, Historical Journal, XXXIX, 4 (1996), pp. 1005-48.
  • ‘New Sources on an Old Family: The Rothschild Papers at the Special Archive, Moscow’, Financial History Review, 2 (1995), pp. 73-9.
  • ‘Civilisation and its Discontents: English Neo-romanticism and the Transformation of Anti-Modernism in Twentieth-Century Western Culture’, Journal of Contemporary History, XXIX (1994), pp. 583-625.
  • The Oxford Handbook of the History of Consumption, editor (Oxford University Press, 2012). ‘Introduction’ ‘The Politics of Everyday Life’, ch. 27.
  • Elizabeth Shove, Frank Trentmann and Richard Wilk (eds), Time, Consumption, and Everyday Life (Oxford: Berg, 2009).
  • ‘Introduction’ (with E. Shove and R. Wilk)
  • ‘Disruption is Normal: Blackouts, Breakdowns and the Elasticity of Everyday Life’, pp. 67-84.
  • Is Free Trade Fair? New Perspectives on the World Trading System, editor (Smith Institute, London 2009).
  • Food and Globalization: Consumption, Markets and Politics in the Modern World, edited with Alexander Nützenadel, (Oxford and New York: Berg, 2008).
  • Introduction (with Alexander Nützenadel), pp. 1-18
  • ‘Before Fair Trade”: Empire, Free Trade, and the Moral Economies of Food in the Modern World’, pp. 253-76.
  • Governance, Citizens, and Consumers: Agency and Resistance in Contemporary Politics, edited with Mark Bevir, (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007).
  • ‘Consumption and Citizenship in the New Governance’, with Mark Bevir, pp. 1-22.
  • ‘The Circulation of Rationalities: Consumption, Identity, and Citizenship’, with Mark Bevir, pp. 165-190.
  • Beyond Sovereignty: Britain, Empire, and Transnationalism, c. 1860-1950, edited with Kevin Grant and Philippa Levine, (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007).
  • ‘Introduction’, with Kevin Grant and Philippa Levine, pp. 1-15.
  • ‘After the Nation-State: Citizenship, Empire and Global Coordination in the New Internationalism, 1914-1930’, pp. 34-53.
  • Citizenship and Consumption, edited with Kate Soper, (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007).
  • ‘Introduction’, with Kate Soper. Pp. 1-16.
    ‘Civic Choices: Retrieving Perspectives on Rationality, Consumption, and Citizenship’, with Mark Bevir, pp. 19-33.
  • Consuming Cultures, Global Perspectives: Historical Trajectories, Transnational Exchanges, edited with John Brewer, (Oxford and New York: Berg, 2006).
  • ‘Introduction: Space, Time, and Value in Consuming Cultures’ (with J. Brewer), pp.1-17.
  • ‘The Modern Genealogy of the Consumer: Meanings, Knowledge, and Identities’, pp. 19-69. (transl. into Finnish as “Kuluttajan kehitys: merkitykset, identiteetit ja poliittiset kytkökset ennen vaurauden aikakautta”, in: Kulutuksen politiikkat arjen muovaajana, eds. Minna Lammi, Johanna Mäkelä, Johanna Varjonen (Helsinki, 2009), pp. 12-43.
  • The Making of the Consumer: Knowledge, Power and Identity in the Modern World (Editor), (Oxford and New York: Berg, 2006).
  • ‘Knowing Consumers – Histories, Identities, Practices’, pp. 1-27.
  • ‘From Users to Consumers: Water Politics in Nineteenth-Century London’, with Vanessa Taylor, pp. 53-79.
  • Food and Conflict in Europe in the Age of the Two World Wars, edited with Flemming Just, (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006).
  • ‘Food and Conflict in Europe in the Age of the Two World Wars’ (with F. Just), pp. 1-12;
  • ‘Coping with Shortage: The Problem of Food Security and Global Visions of Coordination, c. 1890s-1950’, pp. 13-48.
  • Civil Society: A Reader in History, Theory and Global Politics (edited with John A. Hall), (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005).
  • ‘Contests over Civil Society: Introductory Perspectives’, with John Hall, pp. 1-21.
  • Worlds of Political Economy: Knowledge and Power in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries (edited with Martin J Daunton), (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004).
  • ‘Worlds of Political Economy: Knowledge, Practices and Contestation’, with Martin Daunton, pp. 1-23.
  • Markets in Historical Contexts: Ideas and Politics in the Modern World (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004), co-edited with Mark Bevir.
  • ‘Markets in Historical Contexts: Ideas, Practices and Governance, with Mark Bevir, pp. 1-24.
  • ‘Civilising Markets:  Traditions of Consumer Politics in Twentieth-Century Britain, Japan, and the United States’, with Patricia Maclachlan, pp. 170-201. (Chinese edition in press).
  • Critiques of Capital in Modern Britain and America: Transatlantic Exchanges, co-edited with Mark Bevir (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2002).
  • ‘Critique within Capitalism: Historiographical Problems, Theoretical Perspectives’, with Mark Bevir, pp. 1-25.
  • Paradoxes of Civil Society: New Perspectives on Modern German and British History, (Editor), (Oxford and New York: Berghahn Books, 2003, 2nd rev. paperback edition. 1st edition 2000).
  • ‘Paradoxes of Civil Society’, pp. 3-46.
  • ‘Civil Society, Commerce, and the “Citizen-Consumer”: Popular Meanings of Free Trade in Modern Britain’, pp. 306-331.
  • Reprinted in Czech as ‘Paradoxy Občanské Společnosti’, in Sociální Studia (Social Studies Journal), Issue 1 (2005), pp. 15-46.
  • ‘Consumer Society Revisited: Affluence, Choice and Diversity,’ in: Ralph Jessen and Lydia Langer (eds.), Transformations of retailing in Europe after 1945, (Farnham: Ashgate, 2012), pp. 19-32.
  • ‘Consumers as Citizens: Tensions and Synergies’, in Beyond the Consumption Bubble, eds. Karin Ekström and Kay Glans (London: Routledge, 2011).
  • Multiple Spaces of Consumption: Some Historical Perspectives”, in Consuming Space: Placing Consumption in Perspective, eds. Michael Goodman, David Goodman and Michael Redclift (Farnham: Ashgate, 2010), pp. 41-56.
  • “Crossing Divides: Consumption and Globalization in History”, in The Routledge International Handbook of Globalisation Studies, ed. Bryan S. Turner. (New York: Routledge, 2010), pp. 447-69.
  • “Foreword” to Consumption and Generational Change: The Rise of Consumer Lifestyles, eds. Ian Rees Jones, David Ekerdt, Paul Higgs (Transaction Publ., Edison, NJ, 2009), pp. vii – xii.
  • Le consommateur en tant que citoyen : synergies et tensions pour son bien-être et son engagement civique”/ “Consumers as Citizens: Synergies and Tensions for Well-Being and Civic Engagement”, in Consommation responsable et bien-être/ Responsible consumption for the well being of all, ed. Gilda Farrell (Strasbourg, Council of Europe publications, 2008), pp. 87-93 reprint in French and English of the chapter originally published in L’Economie politique, no. 39.
  • ‘Le consommateur en tant que citoyen: synergies et tensions entre bien-être et engagement civique’, in: L’Economie politique, no. 39 (July 2008), special issue: “Pour un nouveau modèle de consommation”, pp. 7-20.
  • ‘Kurze Unterbrechung -- Wir Entschuldigen die Störung: Zusammenbruch, Zaesur, und Zeitlichkeit im alltäglichen Konsum’, in Unterwegs in Europa – Beiträge zu einer pluralen europäischen Geschichte, eds. Christina Benninghaus, Sven Oliver Müller, Jörg Requate and Charlotte Tacke (Campus Verlag: 2008), pp. 219-45.
  • The Question of Culture Consumption and Stratification Revisited“, Comment, Sociologica 2/2008: http://www.sociologica.mulino.it/journal/issue/index/Issue/Journal:ISSUE:5
  • ‘The Evolution of the Consumer: Meanings, Identities and Political Synapses Before the Age of
  • Affluence’, in The Ambivalent Consumer: Questioning Consumption in East Asia and the West, eds. Sheldon Garon and Patricia L. Maclachlan (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 2006), pp. 21-44.
  • ‘Consumption’, in Europe since 1914: Encyclopaedia of the Age of War and Reconstruction, edited by John Merriman and Jay Winter (Detroit: Charles Scribners Sons, 2006), volume 2, pp. 704-717.
  • ‘The Resurrection and Decomposition of Cobden in Britain and the West: An Essay in the Politics of Reputation’, in Rethinking Nineteenth-Century Liberalism: Richard Cobden Bicentenary Essays, eds. Anthony Howe and Simon Morgan (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2006), pp. 264-288.
  • ‘The ‘British’ Sources of Social Power: Reflections on History, Sociology, and Intellectual Biography’, in An Anatomy of Power: The Social Theory of Michael Mann, eds. John A. Hall and Ralph Schroeder (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006), pp. 285-305.
  • Interview, Economic Sociology, Vol. 7(2) (Feb. 2006), http://econsoc.mpifg.de/
  • ‘The Problem with Civil Society: Putting Modern European History Back into Contemporary Debate’, in Exploring Civil Society: Political and Cultural Contexts, eds. Marlies Glasius, David Lewis, and Hakan Seckinelgin, (London: Routledge, 2004), pp. 26-35.
  • ‘Vergangenheit, Zukunft, und die Inszenierung von Wirklichkeiten: Politische Ökonomie und Politische Kommunikation in Grossbritannien zu Beginn des Zwanzigsten Jahrhunderts’, in:
  • Wirtschaftsgeschichte als Kulturgeschichte: Dimensionen eines Perspektivenwechsels, eds. Hartmut Berghoff and Jakob Vogel, (Frankfurt am Main: Campus, 2004), pp. 405-34.
  • [‘Past, Future, and the Presentation of Realities: Political Economy and Political Communication in early twentieth century Britain’].
  • ‘Rolf Gardiner’, in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004), Vol. 21, pp. 427-29. www.oxforddnb.com
  • ‘E.M.H. Lloyd’, in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004), Vol. 34, pp. 119-121. www.oxforddnb.com
  • ‘Fiscal Politics 1688-1939: Taxation, Free Trade, and Tariff Reform’ in Reader’s Guide to British History, 2 vols., (London and New York: Fitzroy Dearborn, 2003), Vol. 1, pp. 523-29.
  • ‘Leisure and Recreation,’ in Reader’s Guide to British History (London and New York: Fitzroy Dearborn, 2003), Vol. 1, pp.798-802.
  • ‘National Identity and Consumer Politics: Free Trade and Tariff Reform’, in The Political Economy of British Historical Experience, 1688-1914, eds. Patrick O’Brien and Donald Winch (a collection of essays for the centenary of the British Academy, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002), pp. 215-242.
  • ‘Bread, Milk, and Democracy: Consumption and Citizenship in Twentieth-Century Britain’, in The Politics of Consumption: Material Culture and Citizenship in Europe and America, eds. Martin Daunton and Matthew Hilton (Oxford and New York: Berg , 2001), pp. 129-63.
  • ‘Civil Society, Commerce, and the ‘Citizen-Consumer’: Popular Meanings of Free Trade in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Britain’, Center For European Studies (Harvard University), Working Paper Series, No. 66 (summer 1997).
  • ‘The Strange Death of Free Trade: the Erosion of  ‘Liberal Consensus’ in Great Britain, c.1903-32’ in Citizenship and Community: Liberals, Radicals and Collective Identities in the British Isles, 1865-1931, ed. E. Biagini (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996), pp. 219-250.
  • Lectures
  • “Past and Present: Power, Inequality and Collective Provision in Modern Consumption”, Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Consumption, Manchester, 8-9 March 2012.
  • “Lessons from History: The Dynamics of Water Politics and Practices in the Nineteenth Century”, Sustainable Practices Research Group (SPRG) conference, 26 January 2012.
  • “Liberal Empire and Consumer Culture: Four Simple Theses on a Complicated Relationship”, Nuffield College, University of Oxford, 9 June 2011.
  • “The Dominion of Things”, École des hautes études en sciences sociales, Paris 25 March 2011; Sorbonne (Paris IV), 7 April 2011; University of Exeter, 13 May 2011; and Imperial History Seminar, University of Oxford, 3 December 2010.
  • “Empire, Consumers and the Moral Dialectics of Commerce, c.1807-1931”, Freiburg Institute of Advanced Studies (FRIAS), 19 November 2010.
  • “The Ideological Legacies of Consumption: Empire, Nation, and Citizenship in the Modern World”, Keynote, 5ºenec (encontro nacional de estudios do consumo), Rio de Janeiro, 15 September 2010
  • “More of the Same? Revisiting Diversity and Homogeneity in Consumer Culture”, São Paulo, ESPM, 14 September 2010
  • “Consumer Politics and Consumer Policy: Lessons from the Past for the Future”, São Paulo, ESPM, 13 September 2010
  • “Consumer Culture in Global Historical Perspective: The Contribution of Liberal Empire”, World History Congress, Amsterdam, 24 August 2010
  • “Empire and Consumption”, Sheffield University, 4 May 2010.
  • “A New Look at Consumer Culture: Lessons From the Past for the Future”, NCAER, New Delhi, 16 April 2010.
  • “Consumption – a Global History”, Global History Seminar IHR London/Warwick/Notre Dame, 17 March 2010.
  • “Liberal Empire in Practice: Free Trade, Citizenship and Race, c. 1846-1914”, lecture at Université Sorbonne, Paris 3/ CREW (Centre for Research on the English-Speaking World), 13 March 1910.
  • “Liquid Politics: Water and the Politics of Everyday Life in the Modern City”, Centre for Urban History, Leicester.
  • Roundtable, Donald Winch’s Wealth and Life: Essays on the Intellectual History of Political Economy in Britain, 1848-1914, Sussex Centre for Intellectual History, 5 February 2010.
  • “Liquid Politics: Water and the Politics of Everyday Life in the Modern City”, IHR Modern Britain Seminar, 17 December 2009 (with Dr. Vanessa Taylor).
  • “Divides: Things, Practices, Politics”; sociology seminar, Lancaster University, 10 November 2009.
  • “Choice, Habit, and Consumer Power: Lessons from the Past for the Present”; keynote lecture at
  • the 70th jubilee symposium of SIFO (National Institute for Consumer Research), Oslo, Norway, 5 November 2009.
  • “International Trade – Who Makes the Rules? Knowing the Past, Shaping the Future: History and the Making of Public Policy”, Roundtable, Bishopsgate Institute and History&Policy, London, 13 October 2009.
  • The People’s Budget; centenary and discussion, HM Treasury, 2 October 2009.
  • “Consumer Society revisited: Affluence, Choice and Diversity”. Keynote at conference on Self-service and Retailing after 1945, Cologne, 3 September 2009.
  • Lectures and Roundtables about Free Trade Nation (Oxford University Press, 2008):
  • HM Treasury (UK), London, 2 June 2008
  • Yale University (USA), 15 May 2008
  • North American Conference of British Studies, Cincinnati (USA) 4 Oct. 2008
  • Deutsch-Britische Gesellschaft, Hamburg (Germany), 5 June 2008-07-28 Grossbritannienzentrum Berlin/Humboldt University (Germany) 9 June 2008
  • Dublin City University (Ireland), 10 June 2008
  • Birkbeck College, London, 11 March 2008
  • European University Institute, Florence (Italy), 16 June 2008
  • Helsinki University, Finland, 17 September 2008
  • Sorbonne, Université Paris 4, 15 January 2009
  • City Pickwick Club, 23 November 2009
  • ‘After Affluence: Consumerism in Historical Perspective’, public lecture, Manchester, 11 June 2009.
  • ‘Comparing Consumer Culture Across Time’, British Sociological Association, Cardiff, 18 April 2009.
  • ‘Consumption and Civil Society’, paper for the conference “Gesellschaftsgeschichte Europas als Europäische Zeitgeschichte”, Archiv für Sozialgeschichte/Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, Bonn, 13-14 September 2008.
  • ‘Europe Is Leaking: European Integration in the Light of Technology and Consumption’
  • Paper for the ESF/EUI workshop “Inventing Europe: A Transnational History of European Integration” Florence, July 3-6 2008.
  • ‘Consumers and Citizens: Lessons for Well-Being and Participation’, Council of Europe, Strasbourg, 6-7 December 2007.
  • ‘Consumers, Practices, and Politics: Putting the Current Global Era in Historical Perspective’, Nordic Consumer Policy Research Conference, Helsinki, 3-5 October 2007.
  • ‘Drought is Normal: The Socio-technical Evolution of Drought and Water Demand in the UK, 1893-2006’, (with Heather Chappells, Will Medd and Vanessa Taylor). International Water History Association Conference, Tampere, 13-16 June 2007.
  • ‘Normal Disruption: Some Reflections from Droughts on Routines’, International Workshop, ‘Rhythms and Routines of Consumption’, European University Institute, Florence, 3-5 May 2007.
  • ‘Water-Use, the Home and the Politics of the Urban Water Consumer in Late Nineteenth-and Early Twentieth-Century Britain’, (with Vanessa Taylor). Urban History Group Annual Conference, University of Exeter, 29-30 March 2007.
  • ‘Material Politics: Water, Practices, and Conflict in Late Victorian Britain’, (with Vanessa Taylor). Department of Economic and Social History, Glasgow University, 22 February 2007.
  • ‘The Formation of the Modern Consumer: New Perspectives on Social Identities, Practices and Political Synapses’, Roundtable, North American Conference on British Studies, Royal Sonesta Hotel Boston, 17-19 November 2006.
  • ‘The Odd Couple: Consumption and Civil Society’, La société civile entre savoirs et pouvoirs: Economie politique et histoire en France et en Grande-Bretagne de la fin du XVIIIe siècle au début du XXe siècle; Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris, 27-28 October 2006.
  • ‘Consumption: New Research Directions’, Konsumentverket, Swedish Consumer Agency, Stockholm, 13 September 2006.
  • ‘Protecting Consumers, Empowering Consumers: Dilemmas and Opportunities’,
  • China Consumer Association, 7 August 2006.
  • ‘Cultures of Consumption: New Historical Perspectives’, Institute of Sociology and Anthropology, Beijing University, 1 August 2006.
  • ‘Towards a Global History of Consumption’, China Agriculture University, 3 August 2006.
  • ‘Before “Fair Trade”: Empire, Free Trade, and the Moral Economies of Food in the Modern World’. International Workshop: ‘Food and Globalization: Transnational Perspectives on Consumption, Markets and Politics in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries’, New Hall, Cambridge/UK, June 8-10, 2006.
  • ‘Civic Choices: Retrieving Perspectives on Rationality, Consumption, and Citizenship’, with Mark Bevir. International Conference: ‘Citizenship and Consumption: Agency, Norms, Mediations, and Spaces’, University of Cambridge, 30 March – 1 April 2006.
  • ‘Comparing Cultures of Consumption: Historical Perspectives and Dilemmas’, Comparative Studies of Consumption Conference, University of Manchester, 17 November 2005.
  • ‘The Invention of the Consumer in Modern History’, European University Institute, Florence, 26 October 2005.
  • ‘Transnational Flows of Consumption: Mediators, Resisters, Divergence’; discussant, Victoria de Grazia, Irresistible Empire: America’s Advance through 20th century Europe, European University Institute, Florence, 26 October 2005.
  • ‘Multiple Spaces of Consumption: Some Historical Perspectives’, Seminar on Consuming Space(s) and Place(s), King’s College, 12 October 2005.
  • ‘Subjectivities, Communication and Practices: Some Historical and Theoretical Reflections on Material Culture’, Workshop, “Material Culture and Self-Perception in Affluent Societies”, Bremen International University, 2-3 September 2005
  • ‘Consumers as Citizens: Forgotten Histories’, Harvard University Centre for European Studies, Berlin Dialogues, Berlin, 23 May 2005.
  • ‘The Problem of Food Security: Progressive Visions of Social and Global Order in the Age of the Two World Wars’, International Workshop, Food and Globalization: Transnational Perspectives on Consumption, Markets and Politics in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Sciences (Wassenaar), 19-21 May 2005.
  • ‘The Making of the Water Consumer’, (with Vanessa Taylor), Traces of Water Workshop, UK Water Industry Research (UKWIR), London, 18 April 2005.
  • ‘Consuming Politics: Consumers, Citizens, and Opportunities for Reframing Political History’, Plenary, New Directions in Modern Political History Conference, Institute of Historical Research, London, 7-8 April 2005.
  • ‘Interdisciplinary Practices: Problems and Perspectives’, Integrative Research Methods in the Social Sciences and Humanities Project, University of Hull, 6 December 2004.
  • ‘Coping with Shortage: The Problem of Food Security and Visions of Global Coordination, Europe, c. 1890s-1950’, Historisches Seminar, Universität zu Köln, 30 November 2004.
  • ‘The Resurrection and Decomposition of Cobden in Britain and the West, 1890s to the Present: An Essay in the Politics of Reputation’, Richard Cobden Bicentenary Conference, Dunford House, West Sussex, 16-18 July 2004.
  • ‘Managing Distance, Coping with Deprivation: Ideas, Identities, and the Problem of Food Security in Europe, c. 1870-1950’, Plenary. The Centre for European Conflict and Identity History International Conference: Food Production and Food Consumption in Europe c. 1914-1950, Esbjerg, 2-5 June 2004.
  • ‘Consumer Politics and the Construction of Needs: Water, Waste, and Consumer Agitation in the 19th Century’, Department of History, The University of York, 6 May 2004.
  • ‘The Modern Evolution of the Consumer: Meanings, Knowledge, and Identities Before the Age of Affluence’.  Cultures of Consumption International Conference: ‘Consumption, Modernity and the West: Re-thinking Narratives of Consumerism’, California Institute of Technology, Passadena, 16-17 April 2004.

Media

  • Is Free Trade Fair? New Perspectives on the World Trading System (2009); a think-tank publication I edited for The Smith Institute; launched at the House of Lords on 27 January 2009. The Smith Institute is a think-tank founded in memory of the Labour leader John Smith. With contributions from Jagdish Bhagwati, Alan Winters, Frank Trentmann, Martin Daunton, Amrita Narlikar, H.-U. Petersman, Harriet Lamb and Ed Mayo. See www.smith-institute.org.uk.
  • November 2008 News Article on Globalization and Historical Lessons, for Syndicated
  • International Press, via Project Syndicate, which appeared in 14 languages across the world
  • http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/trentmann1
  • 5 March 2008 “Thinking Allowed”, BBC Radio 4 (on Free Trade)
  • 21 December 2006, BBC Radio 4 “Analysis”: (Spoilt by Choice?)
  • 27 September 2006, BBC TV 10’Clock News: interview on consumerism.
  • August 2006, TV Beijing News, interview on consumerism.
  • “Water Stress and Sustainability” (with Vanessa Taylor), BBC History Magazine, September 2008, pp. 18-19.
  • “When Free Trade Meant Democracy”, BBC History Magazine, March 2008, pp. 42-45.
  • “4 ½ Lessons About Consumption”, http://www.consume.bbk/researchfindings/overview.pdf (2007)
  • “Hosepipes, history and a sustainable future” (with Vanessa Taylor), History & Policy, http://www.historyandpolicy.org/papers/policy-paper-75.html (2008)
  • ‘Britain’s Caring Consumers’, in Britain Today: The State of the Nation in 2007 (Swindon: The Economic and Social Research Council, 2007).
  • Articles for Sunday Express and for BBC History Magazine

Professional membership

  • Royal Historical Society

Current activities

  • I am putting the finishing touches to my book for Penguin, Empire of Things: How We Became a World of Consumers, Fifteenth Century to the Twenty-First. I am heading the research project "Material Cultures of Energy" for the AHRC as one of their large grants in the "Care for the Future" programme.

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