Home to a wide array of historic markets, the most famous department store in the world, and the largest urban shopping mall in Europe, London is distinguished by the diversity, scope, and global character of its consumer spaces. Rich in architectural and historic significance, London’s consumer landscape serves as a valuable part of the city’s heritage. In the early twenty-first century, consumerism operates not only as a driving force of London’s economy but also as a cultural pastime for both Londoners and millions of tourists in the city. An analysis of this practice thus provides insight into the relationship among the social, cultural, and economic forces that have shaped the city historically and continue to define it. This course examines the ways in which consumer culture and the consumer landscape have developed in London from the late eighteenth century to the present. It engages with a wide variety of consumer spaces, such as street markets, historic arcades, High streets, department stores, and the growing trend of pop-ups, to investigate consumption in all its variety and complexity. These spaces illuminate not only the centrality of consumerism to London’s past but also how it operates to shape the contemporary character of the global city as an international shopping destination.
EXAMPLE CO-CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES (2-4 PER COURSE)
- Brixton Walking Tour
- West End Walking Tour
- Historic Arcades and Markets of the City
- Green Street
- Westfield Stratford City
- The High Street