Reflections on CCT2010: The Final Posting

I had hoped to do a long, detailed, involved set of postings on CCT 2010. But that’s not going to happen.Time just keeps marching on, and this is busy season for academic conferences. It’s already almost time for the next one.I’ll be presenting virtually in Marseilles on the weekend at ICAR/NACRE, the Symposium dedicated to anti-consumption issues. And I’ll be in London next week for the 2010 European ACR Conference. And after that I will be presenting at the workshop and New Research Methods Festival in Oxford England on July 5 and 6.

To close off my entries on CCT, I would like to offer some impressionistic jottings about some wonderful sessions.  I enjoyed the session on Consumer Resistance during which Tim Dewhirst and I presented some of our new anti-smoking culture jamming research. Holland Wilde presented a wild bit of “cultural farming” a type of critical commentary montage of video clips from ads, movies and the news about the BP oil disaster. Sofia Ulver-Sneistrup, Soren Askegaard, and Dorthe Brogard Kristensen presented a fascinating and complex model about how we could rethink brand resistance.

The posters were very high quality, too. And on Saturday there was a magnificent session about “place” in consumer culture theory which presented three wonderful studies of our “hobbit holes” and what we do with them. Jeppe Linnet of the U of Southern Denmark led off with a detailed explanation of the complex Danish social-place concept of “hygge” (did I spell that right?).  Yesim Ozalp presented her work on the gentrification of Toronto’s retail spaces. And Zeynep Arsel and Jonathan Bean finished off this very stimulating session by talking about “Apartment Therapy” and online and media narrative of fashioning space and place.

Bryant Simon, our plenary guest speaker historian, gave a very intriguing talk about work policies, race, and branding in the Starbucks chain. After lunch there was another great session on co-creation, culture and consumption(Matthias Bode’s work on created Danish Christmas beer rituals; Robert Harrison on Black Friday and its internal role in helping form corporate rituals; and of course Daiane Scaraboto’s work on the geocaching subculture and its grassroots opportunism; all were outstanding).

The afternoon session on The Mediatized Body and Healthism also gave me plenty to think about. Can you hear how breathless I am recounting all of this to you? It was 2 weeks ago and I”m still incredibly enthusiastic about it.

That evening was extremely memorable to me because of our poetry reading session. John Sherry, Hilary Downey, and Sidney Levy, among others, read some wonderful poems. And then, thanks to the openness of the CCT organizers (thanks Craig and Dave), and the incredibly helpful work of dub-master Risto Roman from Helsinki, Finland, I was able to perform my poem Marketing Life 101 to the CCT group. I had such a great time, and I was so pleased with how the entire poetry session went this year. It was even collected and published in a book called “Canaries Coalmines Thunderstones” by Roel Wijland.

I am hoping to have a video of the poem performance up on YouTube at some point soon. When I do, I’ll flag it and maybe expand on it in this blog. For now, if you are interested you can listen to this earlier production of the  Marketing Life 101 poem I created in GarageBand. If you are interested in seeing the written version of the poem too, leave a comment and I’ll post it.

I hope to see many of you in Europe this coming week. If we haven’t met yet, don’t be shy, come on up and introduce yourself.

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