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Luxury in Global Perspective
Objects and Practices, 1600–2000


Part of Studies in Comparative World History

Bernd-Stefan Grewe, Karin Hofmeester, Kim Siebenhüner, Anne Gerritsen, Giorgio Riello, Silva Ruschak, Karin Pallaver, Martha Chaiklin, Jonas Kranzer, Bernhard Gissibl
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  • Date Published: December 2016
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107108325

£ 106.00

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About the Authors
  • Global history is predicated on connections and exchange: how connections between far-flung people, places, and objects are forged through a variety of exchanges. As world history has matured as a field, its practitioners have found the movement of commodities between peoples, places, and time a fruitful vehicle for research and teaching. Studies of 'bulk' items like salt, spices, coffee, and other globally-traded commodities abound, but few scholars have examined the role of luxury goods from a global perspective. This anthology charts the many different contexts in which luxury objects have been used across the globe, ranging from the social practices linked to these objects to their production, exchange, and consumption, as well as how these practices varied over time and space and how different societies attributed diverse meanings to the same objects. Using luxury goods as a conduit, Luxury in Global Perspective enriches our understanding of global history.

    • Incorporates vice into the growing literature on international history
    • Demonstrates the centrality of race, gender and sexuality to the construction of the modern imperial and nation state
    • Illuminates the centrality of regulating the habits of the body in imperial and national modernization projects
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'By identifying 'luxuries' with the shopping habits of rich people, historians may miss noticing how important these goods were in shaping world trade and mass consumption. This collection of impressively researched studies restores to luxuries their real significance in global history.' Tirthankar Roy, London School of Economics and Political Science

    'In this fascinating volume, Grewe and Hofmeester chart the global commodity chains that have emerged around luxury products all around the world. Diamonds, gold, ivory, textiles, porcelain and other commodities speak to a universal desire for luxury; their history illuminates the multi-directionality of flows. This de-centered history revises many deeply held euro-centric assumptions.' Sven Beckert, Harvard University, Massachusetts

    'Grewe and Hofmeester bring together convincing case studies of particular luxurious objects and practices throughout history to create a unifying narrative of global luxury … a marvelous example of how decentered history can debunk Eurocentric assumptions and bring fresh ideas into the discussion.' Daria Tashkinova, Global Histories: A Student Journal

    'Bernd-Stefan Grewe and Karin Hofmeester's collection, Luxury in Global Perspective: Objects and Practices, 1600-2000, is a book that brings us back to when all of us, not just today's students, began with world history. It pushes us to deepen and enrich our analyses of commodity culture in a local and transnational framework, and it invites us to utilize lenses of comparison we may not have considered before. … a very accessible and persuasive reworking of commodity culture in global history.' Krista Sigler, World History Connected

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    Product details

    • Date Published: December 2016
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107108325
    • length: 338 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 160 x 24 mm
    • weight: 0.62kg
    • contains: 25 b/w illus. 3 maps
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    Luxury and global history Bernd-Stefan Grewe and Karin Hofmeester
    1. Precious things in motion: luxury and the circulation of jewels in Mughal India Kim Siebenhüner
    2. Diamonds as a global luxury commodity Karin Hofmeester
    3. Gold in twentieth-century India - a luxury? Bernd-Stefan Grewe
    4. Chinese porcelain local and global context: the imperial connection Anne Gerritsen
    5. Luxury or commodity? The success of Indian cotton cloth in the first global age Giorgio Riello
    6. The gendered luxury of wax prints in South Ghana: a local luxury good with global roots Silvia Ruschak
    7. From Venice to East Africa: history, uses and meanings of glass beads Karin Pallaver
    8. Imports and autarky: tortoiseshell in early modern Japan Martha Chaiklin
    9. Tickling and klicking the ivories - the metamorphosis of a global commodity in the nineteenth century Jonas Kranzer
    10. The conservation of luxury: safari hunting and the consumption of wildlife in twentieth-century East Africa Bernhard Gissibl
    11. Luxury as a global phenomenon: concluding remarks Bernd-Stefan Grewe and Karin Hofmeester.

  • Editors

    Karin Hofmeester, International Institute of Social History, Amsterdam
    Karin Hofmeester is senior researcher at the International Institute of Social History (IISH) in Amsterdam and Professor of Jewish Culture at Antwerp University.

    Bernd-Stefan Grewe, The University of Education, Freiburg
    Bernd-Stefan Grewe is Professor of Modern History and Didactics of History at the University of Education in Freiburg, Germany.


    Bernd-Stefan Grewe, Karin Hofmeester, Kim Siebenhüner, Anne Gerritsen, Giorgio Riello, Silva Ruschak, Karin Pallaver, Martha Chaiklin, Jonas Kranzer, Bernhard Gissibl

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