Current Institutional Affiliation
Adjunct Assistant Professor, International Studies, Vassar College

Award Information

International Dissertation Research Fellowship 1997
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
History, New York University (NYU)
Consuming Past-Times: The Politics of Consumption in 1970s Czechoslovakia

My dissertation will focus on the political role of consumption in Czechoslovakia, 1963-1977. In Czechoslovakia, during this period called "normalization," the discourse of consumption was used by the state, the dissidents, and the consumers to negotiate their political environment and to define their place within it over time, from a period of potential political reform to the return of political orthodoxy. In my dissertation, I will trace these discourses of consumption, using them to build the narrative of late communist Czechoslovakia in which commonplace assumptions about social control, resistance and political apathy are challenged. My study will refer to the recent scholarship on Western Europe which uses 'consumption' to evoke a variety of historical questions. My analysis will further benefit from a comparative discussion of Poland and Hungary during this same period, both of which also used consumption as political control and political barometer.