Howard to Present Friday's Faculty Lecture Series

April 9, 2010

Associate Professor of History Vicki Howard will present this month's Faculty Lecture Series at 4 p.m. Friday, April 2, in Eaton Lounge, Bresee Hall. Howard will present Local Markets/Marketing the Local: Department Store Advertising and Main Street Identity, 1920-1960, a discussion of how “global capitalism has transformed the distribution of goods, knocking down the last brick in the cultural and economic edifice of Main Street, USA.”

In describing her lecture, Howard said: “Along with the virtual marketplace created by the Internet, Wal-Mart supercenters and the big-box stores located in ‘power centers’ created new challenges for the traditional independent retailer. The ‘retailing revolution’ that brought about the demise of the independent has a long and complicated history, something that has begun to be documented by scholars of business, labor, consumer culture, and urban history. The late 19th century retailing revolution, characterized by the emergence of large-scale production, mass merchandising, and a national market, transformed rural markets and small-town life. Modernization, however, did not happen overnight, nor was it uncontested or adopted wholesale in the same way in all regions. For example, businesses first resisted expenditure on advertising, now considered a necessity for any enterprise.”

Howard’s presentation will focus on the evolution of advertising from newspapers to radio and early television, arguing that the inherently local scope of independent department store markets led merchants to move conservatively as new advertising media emerged, even in the face of the modernizing efforts of the National Retail Dry Goods Association and the profession’s boosters.

Howard’s talk is the seventh of eight discussions throughout the 2009-10 academic year focusing on literature, art, education, physics, business administration, history, and biology. Faculty members will discuss recent research in their field with members of the Hartwick community. This year's final lecture will be presented by Professor of Biology Linda Swift.

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Hartwick College is a private liberal arts and sciences college of 1,480 students, located in Oneonta, NY, in the northern foothills of the Catskill Mountains. Hartwick's expansive curriculum emphasizes a uniquely experiential approach to the liberal arts. Through personalized teaching, collaborative research, a unique January Term, a wide range of internships, and vast study-abroad opportunities, Hartwick ensures that students are prepared for the world ahead. A Three Year Bachelor’s Degree Program and strong financial aid and scholarship offerings keep a Hartwick education affordable.

Contact: Jen Moritz
Phone: 607-431-4038