Cultural History Seminar: Melvin Wevers
Tracking the Consumption Junction: Long-range dependencies and predictive casuality in 20th century Dutch newspapers.
During the seminar, I present a paper that I co-authored with Kristoffer Nielbo during my stay as a research fellow at UCLA’s interdisciplinary Culture Analytics program. This paper analyzes whether whether advertisements reflect or shape society. Is the central purpose of advertisements to sell merchandise, or do advertisements also offer a reflection on the past? It does so by combining long range dependencies and predictive causality in time series with cluster analysis to approximate how advertisements shaped the attribution of meaning to consumer goods—a process that Ruth Cowan describes as the consumption junction. As part of this talk, I will also reflect on my experience as a cultural historian of working in an interdisciplinary research project.