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Open Access (free)
From wasted time to damaged goods
Kinneret Lahad

5 On commodification: from wasted time to damaged goods A few years ago, Princeton alumna Susan Patton (2013), sparked intense debate when, in an open letter to The Daily Princetonian (Princeton’s university student journal), she suggested that female students make the best use of their time at the university by finding a future husband. The only good men out there, she explained, were to be found exclusively in their undergraduate classes. In a follow-up interview with the Daily Mail, Patton added that college-age women “have to start putting in place plans

in A table for one
The Kinship Metaphor in the Age of Byron
Michael Macovski

Although many Gothic novels conclude with contained restorations of patrilineal inheritance, others subvert primogeniture by perpetuating birthright through a non-traditional line. Such transgressions of Gothic primogeniture become even more pronounced during the Romantic era - particularly in the works of Byron, such as Cain and Don Juan. In the latter, Juan‘s nuptial dilemmas reflect several primogenitary issues of deep concern during the eighteenth century - including the preservation intact of patrilineal property, the containment of an increasing marriage age, and the extension of political alliances through marital exogamy. At the same time, these primogenitary issues also reveal a striking parallel between the handing down of inheritance and the handing down of texts. Finally, such a parallel also extends to the economic foundation of both inherited and textual property. As a result, Byron‘s poetry links both realms to Malthusian demographics, female commodification, and the paper currency crisis of the era.

Gothic Studies
The Ceremony of Organ Harvest in Gothic Science Fiction
Sara Wasson

In organ transfer, tissue moves through a web of language. Metaphors reclassify the tissue to enable its redeployment, framing the process for practitioners and public. The process of marking off tissue as transferrable in legal and cultural terms parallels many of the processes that typically accompany commodification in late capitalism. This language of economic transformation echoes the language of Gothic ceremony, of purification and demarcation. As in literary Gothic s representations of ceremony, this economic work is anxious and the boundaries it creates unstable. This article identifies dominant metaphors shaping that ceremony of tissue reclassification, and examines how three twenty-first century novels deploy these metaphors to represent the harvest (procurement) process (the metaphor of harvest; is itself highly problematic, as I will discuss). Kazuo Ishiguros Never Let Me Go (2005), Neal Shusterman Unwind (2007), and Ninni Holmqvists Swedish novel Enhet (The Unit) (2006, translated into English in 2010) each depict vulnerable protagonists within societies where extreme tissue procurement protocols have state sanction. The texts invite us to reflect on the kinds of symbolic substitutions that help legitimate tissue transfer and the way that procurement protocols may become influenced by social imperatives. In each text, the Gothic trope of dismemberment becomes charged with new urgency.

Gothic Studies
Open Access (free)
Digital Bodies, Data and Gifts
Kristin Bergtora Sandvik

. ( 2010 ), ‘ The Gift of Disaster: The Commodification of Good Intentions in Post-tsunami Sri Lanka’ , Disasters , 34 , 60 – 77 . Kristensen , D. B. and Ruckenstein , M. ( 2018 ), ‘ Co-evolving with Self-tracking Technologies’ , New Media & Society , 20 : 10

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
How Can Humanitarian Analysis, Early Warning and Response Be Improved?
Aditya Sarkar
Benjamin J. Spatz
Alex de Waal
Christopher Newton
, and
Daniel Maxwell

, Commodification and Conflict in South Sudan ( Nairobi : Rift Valley Institute ), (accessed 7 October 2021 ). Thomas , E. and

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Steve Bentel

This chapter shows that the young white people who spent their nights sharing music and organising around musical activism in postcolonial London built a shared culture that struck an often-tenuous balance between culturally appropriating Black spaces and music and building friendships and solidarities within them. These spaces had the power to make such interactions banal but, particularly in the case of the Brixton Academy, they also foregrounded the possibility of inter-racial encounters.

in British culture after empire
Contraception and commerce in Britain before the sexual revolution

The Business of Birth Control uncovers the significance of contraceptives as commodities in Britain before the Pill. Drawing on neglected promotional and commercial material, the book demonstrates how hundreds of companies transformed condoms and rubber and chemical pessaries into branded consumer goods that became widely available via birth control clinics, chemists’ shops and vending machines, and were discreetly advertised in various forms of print. With its focus on the interwar period, the book demonstrates how contraceptive commodification shaped sexual and birth control knowledge and practice at a time when older, more restrictive moral values surrounding sexuality uncomfortably co-existed with a modern vision of the future premised on stability wrought by science, medicine and technology. Commodification was a contested process that came into conflict with attempts by the State, doctors and the birth control movement to medicalise birth control, and by social purity groups that sought to censor the trade in order to uphold their prescribed standards of sexual morality and maintain sexual ignorance among much of the population. Of wide interest to modern historians, the book not only serves as an important reminder that businesses were integral to shaping medical, economic, social and cultural attitudes towards sex and birth control but also sheds greater light on the ambiguities, tensions and struggles of interwar Britain more broadly. Without such interwar struggles, the contraceptive Pill may not have received its revolutionary status.


Drawing together essays written by scholars from Great Britain and the United States, this book provides an important contribution to the emerging field of disability history. It explores the development of modern transatlantic prosthetic industries in nineteenth and twentieth centuries and reveals how the co-alignment of medicine, industrial capitalism, and social norms shaped diverse lived experiences of prosthetic technologies and in turn, disability identities. Through case studies that focus on hearing aids, artificial tympanums, amplified telephones, artificial limbs, wigs and dentures, this book provides a new account of the historic relationship between prostheses, disability and industry. Essays draw on neglected source material, including patent records, trade literature and artefacts, to uncover the historic processes of commodification surrounding different prostheses and the involvement of neglected companies, philanthropists, medical practitioners, veterans, businessmen, wives, mothers and others in these processes. Its culturally informed commodification approach means that this book will be relevant to scholars interested in cultural, literary, social, political, medical, economic and commercial history.

Can commodification of labour be self-limiting?
Francesca Bettio
Alberto Mazzon

Subsidiary employment in Italy: commodification of labour 8 Subsidiary employment in Italy: can commodification of labour be self-limiting? Francesca Bettio and Alberto Mazzon Introduction In May 2015, the President of Italy’s National Social Security Agency (INPS) presaged that vouchers – the Italian version of the pre-financed French Chèque emploi service (CES) – threatened to become the ‘new frontier of precarious employment’ in the country (La Repubblica, 2015).1 This warning was prompted by information that the number of recipients of vouchers had

in Making work more equal
Consumption, Americanisation and national identity in Britain, 1918–50

Popular dance in Britain fundamentally transformed in the early 1920s. This book explores the development, experience and cultural representation of popular dance in Britain during the first half of the twentieth century. The specific focus is on two distinct yet occasionally overlapping commercial producers: the dance profession and the dance hall industry. The strong foreign, and increasingly American, influences on dancing directly connected this cultural form with questions about the autonomy and identity of the British nation. The book uses dancing as a lens through which to better understand broader historical processes of popular cultural production and consumption, and national identity construction. The first part of the book focuses on the efforts of dancing's producers to construct a standardised style and experience for British dancing, and the response to those efforts by consumers. These interactions determined which dances would find success in Britain, and how and where they would be performed. The second part demonstrates how these interactions between dancing's producers and consumers constructed, circulated, embodied, but also commodified, ideologies of gender, class, race and nation. The dance profession transformed the steps and figures of foreign dances like the foxtrot and tango into what became known as the 'English style' of ballroom dancing. The dance hall industry launched a series of novelty dances, such as the Lambeth Walk, that were celebrated for their British origins and character, and marketed the wartime dance floor as a site of patriotism and resistance.