Tag Archives: poverty

Luxury and its underside

Rosa Salzberg   University of Warwick

Luxury is one of the concepts most closely associated in the popular mind with Italy today and in the Renaissance period which I research and teach.

A diamond is forever

‘A diamond is forever’ (Don Draper, 1948, after Anita Loos, 1925)

But the precise value and consequences of luxury – of the skills it preserves and innovation it generates, but also of the social inequalities it reflects and arguably exacerbates – are still matters of heated debate. I am part of a recently-launched International Network entitled Luxury & the Manipulation of Desire which aims to explore these questions anew, linking the contemporary agenda to scholarship on the history of global luxury from the Renaissance to the present. It focuses on three key areas: the production of luxury, the regulation of luxury and the geography of luxury.

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Imagining Poverty 1220-1520: An interdisciplinary research project

Anna Welch   Monash University/MCD University of Divinity

Many readers will know about the Make Poverty History campaign – an alliance of over 70 aid and development organisations, community and faith-based groups in Australia who are working towards the United Nations’ goal of halving global poverty by 2015.800px-Make_Poverty_History_banner_2005_Jersey Sadly, poverty is all too prevalent in the present. As historians, we have a duty to deepen our community’s engagement with its past. As humans, we have a moral responsibility to strive for a more just and equitable world. So in the spirit of poet and philosopher George Santayana’s oft-quoted observation (‘those who do not remember the past are doomed to repeat it’)  how have people experienced and understood poverty in the past? Continue reading

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