Shopping: Material Culture Perspectives

Shopping: Material Culture Perspectives was published in Fall, 2014, by the University of Delaware Press. The volume was edited by Deborah Andrews, the former Director of the Center for Material Culture Studies.

The themes explored in this volume are based on the Fall, 2011, iteration of the Material Culture Studies course MCST299, “Research in Material Culture Studies: The Architecture of Shopping.” This class was open to the public and all lectures were recorded. These lectures, which are often a version of the chapters found in “Shopping: Material Culture Perspectives” can be accessed here.

The essays in this volume—authored by historians with varied specialties, an anthropologist, an environmental journalist, a geographer and urban planner, and practicing artists—demonstrate how a material culture perspective on shopping yields insights into multiple aspects of American culture.


Sandy Isenstadt The Spaces of Shopping: A Historical Overview
Susan Strasser Woolworth to Walmart: Mass Merchandising and the Changing Culture of Consumption
David Ames Shopping Malls: Machines for Selling
Lance Winn Passages: From Arcade to Virtual Arcadia
Anne Krulikowski The Shop Around the Corner: Change, Continuity, and the Independent Neighborhood Grocer
J. Ritchie Garrison Farmers’ Markets, Food, and the Architecture of Control
Jay Gitlin Living in a Bubble in the 1950s: The Material Culture of Effervescence
McKay Jenkins A Toxic Safari in a Big Box Store
Helen Sheumaker Secondhand Learning: Using Secondhand Consumerism in the Classroom
Gretchen Herrmann with Martha Rosler In Conversation: Community, Women, and Work in the American Garage Sale