Event Date/Time: Jun 19, 2009 End Date/Time: Jun 20, 2009
Registration Date: Jun 12, 2009
Early Registration Date: Feb 02, 2009
Abstract Submission Date: Nov 03, 2008
Paper Submission Date: Nov 03, 2008
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Conference Outline

The debate surrounding luxury is far from new. The traditional definition of luxury as ‘anything unneeded’ is neither helpful nor relevant in today’s markets. Much of the theorising and controversy over luxury from the time of the ancient Greeks through to the nineteenth century, focused not simply on attempts to prevent the accumulation of material wealth and goods but also to regulate them. Today the term exists in a far more diluted and less politically charged form. It is no longer a debate between the ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’. Luxury has become both a commendable and widely obtainable need or necessity.

What do we understand by the term luxury and can it or should it be applied to luxury branded goods today? Does contemporary branding allow such goods to remain ‘luxurious’ even though they have been mass-produced? What do the terms such as ‘value’, ‘consumerism’, ‘fashion’, ‘taste’ or connoisseurship’ really tell us about modern spending habits?

By discussing the history of luxury against the backdrop of contemporary issues, a familiar debate is extended into unfamiliar contexts. In this new and dynamic juxtaposition of two seemingly unrelated market cultures, significant inter-relationships are proposed and explored.

This conference intends to expand the parameters of the debate around the concepts of luxury to provide a refreshing context to construe the familiar debates surrounding the subject.

Themes & Strands

The conference organisers invite submissions under a range of broad headings.
Possible Strands may include:

Sociology and luxury
Luxury and emerging economies
Ethics, politics and luxury
Luxury and craft
Luxury and popular culture
Luxury, globalisation and branding
Luxury and design
Luxury and fashion
Luxury and jewellery
Luxury and the history of consumption

About In Pursuit Of Luxury

In Pursuit of Luxury is a comprehensive platform with the aims of distinguishing the traditional notion of luxury founded on 18th century definitions, from contemporary interpretations of the concept. The intention is to define luxury outside the luxury brands arena which is solely focused on brand extension, diversification and global consumer markets. In addition, the luxury brands market it is argued relies on historical references in order to perpetuate the value attributed to goods despite the products and services bearing no resemblance to the reference points.

The primary focus of the project is to place the notion of luxury outside of the notion of branding. The outputs include publication and dissemination, commercial enterprise and scholarship.

This original research re-defines luxury in a contemporary context concerned with global franchise, mass consumption and product diversification in contrast to an idea of luxury directly tied to branding.

The In Pursuit of Luxury Conference is supported by the University of Hertfordshire, UK


66 Portland Place, London, W1B 1AD
United Kingdom

Additional Information

Conference Timeline Call for papers opens 19 May 2008 Call for papers closes 3 November 2008 Preliminary conference program available 15 December 2008 Registration opens 15 December 2008 Early registration discount available until 2 February 2009 Deadline for speaker registration 2 March 2009 Conference commences 19 June 2009 Conference concludes 20 June 2009 Registration & Fees Registration opens on 15 December 2008, please check the conference timeline for other important dates. An early registration discount is available until 2 February 2009 Rates - all include VAT: Student/unwaged rate £250, early bird rate £225 Academic rate £390, early bird rate £350 Individual corporate rate £800, early bird rate £720 Cancellation before the 2 February 2009 – 90% refund of fees Cancellation between 2 February 2009 and 27 April 2009 – 50% refund of fees Cancellation after 27 April 2009 – no refund Preliminary conference program available 15 December 2008 Registration opens 15 December 2008 Early registration discount available until 2 February 2009 Delegate rates include - Day One Registration tea and coffee Lunch Afternoon tea and coffee Dinner Day Two - Morning tea and coffee