GHI Fall Lecture Series 2010

The Profitable Body: The Business of Beauty

Organized by Martin Klimke (GHI) and Uwe Spiekermann (GHI)

A glowing complexion, healthier hair, the perfect physique: beauty matters. The beauty industry stands ready to help the modern consumer attain physical attractiveness. Indeed, it has come to exercise tremendous influence on notions of beauty and individuals' perceptions of their own bodies. The lecture series The Profitable Body: The Business of Beauty will explore the interplay of commerce and culture in the shaping of standards of beauty over the past century. Focusing on the tension between individual choice and the market's offerings, this series will offer a new perspective on the cultural, economic, and political dimensions of the concept of beauty.

All lectures begin at 6:30 pm (refreshments will be served from 6:00 to 6:30 pm) and will be held at the German Historical Institute, 1607 New Hampshire Avenue NW (Directions). Please RSVP (acceptances only) by Tel. 202.387.3355, Fax 202.387.6437 or E-mail.


  • Masculinity and Its Commercialization
    September 23, 2010
    Speaker: Jürgen Martschukat (Universität Erfurt)

  • Struggling for Beauty: Body Aesthetics and Social Conflicts in Modern History
    October 14, 2010
    Speaker: Thomas Kühne (Clark University, Worcester)

  • Beauty Shop Politics: African American Entrepreneurs and Activism in the 20th Century
    October 28, 2010
    Speaker: Tiffany M. Gill (University of Texas, Austin)
    In cooperation with The Humanities Council of Washington, DC
  • From the Nose Job to Face Transplants: A History of the Authentic Face
    November 18, 2010
    Speaker: Sander Gilman (Emory University, Atlanta)




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