BizHisCol Webinar – Department stores and modernization of retail in socialist Yugoslavia, 1950s-1960s

18/05/2021 16.00 UK

Register here

Presenter: Ivana Mihaela Žimbrek (Central European University)
Chair: Nicholas Wong (Northumbria University)

In my presentation, I would like to discuss a draft of a chapter from my dissertation, which focuses on the activities of two of the largest Yugoslav department store chains—”Na-Ma” from Zagreb and “Beograd” from Belgrade—in the period from the mid-1950s to the late 1960s as the initial phase of the institutionalization of modern retail spaces in Socialist Yugoslavia. I am particularly interested in the discussion and planning activities of the department store chains’ expert actors, their republic, federal as well as transnational spaces of exchange, and the way that category of gender played into their agency and interests. More precisely, I intend to analyze the planning and business activities of these department store chains that took place on the intersection between retail, architectural design and urban planning in order to explore the broader connection and development between modernization of retail and transformations of the urban environment under Yugoslav state socialism. I wish to argue that focusing on the spatial dimension of modern retail and its manifestation in various urban areas is crucial for understanding the particular relationship between retailing as an increasingly important professional sphere in socialist states, the physical construction of old and new urban spaces, as well as the social planning and managing of life in urban areas under state-socialism.

Check out the Hagley History Hangout

New episode is available in the Hagley History Hangout.  In her book The Industrialists: How the National Association of Manufacturers Shaped American Capitalism, Jennifer A. Delton traces the history of the National Association of Manufacturers—NAM—from its origins in 1895 to today. She argues that NAM—an organization best known for fighting unions, promoting “free enterprise,” and defending corporate interests—was also surprisingly progressive. Delton shows how it encouraged companies to adopt innovations such as safety standards, workers’ comp, and affirmative action, and worked with the US government and international organizations to promote the free exchange of goods and services across national borders. While NAM’s modernizing and globalizing activities helped to make American industry the most profitable and productive in the world by midcentury, they also eventually led to deindustrialization, plant closings, and the decline of manufacturing jobs. The Industrialists is the story of a powerful organization that fought US manufacturing’s political battles, created its economic infrastructure, and expanded its global markets—only to contribute to the widespread collapse of US manufacturing by the close of the twentieth century. More information about the book is available here.  Jennifer A. Delton is professor of history at Skidmore College. Her previous books include Rethinking the 1950s: How Anticommunism and the Cold War Made America LiberalRacial Integration in Corporate America, 1940–1990; and Making Minnesota Liberal: Civil Rights and the Transformation of the Democratic Party. Interview available at https://www.hagley.org/research/history-hangout-4

Project Hindsight – Memory Decay

Please see the message below from Michael Weatherburn relating to his current work on “Project Hindsight”:

Hi everyone!

I hope my message finds you well.

Building on 2020’s successful ‘Memory Decay’ pilot, I’m getting in touch to let you know about Project Hindsight’s brand-new research.

We’d love to learn if and how one year of Covid-19 has changed how organisations work, function, and remember.

Click here to participate in our survey. Your valued input will be appreciated – thank you!

While I’m here, if you haven’t yet had a chance to watch Fieldwork’s A Short Film about Memory Decay (2020), featuring yours truly, you can do so here.

Speak soon,
Michael


Dr Michael Weatherburn
https://projecthindsight.co.uk/

Project Hindsight is a strategy consultancy which uses the past to clarify the future. Our current focus is on institutional memory and forecasting.

‘Many practical lessons’
-Singapore Straits Times