Coffee, Tea and Chocolate: Fuelling Modernity

Loading Map....
Date / time: 4 June - 6 June, All day

Liverpool Athanaeum

Coffee, Tea and Chocolate: Fuelling Modernity

Postgraduate and Early Career Researcher Workshop

This two day workshop will be hosted in the Library of the Liverpool Athenaeum, founded in 1797 to provide ‘the conveniences and accommodation for the acquisition of knowledge…in a town of such commercial and national importance as Liverpool’.

This year’s topic is ‘Coffee, tea and chocolate: Fuelling modernity’. The workshop will be introduced by a public lecture delivered by Professor Markman Ellis, entitled ‘A Most Civilizing Juice’: Tea between China and Britain in the eighteenth century.

Given the centrality of these new commodities to the structuring of everyday life, commercial relations and sensory economies in the long eighteenth century, we anticipate and want to encourage a decidedly interdisciplinary conversation. Topics for discussion might include

· the social and cultural manifestations of the consumption of new luxury food products

· their legal regulation

· discourses about danger (physical and moral) and pleasure

· the global contexts and impacts of their production, carriage, refinement and marketing

· sweetness and slavery

· material cultures: furniture, ceramics, metalware

· visual and literary representations

· sociability, conversation and their loci: the coffee house and the tea-table

Case studies are invited from all periods within the long eighteenth century, all disciplines and all national contexts, and papers that offer a global view of a global process will be welcome.

The workshop will include an opportunity to examine the material cultures of consumption in a visit to the Decorative Arts Collection of the National Museums Merseyside, led by Dr Pauline Rushton, as well as chances to explore the built heritage of a premier merchant city of the eighteenth century.

This workshop has been generously funded by the School of Histories, Languages and Cultures at the University of Liverpool, the Social History Society and the Economic Economic History Society. As a result, we are able to offer five bursaries of £50 each to postgraduate speakers. For further information please contact Helga Müllneritsch (