CFP Secondhand Economies

Business History
Call for Papers for a Special Issue
Changing Secondhand Economies

For a special issue of Business History on Secondhand Economies, we invite
original research papers focusing on secondhand markets and economies
involving a variety of commodities ranging from used clothing, pre-owned
cars, and antiquities, to recycled ships and electronic waste. This special
issue aims to present the best of ongoing interdisciplinary scholarship on
historical and contemporary processes involved in the flow of secondhand
objects and materials, their transformations and revaluations, and the
persons, policies, and markets involved with them. Recent concerns with the
speed and effects of commodity flows have brought fresh scholarly attention
to secondhand economies both in terms of their history and of their
contemporary significance for livelihoods and sustainability. Since the rise
of global capitalism has markedly altered the functions of secondhand
exchanges, content will be limited to the mid-nineteenth century to the

The secondhand clothing trade, both domestic and transnational, has a long
history explored mainly in fragments, reflecting historical limits of
marginalized groups such the Jewish diaspora and connecting European
countries with the North American colonies, and Europe with Africa, Asia and
Australia. More recently, secondhand economies have attracted new attention
in the context of global economies of recycling. Studies of the international
secondhand clothing trade have explored the role of charitable organizations
in the West in the export of donated used clothing, revealing a gray area
between thrift and profit, questioning the impact of imported secondhand
clothing on domestic textile/clothing industries, and highlighting the
complicated relationship between the production of fast fashion, and the
overconsumption of clothing in the West resulting in huge volumes of worn
clothing in landfills. Recent concerns with sustainability in the West have
spurred some to ‘rediscover’ practices of clothing re-use, re-purposing and
re-cycling at the same time as major high-street retailers are establishing
programs to return used clothing to their stores for re-sale or recycling.
Relatedly, clothing trends, particularly those connected to subcultures, have
for some time periodically embraced secondhand material use and systems of

Issue contributions might include longitudinal explorations of

• specific sites of secondhand exchange

• legislation and policies effecting secondhand economies

• the relationship between new and used commerce

• political uses of secondhand exchange and material

• transnational/global costs and benefits of secondhand economies

• cultural and social responses to secondhand materials and trade

• the material culture of secondhand objects/goods

• genealogies of secondhand acquisition

• gendered and sexualized uses of secondhand commerce and goods

• secondhand fashions and trends/subcultures

• business and labor histories of secondhand economies

• theories of informal economies centered on used goods


Articles should be based on original research and/or innovative analysis and
should not be under consideration by another journal. All articles should be
submitted by December 1 2016 via ScholarOne using the URL link listed below,
clearly indicating that they are for the Special Issue on Changing Secondhand
Economies. All the articles will be peer reviewed and, therefore, some may be
rejected. Authors should ensure that their manuscripts fully comply with the
formatting regulations of Business History.


Karen Tranberg Hansen, Professor Emerita, Department of Anthropology,
Northwestern University; Jennifer Le Zotte, Lecturer, Department of History,
University of Nevada, Reno.

Jennifer Le Zotte’s work focuses on 19th- and 20th-century United States
history, especially capitalism, material culture and dress, and gender and
sexuality. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Virginia in 2013,
currently teaches at the University of Nevada in Reno, and contributes
articles on dress and material culture to<>. Her book, From Goodwill to Grunge:
A History of Secondhand Styles and Alternative Economies, is forthcoming on
University of North Carolina Press, Spring 2017. Other publications include
“‘Not Charity, But a Chance’: Philanthropic Capitalism and the Rise of
American Thrift Stores,” New England Quarterly 86:2 (Spring 2013): 169-195;
and “’Be Odd’: The Contradictory Use of Dress in the Gilded Age Salvation
Army,” Winterthur Portfolio, 47:4 (Winter 2013): 245-265.

Karen Tranberg Hansen’s work concerns urban economic livelihoods in Africa
with particular focus on Zambia, the informal economy, consumption, dress and
fashion, and gender and youth. She recently retired from the Department of
Anthropology at Northwestern University. Her publications related to this
proposal include Salaula: The World of Secondhand Clothing and Zambia
(Chicago 2000), and the co-edited anthologies African Dress: Fashion,
Agency, Performance (Bloomsbury 2013), Reconsidering Informality:
Perspectives from Urban Africa (Nordic Africa Institute 2004), and Street
Economies in the Urban Global South (SAR Press 2013). Among her numerous
journal articles and book chapters are “The World in Dress: Anthropological
Perspectives on Clothing, Fashion, and Culture,” Annual Review of
Anthropology 33 (2004): 369-392.

Laisser un commentaire

Votre adresse de messagerie ne sera pas publiée. Les champs obligatoires sont indiqués avec *

Ce site utilise Akismet pour réduire les indésirables. En savoir plus sur comment les données de vos commentaires sont utilisées.