Advertising history is so rich and offers incredible insight on culture. While I focus on advertising and marketing history, I have done research on other topics, including finance and accounting, intentional communities, architecture, World War II, company histories, and much more. I welcome collaboration on projects in need of quick, accurate and interesting research. I am also open to speaking engagements and teaching opportunities.
The Business of Marketing, Entrepreneurship, and Architecture
of Communal Societies of the 1960s and 1970s
This book provides an in-depth history of three US-based communal societies that operated in the late 1960s and 1970s―Soul City, Stelle and Twin Oaks―with an emphasis on their financing, marketing, and entrepreneurship processes. These communities reflect the diversity of people who were dissatisfied with the direction in which American society was heading―often underpinned by concerns over racism, sexism, the environment, and capitalism―and decided to take the radical step of joining a communal society. A moral economy approach offers a lens on how these communities were prevented from fully realizing their visions due to the confines of capitalism, as embedded in banking practices, zoning laws, and systemic racism.
For more information, or to purchase, visit https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-3-030-88354-6
Consuming Death: Advertising and American Mourning Culture
There is little in life that is guaranteed, except for taxes and death. Prior to the 20th century, end of life services were typically handled by family members. As caskets were commonly built by furniture makers, a side business evolved. Furniture makers often worked as undertakers, who 'undertook' the logistical and bureaucratic complexities that death brought. Sensitive to the nature of their growing profession, and its social connotation, an 1895 issue of The Embalmers' Monthly suggested a new term for those in the profession, mortician. Funeral homes developed as a new industry to help people navigate a difficult time, and provide a greater array of options to offer a final goodbye. However, due to the delicate nature of their business, advertising can be an ethically challenging area to navigate. Like other companies, they need to promote their offerings, but due to the sensitive nature, it can be difficult to find the right placement, time, or means of advertising.
"Consuming Death" offers a history of the material culture of funeral home advertising over the past century. Specifically, how does the business of saying goodbye take shape, and how has it changed over time? Advertising for funeral homes have been imprinted on church fans, matchbooks, business cards, magazines, banner ads and more. This study of advertising reflects changes in society when it comes to technology and burial culture, but the ethical challenges of advertising funeral homes remains.