International Studies

Sophia Wang ‘13: The Splendor of Europe: Art Markets in Antwerp, Amsterdam, and London

The Global Market- MBH 216 at 6:00 p.m. from the Undergraduate Research Spring Symposium
Faculty Sponsor: Pieter Broucke, History of Art & Architecture
Major: International Studies

This research endeavor will bring us to the art markets of Antwerp, Amsterdam and London from the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries—a time of great intellectual ferment across Europe, birthed by a burgeoning interest in the cradles of Western civilization. We shall explore these markets from cultural, geographic, political and economic angles, concentrating on an aspect peculiar to each city. Thanks in part to its strategic crossroads location, the Antwerp market developed earliest, nurturing a dynamic, cosmopolitan scene. Amsterdam, which inherited the role of international art center in the wake of political upheaval, boasted a democratic system, luring many a middle-class collector and artist. We shall also discuss financial difficulties that artists, notably Rembrandt, may have faced. Lastly, we shall leave the continent, venturing across the English Channel to roost in London, which itself came to showcase a glittering auction and art market, dominated by the royalty and aristocracy.

Emily Gullickson ‘10: Gastronomic Hierarchies of Value: A Case Study of the Market for French AOC Wines

Discuss this project in MiddLab
Session: The Global Market- MBH 216 at 5:20 p.m. from the Undergraduate Research Spring Symposium
Faculty Sponsor: Thierry Warin, International Studies; Linus Owens, Sociology & Anthropology
Major: International Studies

The business model of the food industry, as it stands today, is unsustainable. Dominated by fast food and international agribusinesses, the industry increasingly wreaks havoc on traditional agricultural processes, nutrition, and the distance between producer and consumer. To counter these negative trends, organizations like Slow Food International have begun to champion the importance of “quality” for health, the environment, and the art of gastronomy. But what does quality mean and what will be its impact on the global food industry? An analysis of wines produced in France and labeled with the government-sponsored quality certification system, Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée, reveals that an emphasis on quality and geography, rather than brand, makes the food market more monopolistically competitive, more inclusive yet hierarchical. Furthermore, quality changes the values of the food industry from efficiency and low-prices to diversity and people’s fundamental right food that is “good, clean and fair.”