Alison Clarke (BA, MA, PhD) is Senior Tutor in the School of Humanities at the Royal College of Art and Visiting Professor in Design History and Theory at the University of Applied Arts, Vienna. After studying design history at first degree level, she went on to gain a Distinction at MA level on the V&A/RCA course in the History of Design. Subsequently, she received her doctorate in Social Anthropology from the Department of Anthropology, University College London working under the supervision of Professor Daniel Miller. After holding positions as Senior Lecturer at the University of Brighton and University of Southampton, she joined the V&A/RCA course team in 1999. Alison's special area of interest revolves around material culture and consumption, with a particular focus on commodity cultures and product design. Her sole authored book, Tupperware: The Promise of Plastic in 1950s America (Smithsonian Institution Press, 1999), based on research conducted during her tenure as a Smithsonian Fellow, charts the design process and mass consumption of an everyday artefact in the context of the cultural politics of post-war America. She has contributed to several edited volumes in the fields of material culture and consumption studies (including Home Possessions: Material Culture Behind Closed Doors (Berg 2001), ed. D. Miller and Consuming Motherhood (Rutgers 2002) ed. L. Layne and J. Taylor, as well as numerous conferences. She is a member of the editorial boards for Journal of Visual Culture in Britain and the Journal of Consumer Culture. As a contributing scholar to the Centre, she will conduct the focused Study Setting up Home - An Investigation into the Contemporary Construction of the Domestic.
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