Something is always trending. There is always a new trend on the horizon: some habit or practice that is nascent but building, some gizmo or movement on its way to occupying our collective awareness. While cultural observers have long understood the dynamism that defines modern life, recent decades have seen these currents become literal currency, and trends turning into an important driver for consumer culture. One explanation for this shift is the growth of a global trends industry that anticipates, packages and markets trends and futures to corporations around the world. This talk will explain the rise of trends business, and explore what happens to the future when it is forecasted, bought and sold.
About Devon Powers
Devon Powers is an associate professor in the Department of Advertising and Public Relations, Temple University. Her research explores historical and contemporary consumer culture and the dynamics of cultural intermediation, circulation and promotion. She is the author of On Trend: The Business of Forecasting the Future (University of Illinois Press, 2019), Writing the Record: The Village Voice and the Birth of Rock Criticism (University of Massachusetts Press, 2013) and co-editor of Blowing Up the Brand: Critical Perspectives on Promotional Culture (Peter Lang, 2010). Her work has appeared in Journal of Consumer Culture, New Media & Society, Creative Industries Journal and Journal of Historical Research in Marketing, among other venues.