Janet Borgerson och Jonathan Schroeder

Idag gästar forskarna Janet Borgerson och Jonathan Schroeder modevetenskapens högre seminarium. De kommer tala om sin nyutkomna bok “Designing for Hi-Fi Living” (MIT Press). Alla forskare på filmvetenskapen och JMK (även PhD och mastrar) är hjärtligt välkomna!

ABSTRACT (In English)

This talk presents a visually striking selection of vintage album covers from the golden age of record cover design and discusses their contribution to postwar American consumer culture. Not just decorated cardboard that protected the vinyl disks within, record album covers in the 1950s and 1960s served commercial, pedagogical, and rhetorical purposes. Record albums, as popular and mass culture artifacts, were designed to teach US citizens about ideal lifestyles in postwar America. Record albums suggested how to entertain at home, appreciate diverse cultures, and travel the world. Our book, Designed for Hi-Fi Living: The Vinyl LP in Midcentury America (2017, MIT Press), explores the contribution of record albums, as material artifacts, to the imagination and construction of modern US identity and global citizenship, and discusses how the Cold War raging between the two postwar superpowers encroached upon the design, music, and marketing of mainstream albums. These midcentury LPs – featuring the Cuban playground released before Castro, jazz albums adorned with abstract art, and lifestyle LPs with attractive images of appliance-filled kitchens – appear as subtle elements of the ideological struggles of the era. Drawing upon notions of materiality and agency in the constitution of consuming subjects, and informed by critical visual and cultural analysis, the book reveals how peripheral objects, such as record albums, reveal hidden pedagogical aspects of material culture. Learn more.


Janet Borgerson studied philosophy, economics, and writing at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and earned a Ph.D. in Philosophy from University of Wisconsin, Madison. She completed postdoctoral work in philosophy, gender, and religious studies at Brown University. She is a Fellow of the Institute of Brands and Brand Relationships and a Board Member of the Race in the Marketplace Forum. She is author of Caring and Power in Female Leadership: A Philosophical Approach (Cambridge Scholars 2018) and co-author of From Chinese Brand Culture to Global Brands (Palgrave Macmillan 2013) and Designed for Hi-Fi Living: The Vinyl LP in Midcentury America (MIT Press 2017).


Jonathan Schroeder writes about the intersections of branding, midcentury media, and visual culture. He is the William A. Kern Professor in the School of Communication at Rochester Institute of Technology in New York. He received a B.A. from the University of Michigan, and an M.A. and a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. He has lived and worked in the US, Sweden, and England. His books include Visual Consumption (Routledge, 2002), Brand Culture (Routledge, 2006, co-editor), Routledge Companion to Visual Organization (2014, co-editor), Designed for Hi-Fi Living: The Vinyl LP in Midcentury America (MIT Press, 2017, co-author), and August Strindberg and Visual Culture: The Emergence of Optical Modernity in Image, Text, and Theatre (Bloomsbury, 2018, co-editor).