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It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…

1 Dec 2017 3:00PM

As homes and high streets start to glitter and glow with multi-coloured lights, the University of Suffolk is hosting a guest lecture on Christmas.

Philip Hancock, Professor of Work and Organisation, will be sharing his thoughts with Suffolk Business School students on 12 December on the ways in which Christmas is manufactured each year.

Professor Hancock said “I will be including stories of social reformers, military propagandists, harassed shopping centre managers and even those who not only perform, but train the big man himself; asking what, if anything, might we learn not only about the season, but also about work and organisation in the early twenty first century more generally.”

“Like Christmas itself, I throw together a range of different traditions from the sociology of assemblages to philosophical debates on the nature of atmosphere and even good old labour process theory. I will be offering up the making of Christmas as not only an organisational, but also a profoundly aesthetic undertaking.”

Professor Hancock, from the University of Essex’s Business School, has published widely on the subject of Christmas and has even spent time as a Visiting Professor at the University of Lapland, studying the subject in more detail.

Professor David Collins, Head of the Suffolk Business School, said “I am delighted Professor Hancock has agreed to showcase his research on Christmas here at the University of Suffolk and all the more so because this event has been arranged as a function for the developing Suffolk Business School PhD community. While it is tempting to portray this event as a whimsical festival frolic arranged merely to entertain I should point out that while Phil Hancock is indeed an entertaining speaker and gifted writer, his research on this subject has been presented by some of the leading international journals in the field.”

“His research involves journeys, both, figurative and physical. It has taken him, for example, from the Victorian period to the North Pole. Whatever perspective is held on our modern obsession with Christmas and consumerism our students will – I guarantee it – learn something genuinely surprising by coming along to the event.”


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