Liza Burbank

My dissertation, "Advertising Love: Personal Ads, Product Advertisements, and the Consumption of Romance," explores how conceptions of romantic love are related to the values of consumer culture through an examination of the discourses of advertising and commercialized popular culture. I compare personal ads published in newspapers with product advertisements and the magazine and television content that surrounded them. Throughout the twentieth century product ads, and the media in which they appear, have worked to construct a dominant model of romantic love as dependent on and constituted through consumption, and to link this model of love to consumer capitalism. Personal ads are a site where individuals engage with, negotiate, and challenge that model, as they frame their own searches for love in the language of advertising.

Education: MA, American Studies, University of Massachusetts, Boston, 2005; BA, Social Thought & Political Economy, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, 2001

Research Interests: Consumer culture, popular culture, gender history, the history of sexuality, twentieth-century cultural history

Courses taught: Selling Love, Selling Sex: Romance in Popular Culture (Fall 2008)