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2012 Master's Level Graduate Research Conference

Session I - Session II - Session III - Session IV

Growing Into the Mainstream: The History of Ten Thousand Villages - 1946 Through the Present

This paper traces the history of the pioneering Fair Trade organization Ten Thousand Villages from its beginnings in 1946 through today, and places that history into broader twentieth-century historical themes of labor, environmentalism, consumerism, and consumer culture. Since 1964 Ten Thousand Villages has evolved from a Mennonite grassroots effort to create North American markets for needlework produced by Middle East refugees, into what is today a thriving network of retail stores selling millions of dollars of Fair Trade craft products produced in dozens of developing nations. This paper explores this exponential growth and the numerous points of tension that came along with this rapid expansion.

Presenter: Robert Hazen (The College at Brockport) -- rhaze1@brockport.edu
Topic: History Panel
Location: 218 Hartwell
Time: 3:15 pm (Session IV)