Annual theme “Excess“
Interdisciplinary Lecture Series (WS 2019/20)


29 October 2019

Consumption as Obsession

Gerda Reith, Ashkan Sepahvand


Gerda Reith is a Professor of Social Science at the University of Glasgow. She conducts research and writes on issues relating to addiction, risk and excess, and their relation to wider issues of behaviour and governance in global consumer societies. She is particularly interested in the social and commercial determinants of gambling, as well as the relation of gambling harms with social inequalities and public health. Gerda’s research has been funded by a variety of academic, governmental and charitable organisations, including the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the Medical Research Council (MRC) and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). Her book, The Age of Chance: Gambling in Western Culture (Taylor & Francis, 1999), won the Philip Abrams Prize for the best book in sociology in 2000. In her latest book, Addictive Consumption: Capitalism, Modernity and Excess (Routledge, 2018), she draws on ideas about both consumption and addiction to explore issues around identity and desire, excess and control, and reason and disorder within the wider context of capitalist modernity.



Ashkan Sepahvand


Ashkan Sepahvand is a Tehran-born writer and artistic researcher based between Berlin and Oxford, UK. Previously, he has worked as Adjunct Lecturer at the Hochschule für Künste Bremen (2018–19), as Research Fellow at the Schwules Museum* (2016–17), where he curated the exhibition Odarodle – an imaginary their_story of naturepeoples, 1535–2017, and at Haus der Kulturen der Welt (2012–14), where he co-edited the publication Textures of the Anthropocene: Grain, Vapor, Ray (The MIT Press, 2015). In 2010, he co-founded the institute for incongruous translation with Natascha Sadr Haghighian as a framework for their collective study, including the projects seeing studies (2010–12) and Carbon Theater (2016–ongoing). His work and writings have been presented at the 58th Venice Biennale, dOCUMENTA (13), Sharjah Biennials X & 13, Gwangju Biennale 11, Ashkal Alwan, Sursock Museum, and ICA London, amongst others. Currently, he is pursuing a DPhil in Fine Art at the Ruskin School of Art and St. John’s College, University of Oxford, where he is a Clarendon-AHRC Scholar.