Frank Trentmann: “I’m fascinated by debates about good housekeeping”
The specialist in the history of consumption knows that we, too, can change our moral compass and live more sustainably.

What are your research topics

 I am interested in how and why morality changes in modern societies, or what people consider as being “good” or “bad”.

Where and how does the topic of your research have an impact?    

History can show us how societies in the past have changed their values and moral practices. At a time when we are facing climate change, it should remind us that we, too, can change our moral compass and live more sustainably. 

What is particularly inspiring in your field right now

I am fascinated by debates about “good housekeeping” and what is considered “legitimate” or “excessive” consumption. The German fixation with saving is a good example of the tensions between ideals and reality. 


Frank Trentmann is the professor of the history of consumption and morality at the Centre for Consumer Society Research. The professorship is part-time.

View Frank Trentmann’s inaugural lecture as a new professor on 29 May 2019

Get to know the other new professors.