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Humanities Research Seminar Series: 'Waving the flag and hiding the cows: national identity in British butter branding' - Angela Smith

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Humanities Research Seminar Series

This the third of this year's Humanities Research Seminars delivered by Professor Angela Smith.

Professor Angela Smith will consider the semiotics of butter packaging in the British context, in order to explore how national identity is represented. Angela will argue that since 2016 national identity has become a central theme in the packing of British butter, whether this is a supermarket own brand, or a leading dairy producer. 

The absence of cows in this packaging is part of a long-running semiotic practice that seems to relate to the industrialisation of the dairy industry in Britain, but the raising of national symbols seems triggered by the threat to the UK dairy industry that Brexit embodies. 

Through the exploration of the changes made to specific brands, Angela will aim to show how both of these strands have led to the redesigned packaging we find now.

 

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