American Studies and ICJS Event: “Everything but the Coffee: Learning about America From Starbucks”

Tuesday, December 1st, 2009
7:00 p.m. (talk starts at 7:30 p.m.)
TUJ Azabu Hall 212 (Access)
Bryant Simon
Open to general public.
Registration closed


In this talk, Temple University Professor, Bryant Simon, will share what he learned over the last five years visiting more than 400 Starbucks in 10 countries around the world. How did Starbucks take hold so quickly with consumers? What did it seem to provide over and above a decent cup of coffee? Why at the moment of Starbucks' profit-generating peak did the company lose its way, leaving observers baffled about how it might regain its customers and its cultural significance? Everything but the Coffee probes the company's psychological, emotional, political, and sociological power to discover how Starbucks' explosive success and rapid deflation exemplify American culture at this historical moment. Most importantly, it shows that Starbucks speaks to a deeply felt American need for predictability and class standing, community and authenticity, revealing that Starbucks' appeal lies not in the lattes or frappuccinos but in the easily consumed identity it offers.

Speaker Profile

Bryant Simon is professor of history and the Director of American Studies at Temple University in the US. He is the award-winning author of three books, most recently, Everything but the Coffee: Learning about America from Starbucks (University of California Press, 2009).

Moderator Profile

Bill Clark, who has his doctorate in American Culture from the University of Minnesota, USA, is Associate Professor and Coordinator of the American Studies program at Temple University Japan Campus.

About ICJS
The Institute of Contemporary Japanese Studies (ICJS) is an organization dedicated to fostering study and research on various topics related to contemporary Japan and Asia.