Wednesday, March 4, 2015

CFP: Business History Special Issue on East Asian Businesses in Europe

Guest editors Hinrich Voss, Sierk Horn, and Jeremy Clegg, all of the University of Leeds, have issued a call for submissions for a special issue of Business History on "The Evolution of Embeddedness and Adaptation of East Asian Businesses in Europe." According to the call for papers,
The influx of East Asian enterprises into Europe has a long history. Japanese business engagements in Europe stretch back for over more than 100 years and have, in this period, constantly evolved and adapted. Early Taiwanese investments date back to the 1950s and Korean firms have explored European markets since the mid-1970s, when car manufacturer Daewoo opened its first trading office in Germany. Foreign direct investment (FDI) by multinational firms often plays a key role in the economic development of host nations by enhancing human capital, conferring technology spillovers, and competitiveness  – and the evidence is that Japanese, Korean, and Taiwanese investments have benefited European host countries. . . . Analysing and comparing how Chinese investors, and investors from other East Asian nations, have approached and developed in Europe over time will yield important insights for scholarly understanding and for practitioners in European and other host countries. Contributions are invited to investigate how and to what extent East Asian firms in Europe have evolved, while adapting to a different institutional context and embedding in the local economies.
     For suggested topics, submission guidelines, and a fuller discussion of the subject, please see the complete call for papers.
     Manuscripts should be submitted online at no later than May 31, 2015.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Web Resource: FRASER

The Federal Reserve Archival System for Economic Research (FRASER) was created in 2004 as a data preservation and accessibility project of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. FRASER’s mission is to safeguard and provide easy access to economic history—particularly the history of the Federal Reserve System. The site contains a very large selection of historical materials; one easy point of entry is the "Browse by Theme" section. In addition to materials pertaining to each Federal Reserve bank, topics include "Depressions and Panics," "Gold, Silver, and Greenbacks," and "Women in the Economy." The site also contains a collection of the primary sources used by Allan Meltzer for his History of the Federal Reserve and a Finding Aid for Record Group 82, the Records of the Federal Reserve System at the National Archives. One can also browse by title, author, or date.
    Those wishing to receive notices about FRASER materials can subscribe to two different RSS feeds and a newsletter, or access the FRASER Twitter feed.

Friday, February 27, 2015

CFP: “Jewish Commercial Cultures in Global Perspective”

Merchants of Salonica
The Borns Jewish Studies Program and the Department of History at Indiana University, Bloomington, invite proposals for papers to be presented at a workshop on “Jewish Commercial Cultures in Global Perspective.” The workshop will take place October 11-12, 2015, and will feature new research on Jews and commerce in the period in the period in the Mediterranean, Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans. According to the call for papers,
We seek paper proposals specifically from junior scholars (advance PhD, post-doctoral and early career historians) whose work will be engaged by established Jewish, economic, and global historians participating as keynote speakers, panel discussants and roundtable participants. The workshop aims to introduce the notion of “Jewish commercial cultures” to discussions about networks, mobility, empires, migration and material life. We welcome especially proposals that examine Jewish merchants beyond trading diaspora frameworks, the overly determining contexts of “family” and “community”, or discuss their stereotypical representations in non-Jewish and anti-Jewish discourses. This includes approaches that view Jewish merchants anew as commercial citizens and legal agents in various regional and global settings from the early 18th- to the mid-20th centuries, a period shaped by the interrelated processes of an expanding modern culture (and technology) of commerce and the expansion and retraction of western and non-western empires. 
Proposals should include a maximum 500-word abstract explaining the paper’s main hypothesis, its innovations, and the sources used as well as a CV. Accommodation and meals will be covered for the selected participants. Funding toward travel expenses is available on a limited basis. For details, please indicate your interest in your proposal.
      Please send the proposals to by March 15, 2015. For additional details about the conference please see the full call for papers.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Market Cultures Group NYC Announces Spring 2015 Schedule

Daniel Levinson Wilk has announced the schedule for the Spring 2015 season of the Market Cultures Group NYC:
Thursday, March 5, 6 pm
Heather R. Lee, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
“Merchants Under Exclusion: Transnational Capital, Migrant Labor, and Chinese Restaurants in New York City, 1850-1943”
Comment by Louis Pechman, Pechman Law Group PLLC

Wednesday, March 18, 6 pm
Luca Petruzzellis, University of Bari Aldo Moro, and C. Samuel Craig, New York University “Separate but Together: Mediterranean Identity in Three Countries”
Comment by Shawn Grain Carter, Fashion Institute of Technology

Monday, April 6, 6 pm
Richard John, Columbia School of Journalism
“Anti-Monopoly: An American History”
Comment by Mary Pilon, author of The Monopolists: Obsession, Fury, and the Scandal Behind the World’s Favorite Board Game 
All seminars are at the Fashion Institute of Technology. Attendees should enter at the Feldman (C) lobby on the north side of 27th Street, halfway between Seventh and Eighth Avenues and bring a photo ID. Please email to RSVP and to request precirculated papers, which will be available a week or two before each seminar.

Monday, February 23, 2015

CFP: SHOT Meeting 2015

The next annual meeting of the Society for the History of Technology (SHOT) will be held in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on October 8-11, 2015. According to the call for papers,
. . . the Program Committee invites paper and session proposals on any topic in a broadly defined history of technology, including topics that push the boundaries of the discipline. The Committee welcomes proposals for individual papers or complete sessions from researchers at all levels. We also welcome proposals from all researchers, whether veterans or newcomers to SHOT's meetings, and regardless of primary discipline. Submitters are encouraged to propose sessions that include a diverse mix of participants: multinational origins, gender, graduate students and junior scholars with senior scholars, significantly diverse institutional affiliations, etc.
SHOT has three categories of submissions: individual papers; 3-4 paper sessions; and "unconventional" sessions such as roundtables and workshops. In addition, there are 15 "Open Sessions" on specific topics suggested by panel organizers, to which interested presenters can apply directly. Please see the full call for papers for complete details.
     SHOT also holds a Graduate Student Preconference; information is available here.
     The deadline for all submissions is March 31, 2015.

Friday, February 20, 2015

EABH Meeting Program Available

The program for the 2015 annual meeting of the European Association for Banking and Financial History (EABH) has now been posted. The meeting will be held on May 15, 2015 at the Czech National Bank, CNB Congress Centre, in Prague, Czech Republic, in cooperation with the Czech National Bank and the Czech Banking Association. The theme of the meeting is "Inflation in History, the History of Inflation." As the organizers state,
In this meeting we want to gain a better understanding of what is actually available in financial institutions' archives, and to identify promising areas for future research or action. The objective is to look at what is new about inflation. Can historical instances of inflation provide tools for a better understanding of modern developments? Should present day monetary authorities and decision takers be aware of these lessons as they cope with the challenges for the global economy?
The program and registration information can be found here. Please direct questions to

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Call for Applications: EBHA Summer School

The 8th European Business History Association (EBHA) Doctoral Summer School will take place in Ancona, Italy, from September 7 to 12, 2015. The theme will be "Business History: Debates, Challenges, and Opportunities."
    The school aims to provide doctoral students with an overview of relevant research results and of innovative tools and methodologies in the field of business history. It is organized jointly by the European Business History Association (EBHA), the University of Ancona, and the Italian Association for Business History (ASSI). Students will be accommodated in the beautiful town of Ancona while debating and discussing their research with leading international scholars. The school will focus on theoretical, methodological, and practical issues of relevance for advanced research in business history. The main aim of the school is to provide students with a full understanding of the newest trends in research in the field and to provide a friendly atmosphere in which to discuss their preliminary findings with leading scholars as well as among their peers. The program features both lectures and seminars given by faculty and student presentations of research projects. The organizers will cover all local costs (accommodation and food), but participants are expected to pay their own travel expenses.
    Those interested in attending the Summer School should send the following documents by e-mail to the academic organizer Dr. Veronica Binda (
  1. a brief CV (not exceeding one page);
  2. a summary of their dissertation project (not exceeding three pages);
  3. (if possible) an example of their work in progress, e.g. a draft chapter or a working paper (in any language). 
The deadline for applications is May 17, 2015. A maximum of 20 participants, who will be notified by June 14, 2015, will be selected.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Business and Economic History at the OAH Meeting

The Organization of American Historians (OAH) will hold its annual meeting on April 16-19, 2015, in St. Louis, Missouri. The theme of the meeting is "Taboos." Selected sessions of interest are listed below; the OAH program, available in full here, is not (yet) interactive, so sessions are identified by page number on the program pdf.
Friday, 9:00 a.m. "Where the Action Was: The Local Roots of Economic and Political Development in Early American History" (Sponsored by the Economic History Association) (p. 34)
Chair: David Konig, Washington University in St. Louis
Commentators: David Konig, Washington University in St. Louis; John Majewski, University of California, Santa Barbara
    Claire Priest, Yale Law School, "The Origins of Economic Institutions in Colonial America"
    Eric Hilt, Wellesley College, "The Corporation and Democratic Change: New York, 1791–1826"
    Naomi Lamoreaux, Yale University; John Wallis, University of Maryland, "States, Not Nation: The Sources of Political and Economic Development in the Early United States"
Friday, 1:50 p.m. "Unconventional Profits: Exploring the Fringes of Business Culture" (p. 40)
Chair: Rahima Schwenkbeck, George Washington University
    Rahima Schwenkbeck, George Washington University, "A New Kind of Company Town: Shiloh Farms and the Embodiment of the Community as Corporation"
    Jeffrey Smith, Lindenwood University, "Cemeteries as Paradox: How the Living Used the City of the Dead"
    Emily Dufton, George Washington University, " 'The Phillip Morris of Marijuana': New Business Practices in the World of Pot"
    Evelyn Krache Morris, JFK School of Government, Harvard University, "Cleaning Up: Multinational Banks, Money Laundering, and the Taboo against Prosecution"
    Also of interest, "New Research in the Economics of Slavery" (p. 37) and "Illicit Economies and Taboo Trades: Excavating the Politics of Black Female Sexuality in Vaudeville, Pornography, and Prostitution in Twentieth-Century-America" (p. 38)
    And these individual papers:
Thursday, 1:45 p.m.: Chloe Northrop, University of North Texas
"Sentimentality and Material Goods: Family and Exchange in the Post-Revolutionary Loyalist Diaspora" (p. 28)
Friday, 10:50, Dael Norwood, "Laying in the Cut: Opium Trafficking in China and the Politics of American Merchants’ Discretion" (p. 38)
Friday, 1:50 p.m.: Kim Phillips-Fein, New York University, "The Nation and the Labor Movement, 1900–1940" (p. 42)
Friday, 1:50 p.m.:  Amy Shore, State University of New York at Oswego, "When Women Occupy Wall Street" (p. 40)
Friday, 1:50 p.m.: Ellen Hartigan-O’Connor, University of California, Davis, will participate in a panel on women's history in the Early Republic (p. 41)
Saturday, 1:50 p.m.: Carl Ekberg, Illinois State University, "Négociants, Commerçants, and Voyageurs: Foundations of the St. Louis Fur Trade" (p. 51)
Sunday, 10:45 a.m.: Ian Saxine, Bates College, "Buying Empire: Land Companies, Mapmakers, and the Struggle for the Maine Frontier, 1749–1763" (p. 56)
The program also features a number of related sessions on labor history, slavery, agriculture, gender, and immigration.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Over the Counter: Issue No. 12

In honor of the date, we begin with a post from the National Museum of American History offering a brief history of the telegraph and telephone as communication media for valentines, "Love on the Lines."  Followed by "Mother of the Valentine," from the American Antiquarian Society blog, about Esther Howland and the birth of the valentine industry in the United States. And finally, from the Ms. Magazine blog, vintage valentines promoting women's suffrage.

Open access articles of interest:
   The Journal of American History has made 38 articles freely available under the rubric Editor's Choice; they include the essays from the special issue on the history of oil and from a Roundtable on conservatism.
  The Journal of Economic History has made "American Banking and the Transportation Revolution before the Civil War," by Jeremy Atack, Matthew Jaremski, and Peter L. Rousseau ungated until March 1.

"Conversant," the blog of the Peabody Essex Museum, has a guest post by Jordan Smith on "Farmers, Fishermen, and Distillers: Essex County's Place in the History of Rum"; his research reveals that "the North Shore's distilleries were a part of an Atlantic--and sometimes even global--rum production complex."

The David Rumsey Map Collection website recently featured a remarkable box cover and game board for a "Voyage from New York to San Francisco upon the Union Pacific Railroad" (1870). The board shows views of places and scenes along the Union Pacific route; for the two views and the game instructions, visitors should click on the thumbnails on the upper right of the Rumsey site.

On a similar note, Slate has published a review of Mary Pilon's The Monopolists, which traces the history of the board game's contested origins. And Pilon herself discusses the story in the New York Times.

A website and database of interest: "Her Hat Was in the Ring," a creation of Wendy E. Chmielewski of Swarthmore and Jill Norgren of CUNY. The site aims to provide information about all the U.S. women who campaigned for elective office before late 1920 (prior to the passage of the 19th amendment).

We report with regret that the London School of Economics is closing the Business History Unit in the wake of the retirement of the Unit's long-time director, Terry Gourvish. has an article on the History of the ATM, featuring commentary by Bernardo Batiz-Lazo, the author of Cash Box: The Invention and Globalization of the ATM.

In January, New York Magazine asked 53 historians to rate Barack Obama as president; among those offering opinions are Joyce Appleby, Edward Baptist, Jackson Lears, James Livingston, Kim Phillips-Fein, Thomas Sugrue, and Gavin Wright. Full responses from all 53 are here.

Brian Luskey wrote on an aspect of capitalism--recruitment fraud--during the Civil War for the New York Times "Disunion" project: "Men Is Cheap."

Friday, February 13, 2015

CFP: “Bustle and Stir” Conference at MCEAS

From the McNeil Center for Early American Studies comes this call for papers for a graduate student conference:
“How soon is evil done!” Hugh Blair exclaimed from his Edinburgh pulpit in a sermon published in 1777. “There needs no great bustle or stir, no long preparation of events, to overturn what seems most secure, and to blast what appears most flourishing.”
    In the early modern Anglophone world, the words “bustle” and “stir” referred to the dynamic, contingent, and at times transformational experiences of social and economic life. Inspired by these terms—and acknowledging the threat they posed to men like Blair and the promise they sometimes conveyed to less well placed women and men—this conference will reconsider movement and exchange in early America and in the broader Atlantic world in Indigenous, African, and European contexts in the period before 1850.
    We are interested in movers and shakers from all walks of life, whether such actors were free or unfree, in power or in revolt, making a killing or barely surviving. We are also interested in the movement of things, ideas, goods, substances, plants, animals, genres, emotions, pathogens, fashions, beliefs, and ethical systems that shaped and transformed early America through their circulation or non-circulation. We seek to draw together scholars from multiple disciplines to contribute to an understanding of the vibrant and unstable ground of this world in flux. In pairing exchange with movement, we invite reconsideration of the types and spaces of encounter that defined trade, diplomacy, sexuality, gender relations, and the multifarious creative forces that emerged from interactions, both intimate and impersonal. We also would like to consider the limitations of these concepts. What constrained dynamism in early America? Where did stasis and inertia impede flux, change, and exchange? Who moved and who could or would not? Does the concept of “early America” have analytical purchase given the movements and exchanges that transgressed cartographic boundaries?
The conference will be held October 8-10, 2015, at the McNeil Center at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. The Center will provide some assistance toward lodging and travel reimbursement to accepted panelists. Submissions are welcome from students from all disciplines and at any stage in their graduate programs. Proposals should include a brief C.V. and a 500-word abstract of the proposed paper, and are due by March 2, March 23, 2015. Submissions and all inquiries should be directed to Applicants will be notified of the program committee’s decision within two months.