Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Podcast Series: “Talking Empire”

The folks who run the Imperial and Global Forum blog, a product of the Centre for Imperial and Global History at the History Department, University of Exeter, are also producing a series of podcasts in which historical issues in the field are discussed. Called "Talking Empire" and hosted by Richard Toyes, the series so far includes thirteen installments, several of which may be of interest to readers: The first three discussions center on the legacy of Jack Gallagher and Ronald Robinson's 1953 article on "The Imperialism of Free Trade." Episode nine features Marc-William Palen discussing Adam Smith and empire.
     Toyes and the Center plan on adding installments regularly.

Monday, October 24, 2016

CFP: JHRM Special Issue on Marketing in the UK

The Journal of Historical Research in Marketing (JHRM) invites submissions for a forthcoming special issue, to be published at the end of 2017, on the origins of marketing thought and practices in the United Kingdom. The guest editors for the issue are Andrew Pressey, University of Birmingham; Mark Tadajewski, Durham University; and Brian Jones, Quinnipiac University.
According to the editors,
The emergence of marketing in the United Kingdom has received limited attention by historians. Reflecting a desire to flesh out this neglected history, this special issue of JHRM seeks historically oriented contributions that examine early marketing practices in the UK.
Please see the special issue call for papers for a list of potential topics and for submission guidelines. The deadline for submissions is May 15, 2017. Questions may be addressed to any of the guest editors.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Essays in Economic & Business History 2016 Volume Posted

The 2016 volume of Essays in Economic & Business History, the journal of the Economic and Business History Society (EBHS), is now available on the society's website. The journal is open access, and the contents can be freely downloaded. Volume 34 contains seven articles and seven book reviews. The $1,000 James Soltow Award for the best paper in the journal in 2016 was conferred on Brad Sturgill and Daniel Giedeman for “Factor Shares, Economic Growth, and the Industrial Revolution.”
    Back issues from 1999 to 2015 are also archived on the website.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

CFP: “Beyond Data” Workshop at GHI-DC

A workshop titled "Beyond Data: Knowledge Production in Bureaucracies across Science, Commerce, and the State" will be held on June 1-3, 2017, at the German Historical Institute (Washington, D.C.) in cooperation with the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin. The organizers of the meeting are Sebastian Felten, Philipp Lehmann, and Christine von Oertzen of the Max Planck Institute and Simone Lässig of the German Historical Institute. This workshop aims to bring together scholars from different fields to explore how practices of making and using knowledge emerged and evolved within and across science, commerce and state administration. The organizers state in the call for papers:
How do bureaucracies produce knowledge from the data they gather? This question has been raised not only in the history of science and technology, but also in colonial and postcolonial studies, business and administration history, media and organization studies. In recent years, practices of collecting and transforming data have become popular objects of study in these disciplines, yielding a rich literature on how knowledge was produced and applied in state administrations, academic institutes, businesses, religious institutions, and other public and private organizations. Practices of systematic knowledge production and utilization were thus not confined to one particular domain but rather emerged in science, commerce and state administration alike. Therefore, much can be learned by comparing and contrasting fact‑keeping in these different domains.
Submissions of work in progress are particularly encouraged. The workshop will be conducted in English. The organizers will cover travel and accommodation expenses for invited participants. Please send a short abstract of a proposed contribution (no more than 400 words) and a brief academic CV with institutional affiliation as one PDF file to The deadline for proposals is November 1, 2016.
     Questions should be directed to Christine von Oertzen ( For a more complete description of the workshop's goals, please see the full call for papers.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Historical Data Visualization Project at HBS

Coffee movement, pre-war (1938-39)
The Business History Initiative at the Harvard Business School has launched a website "[t]o facilitate understanding the history of global capitalism in its broad societal context." "Historical Data Visualization" displays "historical data on broad economic, social and political trends both globally and within the United States." Materials include maps (both interactive and static), graphs, and datasets (many of which have raw data in Excel format), divided into categories such as "Commodities," "Corporations," "Managing Distance," and "Politics & Economics."

Friday, October 14, 2016

New Books of Interest: Early Fall Edition, Part 2

As promised, Part 2 of the Early Fall "new books" list:

Alfred C. Mierzejewski, A History of the German Public Pension System: Continuity amid Change (Rowman & Littlefield, March 2016)

James Muir, Law, Debt, and Merchant Power: The Civil Courts of Eighteenth-Century Halifax (University of Toronto Press, September 2016)

Laurence B. Mussio, A Vision Greater than Themselves: The Making of the Bank of Montreal, 1817-2017 (McGill-Queen's University Press, November 2016)

John L. Neufeld, Selling Power: Economics, Policy, and Electric Utilities before 1940 (University of Chicago Press, November 2016)

David Andrew Nichols, Engines of Diplomacy: Indian Trading Factories and the Negotiation of American Empire (University of North Carolina Press, May 2016)

Avner Offer and Gabriel Söderberg, The Nobel Factor: The Prize in Economics, Social Democracy, and the Market Turn (Princeton University Press, September 2016)

S. Paul O'Hara, Inventing the Pinkertons; or, Spies, Sleuths, Mercenaries, and Thugs (Johns Hopkins University Press, August 2016)

Mary A. O'Sullivan, Dividends of Development: Securities Markets in the History of U.S. Capitalism, 1865-1922 (Oxford University Press, November 2016)

Christy Park-Pujara, Dark Work: The Business of Slavery in Rhode Island (NYU Press, August 2016)

Richard Pomfret and John K. Wilson, eds., Sports Through the Lens of Economic History (Edward Elgar, August 2016)

Jonathan E. Robins, Cotton and Race Across the Atlantic: Britain, Africa, and America, 1900-1920 (University of Rochester Press, November 2016)

Tirthankar Roy and Anand V. Swamy, Law and the Economy in Colonial India (University of Chicago Press, September 2016)

Andrew Smith, Kevin D. Tennent, and Simon Mollan, eds., The Impact of the First World War on International Business (Routledge, November 2016)

Robert F. Smith, Manufacturing Independence: Industrial Innovation in the American Revolution (Westholme Publishing, August 2016)

Sharon Hartman Strom, Fortune, Fame, and Desire: Promoting the Self in the Long Nineteenth Century (Rowman & Littlefield, September 2016)

Charlie Whitham, Post-War Business Planners in the United States, 1939-48: The Rise of the Corporate Moderates (Bloomsbury, October 2016)

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

New Books of Interest: Early Fall Issue, Part 1

Herewith a list, by no means all-inclusive, of books of interest published or forthcoming in hardcover from August through November, with a few earlier titles we missed. The fall list is long, so I've divided it alphabetically into two posts; the second will appear on Friday.
Jennifer Aston, Female Entrepreneurship in Nineteenth-Century England: Engagement in the Urban Economy (Palgrave, August 2016)

Richard Baldwin, The Great Convergence: Information Technology and the New Globalization (Harvard University Press, November 2016)

Melissa Calaresu and Danielle van den Heuvel, eds., Food Hawkers: Selling in the Streets from Antiquity to the Present (Routledge, August 2016)

Youssef Cassis, Andrea Colli, and Harm Schröter, eds., The Performance of European Business in the Twentieth Century (Oxford University Press, September 2016)

Pierre-Yves Donzé, Industrial Development, Technology Transfer, and Global Competition: A History of the Japanese Watch Industry since 1850 (Routledge, November 2016)

Jari Eloranta, et al., eds., Economic History of Warfare and State Formation (Springer, September, 2016)

Sharon Farmer, The Silk Industries of Medieval Paris: Artisanal Migration, Technological Innovation, and Gendered Experience (University of Pennsylvania Press, November 2016)

Catherine L. Fisk, Writing for Hire: Unions, Hollywood, and Madison Avenue (Harvard University Press, October 2016)

Wendy Gamber, The Notorious Mrs. Clem: Murder and Money in the Gilded Age (Johns Hopkins University Press, July 2016)

Hermione Giffard, Making Jet Engines in World War II: Britain, Germany, and the United States (University of Chicago Press, October 2016)

Maris Boyd Gillette, China's Porcelain Capital: The Rise, Fall and Reinvention of Ceramics in Jingdezhen (Bloomsbury Publishing, August 2016)

Carmen Hofmann and Martin L. Müller, eds.,  History of Financial Institutions: Essays on the History of European Finance, 1800–1950 (Routledge, October 2016)

Qwangmin Kim, Borderland Capitalism: Turkestan Produce, Qing Silver, and the Birth of an Eastern Market (Stanford University Press, October 2016)

Peter Knight, Reading the Market: Genres of Financial Capitalism in Gilded Age America (Johns Hopkins University Press, July 2016)

Jane Ellen Knodell, The Second Bank of the United States: "Central" Banker in an Era of Nation-Building, 1816-1836 (Routledge, September 2016)

Marc Levinson, An Extraordinary Time: The End of the Postwar Boom and the Return of the Ordinary Economy (Basic Books, November 2016)

Frederick L. McKitrick, From Craftsmen to Capitalist: German Artisans from the Third Reich to the Federal Republic, 1939-1953 (Berghahn Books, September 2016) 

Monday, October 10, 2016

CFP: EBHA 2017 in Vienna

The European Business History Association's 21st annual congress will be held in Vienna, Austria, on August 24-26, 2017, at the Vienna University for Economics and Business. The theme for the meeting will be "Transformation in Business and Society: An Historical Approach."
    According to the call for papers,
Polanyi's "Great Transformation" is just one, albeit prominent, example of how legal, organizational, technological, and political developments force broader socio-economic change. Managing dramatic changes in social patterns and modes of production, such as that entailed by the "fourth industrial revolution," serve as both a challenge and opportunity for business. . . . Even financial crises, political revolutions and regime changes have served as catalysts for the transformation of business institutions and organizations. By changing incentives, legal frameworks, internal compliance and accountability, political upheaval refocuses business energies and structures. . . . [The historical perspective] should include political and social factors as well as technological and organizational innovations affecting businesses and the broad economy, both on national and international levels, into this century.
Proposals may be for single papers, full panels, or multiple sessions (tracks). Papers on topics outside the theme will be considered. Other formats, such as workshops, debates, discussions, and poster presentations, are also invited. The deadline for all proposals is January 15, 2017.
    For much more information about the conference theme, submission instructions, and other details, please consult the full call for papers.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Over the Counter: Issue No. 29

A sampling of news of interest from around the web:
The Global History and Culture Center at the University of Warwick has an interesting website in support of a project on "Europe's Asian Centuries:  Trading Eurasia, 1600-1815," led by Maxine Berg.

Beautiful images from the BBC on "The Abandoned Mansions of Billionaires," showcasing havelis from the Shekhawati region of India.

From Cornell University Library, an exhibit on "Persuasive Cartography," featuring maps "intended primarily to influence opinions or beliefs - to send or reinforce messages - rather than to communicate objective geographic information." Subject categories include advertising, money and finance, railroads, and other topics of interest.

The Omohundro Institute introduces NEH Fellow Shauna Sweeney, whose project "focuses on female-centered market networks in the Caribbean and their significance to the rise of Atlantic commerce and the transition from slavery to freedom during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries."

The Atlantic's CityLab features an interview with Louis Hyman, on the relationship between civil unrest and the retail economy in poorer neighborhoods. The story was also picked up by CBS News.

A lengthy post on the New Bedford Whaling Museum blog discusses the "History of Seafood Marketing in the Port of New Bedford."

Roger Grant can be seen in a recent C-Span video talking about the history of Interurban Electric Rail in the United States. 

The New Republic features an extended review essay by Michael Kazin on Gareth Stedman Jones' recent book on Marx, Karl Marx: Greatness and Illusion.

We regret to report that Karl Gunnar Persson has died. He was one of the founders of the European Historical Economics Society, its first president, and the first editor of the European Review of Economic History

The French national railway company (SNCF) is opening its archives to the public, and has already placed 1,400 documents online, in three categories: railway tourism and its posters; from steam trains to high speed lines; and the railway stations.

A new web exhibit of interest from the American Antiquarian Society: "The News Media and the Making of America, 1730-1865."

Atiba Pertilla has written a comprehensive account of the workshop on “Immigrant Entrepreneurship in Transnational Comparative Perspective, Eighteenth Century to Today” held in June by the German Historical Institute to mark the conclusion of the research project “Immigrant Entrepreneurship: German-American BusinessBiographies, 1720 to the Present.”

An Economist article, "What Goes Around," on "America's Corporate World" quotes research by Alfred D. Chandler, Jr., and Naomi Lamoreaux. See also Andrew Smith's blog post on the article.

Daniel Pearl writes in the current issue of Common-Place about the first U.S. lobbying agency and its founder, Isaac Briggs.
    The issue also features an interview with Brian Murphy, author of Building the Empire State, about the business and politics of early New York State.

In his ongoing series of posts featuring materials from the New York Public Library's Early American Manuscripts digitization project, Mark Boonschoft writes about "Disposessing Loyalists and Redistributing Property in Revolutionary New York."

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

“Varieties of Big Business” Program Now Available

The program for the upcoming Harvard Business School conference, "Varieties of Big Business: Business Groups in the West," has been posted. Among the presenters are Takashi Hikino, Andrea Colli, and Richard Langlois. The one-day meeting, to be held at HBS on October 28, 2016, is open to the public, but registration is requested.
    The conference organizers are David Collis, Asli Colpan, and Geoffrey Jones. Questions may be directed to Holly Salter.