Friday, October 17, 2014

CFP: FEEGI Conference

The Economic and Social History Section, History Institute, Leiden University, will partner with the Forum on European Expansion and Global Interaction (FEEGI) to host a joint conference on June 2-5, 2015, under the theme "Agents, Networks, Institutions and Empires." According to the call for papers:
Agents, networks and institutions are the cornerstones of empire-building. This applies to European and non-European empires, originating in the late Middle Ages, Early Modern, Modern or Contemporary period. The agency of individuals, by themselves or in various groups and communities, forged the first contacts between colonizers and colonized. At the same time, the individual and collective capacity to negotiate personal and communal interests brought about autonomy and forms of self-government in various colonized societies. Through perennial exchanges institutions were created, changed and adapted to the needs, demands and impositions of expanding empires.
FEEGI has partnered with Leiden University to pilot a new venue in Europe to continue FEEGI’s traditional and, prominent emphasis on interactions between Europeans and non-Europeans during the age of expansion. FEEGI particularly encourages contributions regarding European and non-European empires from the fifteenth through the eighteenth centuries. However, given Leiden’s long tradition of scholarship on the history of modern empire, this 2015 conference in Europe will also entertain submissions from scholars working on similar issues up to and including the period of decolonization in the 1970s.

Proposed papers must be original, based on primary sources, and embedded in analytical and theoretical insights of global, interdisciplinary or comparative history, understood in this context as global interactions. Abstracts (maximum of 300 words) should include name, academic affiliation, academic position, and contact details; title of the proposed paper; and content of the presentation. Graduate students should send a CV along with the proposed abstract. Abstracts may be submitted here. The deadline for the submission of proposals is December 15, 2014. For more details, please see the conference website.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Hartman Center Fellowships Available

The John W. Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising & Marketing History, part of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library of Duke University, offers several grants for research travel to its collections.

The Hartman Center holds an extensive collection of over 3,000,000 items — correspondence, publications, advertisements, photographs, slides, films, books and serials — that document the history of advertising, sales, and marketing over the past two centuries. In addition to the J. Walter Thompson (JWT) Company Archives, the most comprehensive historical record of any advertising agency, the Center contains the collections of other key companies and individuals in the dynamic fields of advertising and marketing.

The grants available through the Hartman Center include the Alvin A. Achenbaum Travel Grants, which provide up to $750 in funding to support researchers in their use of any Hartman Center collections.The Hartman Center also offers two fellowships, the FOARE Fellowship for Outdoor Advertising and the John Furr Fellowship for J. Walter Thompson researchers. The FOARE Fellowship provides $1,000 funding for up to three researchers a year and requires researchers to stay a minimum of 10 days. Recipients of the FOARE fellowship are expected to use primarily materials from the Outdoor Advertising Archives. The John Furr Fellowship provides $1,000 in funding for up to three researchers a year and requires researchers to stay a minimum of two weeks. Recipients are expected to primarily use materials from the J. Walter Thompson Archives.

The deadline for application is January 30, 2015 by 5:00 PM EST. Recipients will be announced in March 2015. Grants must be used between April 1, 2015 and June 30, 2015. Please note that the Rubenstein Library will be closed between July 1, 2015 and August 23, 2015 as we move into our newly renovated space. These dates are subject to change.

For more information and to apply for a grant, please visit: Applicants are encouraged to contact Joshua Larkin Rowley, the Hartman Center’s reference archivist, before submitting an application.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Business History at the AHA

The 2015 American Historical Association Meeting will be held in New York City on January 2-5. The full program has now been published. As an affiliated member of the AHA, the Business History Conference is able to propose sponsored sessions. We are delighted to report that several of these proposals were accepted. The headline event will be a luncheon/roundtable discussion on January 4 organized around the theme of “Capitalism, Global Business, and Inequality”; speakers will be Richard R. John, Juliette Levy, Stephanie Decker, and Bartow Elmore, with BHC president Mary Yeager presiding.
     Other BHC sessions are:
AHA session  57: Tipping in American History (chaired by Julia Ott)

BHC Session 2: The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire: A Century of Protest Art (chaired by Daniel Levinson Wilk)

AHA session 252: Immigrant Women at the Edge of the Nineteenth-Century Marketplace (chaired by Tracey Deutsch, comment by Jocelyn Wills)

AHA session 278: Exceptional Failures? Interdisciplinary Economic Analysis of U.S. Banking Failures in the Twentieth Century (chaired by David Weiman)
The listing of BHC sessions can also be found here. The BHC's AHA activities have been overseen by the BHC Liaison Committee, whose members are Barbara Hahn (chair), Josh Lauer, Caitlin Rosenthal, Alexia Yates, and Ellen Hartigan-O'Connor.

    In addition, many other sessions will be interest to business and economic historians. The following list covers only the most obviously relevant titles; attendees will find many other topics of interest.
Session 6:  Before Neoliberalism: Mexico's Corporations Enter the Global Stage, 1970-93

Session 8: Crises of the 1970s, chaired by Kim Phillips-Fein

Session 18: New Histories of Capitalism in and Beyond the Atlantic:

German Historical Institute 1: The Changing World of Immigrant Entrepreneurship: Three Centuries of German American Experience

Session  39: Calculating the Future: Capitalism and Predictive Statistics

Session 106: History, Economics, and the Wide-Ranging Impacts of the 1973 Oil Shock on U.S. Foreign Relations

Session 107: Hydroelectric Development in Mexico, Palestine, and the U.S. South: Three Cases of Modern State Coproduction

CLAH session  21: Nineteenth-Century Colonizations: Business, State Formation, and Planned Migrations in Latin America, 1810s-70s 

AHA session 128: An Atlantic Triangle: New England-Holland-Rio de la Plata Commercial Networks

AHA session 135: Early Modern European Firms and the Challenge of Global Commerce

AHA Session 170: Perspectives on Gavin Wright's Sharing the Prize: The Economics of the Civil Rights Revolution in the American South: A Roundtable (chaired by Dan Raff)

AHA session 190: Capitalist Crisis, Surplus Labor, and Migration in East Asia

AHA session 207: The Ground Below and Above: New Directions in the Study of Mining in the Colonial Americas

AHA session 232: The History of Engineering and the Engineering of History (chaired by Paul Israel)

AHA session 258: People and Technology: Comparing Road Building across Three Continents

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Over the Counter: Issue no. 6

A recent NPR "Morning Edition" feature focused on "The Forgotten Female Programmers Who Created Modern Tech" (audio and text). The program mentions particularly Ada Lovelace and Grace Hopper, as well as the resources of the Computer History Museum.

The New York Times published two more essays on Edward Baptist's "The Half Has Never Been Told": "Harvesting Cotton-Field Capitalism: Edward Baptist’s New Book Follows the Money on Slavery" and a review by Eric Foner.

Still on Baptist, there is an analytical post by Patrick Rael on the African American Intellectual History Society blog: "Capitalism's Slavery"; and Tom Cuttenham over at The Junto continues the discussion with "Commodifying Labour, Commodifying People."

Sad to report the death of well-known French business historian Maurice Lévy-Leboyer, on September 27; Hubert Bonin has published a homage.

Some time ago, we reported on the efforts of business historians to save the Wedgwood Collection, which was in danger of being sold off. Such efforts have been successful, as it has been announced that sufficient funds have been raised to save the collection.

The National History Center and the German Historical Institute hosted a program on C-Span, on "The History of Immigrant Entrepreneurship." Speakers include Hartmut Berghoff, Zulema Valdez, and Xiaojian Zhao.

The Journal of American History (2014), no. 2: 503-536, has an interchange on "The History of Capitalism."  Participants include Sven Beckert, Angus Burgin, Peter Hudson, Louis Hyman, Naomi Lamoreaux, Scott Marler, Stephen Mihm, Julia Ott, Philip Scranton, and Elizabeth Tandy Shermer. The full text is gated, but is available to OAH members or through institutional subscription.

Resource: The Consumer Movement Archives at the Kansas State University Libraries.

Fascinating resource for food historians (and economic historians looking for price data), created by reference librarian Lynne Olver: The Food Timeline; see particularly the "Historic Food Prices FAQ."

Friday, October 10, 2014

CFP: “African Americans and Business”

The Journal of African American History has issued a call for papers for a special issue on "African Americans and Business: Race, Capitalism, and Power," to be edited by Juliet E. K. Walker and Shennette Garrett-Scott.  The call for papers states:
Enterprising African American men and women shaped and were shaped by cultural, social, and political changes in U.S. society. Their relationship with the state and their engagement with discourses of race, gender, nation, and class help us understand the many ways African Americans have struggled to strike a tenable balance between personal agency and structural constraints. . . . African American entrepreneurs and businesses place political and economic histories in dialog with each other to underscore how race is fundamental—not incidental—to how business gets done. The editors seek essays that take an interdisciplinary approach to understanding African American business history. They welcome works that place African American business in local, regional, national, or global economic, political, social, and cultural contexts. The articles in this special issue will include intellectual and social histories, proceeding from an economic perspective, that critically assess and encourage broad perspectives in thinking about African American contributions to capitalism, entrepreneurship, and power in and across various historical periods.
Style Guidelines for Papers
Manuscript should be no more than 10,500 words (about 35 pages), inclusive of the main body text, endnotes, and tables. All pages (including the endnotes) should be double-spaced and adhere to Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition references. Only the title page should contain each author’s name, affiliation, postal address, phone number, and email address. None of the author’s identifying information should appear anywhere on the actual manuscript except the title page. Additional guidelines for manuscript submissions are available on the journal’s website at

Submitting a Paper
Please submit a cover letter with the manuscript. The body of the cover letter should include the following information:
·    The full title of the manuscript;
·    A statement that your submission is exclusive;
·    A brief statement summarizing the significance of the work and how it relates to the theme of the special issue; and
·    Contact information, particularly name, title and affiliation (if applicable), postal address, phone number, and email address.

Submitted essays will be peer reviewed. Four (4) stapled hard copies of each cover letter and manuscript should be mailed to: Juliet E. K. Walker and Shennette Garrett-Scott, Guest Editors, c/o V. P. Franklin, Editor, The Journal of African American History, University of California, Riverside, Graduate School of Education, 1207 Sproul Hall, 900 University Avenue, Riverside, California 92521. Please direct questions to Submissions must be postmarked by January 31, 2015.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Fall Schedule: NYC Market Cultures Group

The Market Cultures Group of New York City has announced its fall schedule:

Monday, October 27, 6 pm
    Paul Clement, Fashion Institute of Technology
    "Regional Integration and Globalization: The Developed vs. The Developing World"

Tuesday, November 4, 6:30 pm
    John Clegg, New York University
    "Credit Market Discipline and Capitalist Slavery in Antebellum South Carolina"

Tuesday, December 2, 6 pm
    Ianthe Dugan, Wall Street Journal
    Stephanie Capparell, Wall Street Journal
    Mary Pilon, New York Times
    "Writing History at the Wall Street Journal"

All seminars take place 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.
     Email Daniel Levinson Wilk to RSVP and request precirculated papers, which will be available about two weeks before each seminar.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Program Announced: “The History and Future of Fashion Prediction”

A one-day conference, "The History and Future of Fashion Prediction: University Meets Industry," will be held Friday, October 17, 2014, from 9.00 am to 6.00 pm at Erasmus University Rotterdam. The conference has been organized by Erasmus University Rotterdam on behalf of The Enterprise of Culture: International Structures and Connections in the Fashion Industry. This event will bring together the scholarly world of fashion research and professionals of the international fashion industry, and opens the floor for debate. As explained by Ben Wubs, one of the organizers,
Fashion prediction has played a tremendous role in the transformation of the fashion industry worldwide since the interwar period. However, fashion prediction is little understood by the public, despite the fact that it dramatically influences the collections every season. Although intermediaries and mediators have been active in the consolidating process of the fashion industry, their role has only been discussed recently by business history scholars. . . . The aim of this public conference is to explore the different forms and evolution of fashion prediction worldwide since the interwar period. . . . The role and form of fashion predictions . . . changed over time. This conference aims to find out how and why.
For a full description, please see the conference website.
     Open to anyone with an interest in the business history of fashion, this event is particularly aimed at academics (for example, in history, business, fashion), post-graduate students, curators, archivists, fashion industry professionals, textile-related organizations and wider public audiences. Booking is essential as places are limited. The registration fee is €30 (€10 for students). See here for more details, including the program and booking information

Friday, October 3, 2014

CFP: Association of Business Historians 2015

The Association of Business Historians (ABH) will hold its 23rd annual conference on July 3-4, 2015, at the University of Exeter Business School's Streatham campus. The conference theme will be "Business and the Periphery," exploring the boundaries of business history. The conference committee will interpret this theme broadly to welcome paper and session proposals that address historical themes relating, but not limited, to business operating on economic, financial, geographical, social, political, religious, technological, legal, regulatory and other peripheries. The conference will feature a roundtable on "Business History after the Research Excellence Framework (REF)."
    The Tony Slaven Doctoral Workshop will precede the conference on July 2-3, 2015, and will be subject to a separate call, as will the Coleman Prize for the best Ph.D. thesis on business history completed on a British subject or at a British university.
   Each individual paper proposal should include a short abstract, a list of 3 to 5 key words, and a brief CV of the presenter. Proposals for research tracks should include a cover letter containing a session title and the rationale for the research track. The organizers also welcome research papers on any topic related to business history outside of the conference theme.
     Questions and proposals should be directed to the local organizer, Mark Billings, at The deadline for submissions is February 27, 2015. Submissions may also be sent by post to: Mark Billings, University of Exeter Business School, Streatham Court,, Rennes Drive, Exeter EX4 4PU, United Kingdom.
     For more information, please consult the full call for papers on the ABH website.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Deadline Reminder: Harvard-Newcomen Fellowship

A reminder that the deadline is approaching for the Harvard-Newcomen Postdoctoral Fellowship in Business History; the due date for applications is October 15, 2014.
    This Fellowship will be awarded for twelve months’ residence, study, and research at Harvard Business School. The fellowship is open to scholars who, within the last ten years, have received a Ph.D. in history, economics, or a related discipline. The fellowship has two purposes: The first is to enable scholars to engage in research that will benefit from the resources of Harvard Business School and the larger Boston scholarly community. A travel fund and a book fund will be provided. The second is to provide an opportunity for the fellow to participate in the activities of Harvard Business School. The fellow is required to research and write a case, under the direction of a senior faculty member, to be used in one of the business history courses. The Fellowship will begin July 1.
     Applicants should submit a CV, undergraduate transcript and graduate-school record, thesis abstract, and writing sample (such as an article or a book chapter). Applicants should also state the topics, objectives, and design for the specific research to be undertaken. Finally, applicants should indicate the names of three people who will write references on their behalf. The three letters of recommendation are to be submitted by the writers directly by October 15.
     Applications should be submitted online to: Please direct recommenders to visit:
     Harvard University is an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. For more information about this fellowship, please visit the HBS Fellowships website.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Rovensky Fellowship: 2015-2016 Application Available

The University of Illinois Foundation announces the opening of the 2015-2016 John Rovensky Fellowships application process. Two $8,000 fellowships will be awarded for doctoral students writing their dissertations in U.S. business or economic history. The fellowships are available largely through the generosity of the late John E. Rovensky and are administered by the University of Illinois Foundation. Awardees may use the fellowship concurrently with other funding sources, including grants or teaching assignments.
Applicants must be working toward a Ph.D. degree with U.S. business or economic history as the area of major interest. Fellowship recipients must be enrolled in a doctoral program at an accredited college or university in the United States. Preference will be given to applicants who are preparing for a career in teaching and research and who will have completed all graduate course work prior to the fall of 2015. Awards are non-renewable, but may be taken along with other fellowships from other sources.
Application Process
The Rovensky Fellowship Selection Committee is composed of seven scholars in American economic and business history:
Marcelo Bucheli (Illinois, Urbana-Champaign), Chair
Margaret Levenstein (University of Michigan)
Christopher McKenna (Oxford University)
John Parman (William & Mary)
Richard Sicotte (University of Vermont)
Steven Usselman (Georgia Tech)
Pamela Walker Laird (Colorado Denver)
Applicants are judged on the basis of the following criteria:
  • Academic ability and interest in business and/or economic history, documented in one letter of recommendation
  • Demonstrated ability in research and writing
  • Potential for career in teaching and academic research, supported in letter of recommendation
  • Quality of dissertation proposal
Application forms may be found on the Web here. For additional information, please consult the Fellowship announcement. The deadline for completed applications is February 10, 2015.