Friday, November 30, 2012

CFP: EBHA 2013 Meeting

The 17th annual conference of the European Business History Association (EBHA) will take place on August 22-24, 2013, in Uppsala (Sweden), with the cooperation of the Uppsala Centre for Business History. The conference theme will be "Innovation and Growth." According to the call for papers,
Technical, financial and organizational innovations have all been important drivers of growth. From a global perspective, the interaction between enterprises, innovations and growth has been central in the process of economic growth during three industrial revolutions. European historical experiences also give us insights into these complex relationships on a national, regional and local basis. . . .  As its main theme, this congress will identify the interrelationship between growth and innovation. It is obvious that innovations can result in economic growth. But also, since innovations often lead to changing economic and social structures, they may have a destabilizing effect as well, at least in the short term. It is important for us as business historians to dissect the preconditions for growth and innovation as well as to analyze such processes from a long-term historical perspective – even though they often appear complex.
Proposals for papers and sessions related to the theme of the conference are especially welcome, although paper and session proposals not directly related to the theme will also be considered. For paper proposals, please submit a title and abstract of no more than 400 words (about one page) along with a one-page CV to Session proposals should include a brief abstract of the session along with a one-page abstract and a one-page CV for each participant. The deadline for all proposals is February 1, 2013.
    For a fuller discussion of the conference theme, please see the complete call for papers.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

CFP: Business and Politics in 20th-Century America

The Hagley Museum and Library in Wilmington, Delaware, has announced a conference on "Business and Politics in 20th-Century America," to be held November 8, 2013. Herewith the full call for papers:
    Over the past ten years there has been a surge of new scholarship on the relationship between business and American politics in the twentieth century. Much of this work examines the efforts by business and business people to influence politics, often in response to the growth of the American federal government that began with the Progressive Era and continued with the mid-century New Deal. Many of these finely grained studies draw on, and continue to use, the collections in the Hagley Library. It is fitting, then, to invite scholars working on this topic to come to Hagley to assess the state of knowledge, and discuss new work emerging from research. We are especially interested in papers that address some of the following questions:
    As the spectrum of government activities has expanded in the course of the twentieth century, so too have the range of decisions, policies, and agencies that affect business.  Where are the places, including those hidden from view, where businesses and trade associations have sought to influence policy and the parameters of government activity?
    To what extent were business people actually able to mobilize to affect the political process-and how did they achieve this: through lobbying, political contributions, grass roots activism, or other means?
    How widely was the liberal order of an expanded federal state and recognized labor unions accepted by the business community—which individual business people, which industries and sectors were receptive to the liberalism of the postwar years, and which sought to oppose it more openly?
    Why were business people often philosophical critics of this liberal order, while at the same time seeking government initiatives and programs that might work in their favor?
    In what manner, and for what purposes, did business seek to influence the regulation of foreign trade and American foreign policy?
    We often imagine that the varied interests of different business sectors will lead to different politics-to what extent has this been the case? E.g. what important divisions have there been in the business community? Between small and large businesses? Between finance and industry?
    Business is often seen as anti-ideological, focused on short-term profits. But business people—like anyone else—have broader views of the world, political affiliations, religious beliefs, etc. What is the relationship between ideology and interest in business activism?
    Has business activism changed over the postwar years, especially in the 1970s and afterwards?
Papers proposed for the conference should be based on original research and engage with current scholarship. Please submit a 500-word abstract and a c.v. of no more than three pages. Proposals are due by April 30, 2013 and should be sent via email to Carol Lockman.  Travel support will be available for presenters.

Monday, November 26, 2012

CFP: European Historical Economics Society 2013

The tenth European Historical Economics Society (EHES) Conference will be held at the London School of Economics on  September 6-7, 2013. The Conference program committee, consisting of Stephen Broadberry (London School of Economics), Herman de Jong (University of Groningen), Giovanni Federico (European University Institute), and Sybille Lehmann (Hohenheim University), has issued a call for papers inviting proposals for individual papers on any aspect of European or global economic history covering a wide range of periods, countries and regions. The Society encourages submissions from young scholars and will provide ten grants of €500 each to help Ph.D. students cover the costs of travel and accommodation. Further details are available on the EHES website.
    For each proposed paper, an abstract not exceeding 500 words together with the institutional affiliation and e-mail address of the authors should be uploaded by February 6, 2013, via the Society’s website. All submissions will be acknowledged. Notices of acceptance will be sent to corresponding authors by April 6, 2013.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Lemelson Center Fellowships and Travel Grants, 2013-2014

The Lemelson Center Fellowship and Travel Award programs support projects that present creative approaches to the study of invention and innovation in American society. These include, but are not limited to, historical research and documentation projects resulting in dissertations, theses, publications, exhibitions, educational initiatives, documentary films, or other multimedia products. The programs provide access to the expertise of the Institution's research staff and the vast invention and technology collections of the National Museum of American History (NMAH). The NMAH Archives Center documents both individuals and firms across a range of time periods and subject areas. Representative collections include the Western Union Telegraph Company Records, ca. 1840-1994 and the Earl S. Tupper Papers, documenting Tupper, and his invention, Tupperware. In addition, the NMAH Library offers long runs of historical technology serials like Scientific American and American Machinist, while the American Trade Literature collection features 300,000 catalogs, technical manuals, and advertising brochures for some 30,000 firms, primarily from 1880 to 1945. For a comprehensive catalog of objects, manuscripts, images and research materials available at the NMAH (and other Smithsonian units), see
     The Lemelson Center invites applications covering a broad spectrum of research topics that resonate with its mission to foster a greater understanding of invention and innovation, broadly defined. However, the Center especially encourages project proposals that will illuminate the role of women inventors; inventors with disabilities; inventors from diverse backgrounds; or any inventions and technologies associated with groups that are traditionally under-represented in the historical record.
     The Lemelson Center Fellowship Program annually awards 2 to 3 fellowships to pre-doctoral graduate students, post-doctoral scholars, and other professionals who have completed advanced training. Fellows are expected to reside in the Washington, D.C. area, to participate in the Center's activities, and to make a presentation of their work to colleagues at the museum. Fellowship tenure is based upon the applicant's stated needs (and available funding) up to a maximum of ten weeks. Stipends for 2013-2014 will be $575/week for pre-doctoral fellows and $870/week for post-doctoral and professional fellows.
    For application procedures and additional information, see Researchers are encouraged to consult with the fellowship coordinator prior to submitting a proposal; please contact historian Eric S. Hintz at +1 202-633-3734 or
    The Lemelson Center Travel to Collections Award Program annually awards 2 to 3 short-term travel grants to encourage the use of its invention-related collections. Awards are $150 per day for a maximum of 10 business days and may be used to cover transportation, living, and reproduction expenses; they are intended only for applicants who reside or attend school beyond commuting distance of the National Museum of American History. For application procedures and additional information, see Researchers are encouraged to consult with the travel award coordinator prior to submitting a proposal; please contact archivist Alison Oswald at +1 202-633-3726 or
    Applications for both types of awards are due January 15, 2013.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Regina Blaszczyk on the Business of Color

In September, MIT Press published Regina Lee Blaszczyk's book, The Color Revolution, in which she "traces the relationship of color and commerce, from haute couture to automobile showrooms to interior design, describing the often unrecognized role of the color profession in consumer culture." Readers can see some of the 121 color illustrations featured in the book at the MIT PressLog here and here. The author has recently written an essay on her research for the book in the Hagley Archives for the Hagley Library and Archives newsletter.
   Reviews can be found in the New York Times, The Atlantic, Leonardo, and Imprint; one can listen to an audio interview with Reggie Blaszczyk, and read her posts, "How Auto Shows Sparked a Color Revolution" on the Echoes blog and "True Blue: DuPont and the Color Revolution" on the Chemical Heritage Foundation website. Also available is a CHF video of the author discussing another excerpt from her research, "Pan Am Blue and Powder Room Pink: How Chemistry Created Vintage Modern."
    The work has been chosen by Phil Patton of "Designers and Books" as one of his Notable Books of 2012.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Digital Resource: Schneider & Cie Archives

The Académie François Bourdon, in cooperation with the Maison des Sciences de l’Homme in Dijon, is in the process of making a large portion of its Schneider et Cie Archives (covering the period 1837-1966) accessible on-line. A major section of the archives involves thousands of documents, drawings, and photographs (100,000 pages, 650 plans, and 800 photos, according to AFB director Ivan Kharaba) from the company's files during the First World War, 1914-1918. In addition, all the company minutes from 1840 to 1965 are now freely available.
  Material is divided into categories:  documents, photographs, and plans. The various categories suggested to researchers are still incomplete; the fields will be progressively refined and populated as the work of cataloging and digitization continues. Additional resources will be made available as they are completed, including a segment focused on the records of factory workers.

Friday, November 16, 2012

CFP: Organization of American Historians, 2014

The Organization of American Historians (OAH) will hold its 2014 annual meeting in Atlanta, Georgia, on April 10-13. The theme of the meeting will be "Crossing Borders." As described in the call for papers:
The history of the United States is a product of migrations–internal and international. Along with people, goods and ideas crossed these borders, reshaping the composition and character of the American people. Sometimes the borders and boundaries were physical, as when international migrants crossed oceans and continents, or when large numbers of individuals migrated from one region of the country to another, or when the lure of wealth and influence led to foreign invasions and conquests. Those on the move were accompanied by bacteria or viruses, microorganisms whose migration across borders also shaped human experience. Borders were also framed by culture–racial, ethnic, class, and gender differences that perennially redefined our population and social order. The theme for the 2014 conference seeks to examine, in all their complexity, a broad array of border crossings and “encounters” in US history, highlighting the contributions and challenges presented by those who transcended borders to redefine their lives or flee the constraints of their pasts.
Additional information can be found in the full call for papers on the OAH website. Please note that the OAH will not begin accepting proposals until January 1, 2013.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Web Resource: "Mapping the Brew City"

Today is Global GIS Day, created to increase awareness of the technology of GIS (Geographic Information Systems) and the importance of geographical knowledge in general. Historians and other social scientists are becoming increasingly interested in the potential of GIS tools in their own work (see the earlier Exchange posts on the subject here). In recognition of the event, our resource today is "Mapping the Brew City."  According to the site's creator, Will Tchakirides, this Web exhibit aims to "explore questions of regional identity, consumer culture, and demographic change in postwar Milwaukee, Wisconsin." The website provides an overview of the city's brewing history, combining historical essays with illustrations, documents, and GIS-enhanced maps.

Monday, November 12, 2012

“Business in Between Cultures” Program and Abstracts Now Available

The European Association for Banking and Financial History (EABH) e.V., in cooperation with the BBI (Bosnia Bank International) Academy and the University of Sarajevo School of Economics and Business, is holding a conference on "Business in between Cultures: The Development of Islamic Finance," in Sarajevo on November 15-16, 2012. The program has now been posted, as well as abstracts of the papers and speaker bios. For additional information, please consult the conference website.

Friday, November 9, 2012

CFP: 2013 Economic History Association

The next annual meeting of the Economic History Association (EHA) will be held in Washington, D.C., on September 20-22, 2013, with a theme of "Global Perspectives." The call for papers states:
Economic history has gone global. The history of international trade,finance, migration, and long run development attracts ever more attention. The global perspective is also transforming the study of individual countries. International comparisons provide a yard stick for gauging what is unique and important in a nation’s history. What role have internal factors like culture and institutions played in explaining differential development and how does their importance compare to the imperatives and opportunities presented by the international economy? What role has economic policy played in shaping the international economic order and in helping countries meet the challenges it presents? Can a country’s economic history any longer be written from a purely national point of view or is a global perspective essential?
The Program Committee (Stephen Broadberry, London School of Economics (chair), together with Chris Meissner, Peter Coclanis, and Carol Shiue) welcomes submissions on all subjects in economic history, though some preference will be given to papers that specifically fit the theme. Papers should be submitted individually, but authors may suggest to the Committee that three particular papers fit well together in a panel.
    Papers and session proposals should be submitted online: The submission system is now open. Paper proposals should include a 3-5 page précis and a 150-word abstract suitable for publication in the Journal of Economic History. Papers should be submitted by January 31, 2013, to ensure consideration. For more information, please see the EHA meeting website.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Thomas K. McCraw, 1940-2012

We are deeply saddened to report the death of Thomas K. McCraw, Pulitzer Prize-winning business historian, Isidor Straus Professor of Business History, emeritus, at the Harvard Business School, and long-time Business History Conference member (and Past- President). Professor McCraw died Saturday, November 3, 2012, in Cambridge, Massachusetts; he was 72.
    His Prophets of Regulation: Charles Francis Adams, Louis D. Brandeis, James M. Landis, Alfred E. Kahn (1984) won the Pulitzer Prize for History in 1985; Prophet of Innovation: Joseph Schumpeter and Creative Destruction (2007), was awarded both the Hagley Prize and the Fay Chandler Prize for the best book on business history. He had just published The Founders and Finance: How Hamilton, Gallatin, and Other Immigrants Forged a New Economy (Harvard University Press, 2012).
    At Harvard Business School Professor McCraw served as a Director of Research (1984-86), as head of two required first-year courses (1981-84 and 1996-2002), as chair and co-chair of the Business, Government, and the International Economy Unit (1986-97), and as editor and co-editor of the Business History Review (1994-2004).  He was also the editor for seven books in the monograph series Harvard Studies in Business History. The BHC presented him with its Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009.
    Readers can find an obituary in the New York Times and another on the HBS website.

On-Line Resource: Rethinking Regulation

Rethinking Regulation at the Kenan Institute for Ethics, Duke University, according to its website, "provides a forum for leading scholars to explore better conceptual frameworks for regulatory decision-making, inform smarter design of regulatory institutions, guide more effective formulation of regulatory policy, and better align regulatory governance with the requirements of democratic legitimacy. In the fall of 2010, the Kenan Institute for Ethics launched Rethinking Regulation, a three-year faculty working group, to reconsider the purposes and strategies of regulatory governance, both in the United States and the wider world. Participants come from Duke’s professional schools, social science departments, and moral and political philosophy.Bridging disciplinary divides, Rethinking Regulation brings together academics who study a wide range of regulatory domains (healthcare, finance, labor relations, environmental protection, antitrust, consumer protection), various jurisdictions (the United States, the European Union, developing economies), and a multiplicity of regulatory protagonists (classic public regulatory agencies, mechanisms of corporate governance, self-regulatory organizations, watchdog NGOs)."
    The site features a number of tools--links to publications, research groups, relevant websites, syllabi, and graduate programs--and the full text of a number of working papers, including two by Edward Balleisen, who is Associate Professor of History and Senior Fellow in the Kenan Institute at Duke University

Monday, November 5, 2012

2012 SSHA Program: “Histories of Capitalism”

Readers may be interested in the program for this year's Social Science History Association (SSHA) meeting, just concluded in Vancouver, British Columbia. Given that the theme for the meeting is "Histories of Capitalism," it is not surprising the the program includes many business and economic historians; they include Elizabeth Shermer, Dominique Tobbell, Maria Stanfors, Dan Du, Ray Stokes, Daniel Levinson Wilk, Kris Inwood, Louis Cain, Jane Humphries, Christine Desan, Carol Heim, Eileen Boris, Richard Steckel, Sean Vanatta, and Elspeth Brown—a list that is by no means all-inclusive. The complete program is available here. There is no fast way to filter the many sessions, but using the "Conference Schedule" link takes readers to a list of session titles with links to participants and paper abstracts.

Friday, November 2, 2012

CFP: GHI 2013 Workshop on “New Technologies and Cultures of Communication”

On May 9-10, 2013, the German Historical Institute in Washington, D.C., will hold a workshop on the topic, "New Technologies and Cultures of Communication in the 19th and 20th Centuries." The conveners are Richard R. John (Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism), Peter Jelavich (The Johns Hopkins University), Benjamin Schwantes (German Historical Institute Washington), and Clelia Caruso (German Historical Institute Washington). The call for papers states, in part:
Changes in communication routines are often linked to the emergence of new communications media. The advent of electrical media beginning in the mid-19th century has had a significant impact on the communication cultures of modern societies. Technologies such as the telegraph, telephone, and radio affected established communication routines by changing communication practices and altering cultural meanings attached to them. Preexisting communication cultures, in return, shaped usages of these evolving communications media. Technologies are defined by their usages, that is, by the usages that prevail, not necessarily the ones initially intended. Nevertheless, dominant usages of a medium do not solely result from social practice, but also from the attribution of cultural meanings that make certain usages plausible and therefore dominant. Along with generations of users, inventors, technological experts, firms, and regulatory regimes all played roles in standardizing and (re-)categorizing usages of new media. In addition, descriptions and definitions, conceptions and images of a medium created and changed by politicians, social experts, journalists, artists, and other authorities imposed meaning on the technology and helped to define its use within and across societies. . . .
     Papers should focus on technologically mediated communication that requires specific appliances not just on the sender's, but also on the receiver's, side (which are interchangeable for some of the media that the conference addresses). Papers should draw on historical communication practices, as well as on the cultural meanings attached to them. We would want the papers to explore the development of media in the "interpretive flexibility" stage by focusing on factors that facilitated specific usages of communications media, while possibly hindering others, and by examining the basic technical, physical,social, cultural, and political-economic qualities attributed to the media in the process.
For greater detail, please see the complete call for papers on the GHI website.
    Those interested should send an abstract of 1,000-1,500 words and a one-page CV to Susanne Fabricius by January 15, 2013. Invitations will be sent out by February 15, 2013; fullpapers or longer abstracts are due by April 1, 2013.
     For further information, please contact Benjamin Schwantes ( or Clelia Caruso (; phone: (202) 552-8947.