Thursday, May 31, 2012

Other Web Resources for the China Trade

In addition to Baker Library's significant new exhibit on the China Trade, readers might also be interested in the materials available on MIT's "Vizualizing Cultures" website. In particular, there are three units on "The Rise and Fall of the Canton Trade System," featuring essays by Peter Perdue and a wealth of images.

"Visualizing Cultures," part of MIT's OpenCourseWare Initiative, has the goal of wedding "images and scholarly commentary in innovative ways to illuminate social and cultural history."
    Also, the John Carter Brown Library has a small on-line exhibit on "America and the China Trades, 1750-1850," featuring excerpts from some of the many works on the subject among the library's holdings.

Baker Library Announces New Exhibit on the China Trade

Knowledge and Library Services announces the opening of "A Chronicle of  the China Trade: The Records of Augustine Heard & Co., 1840-1877," an exhibition and website organized by Baker Library Historical Collections.

The exhibition and website examine the life and trajectory of Augustine Heard & Co., which reigned among the largest American trading houses in China in the mid-nineteenth century. The company was active from 1840 to 1877 under the direction of Augustine Heard and his nephews John, Augustine II, Albert, and George Heard. The Heard family left behind an extensive chronicle of their experiences in China. In addition to a voluminous collection of extraordinarily descriptive letters and diaries, they took care to meticulously preserve the company's documents and journals—from partnership agreements and export lists to custom regulations and ship designs. The Heard papers, one of the largest collections of business records relating to the nineteenth-century China trade, present a look into momentous events concerning Sino-Western relations as well as the day-to-day activities of American traders in the treaty ports. The exhibit examines the professional accounts and personal perspectives of the life and trajectory of a nineteenth-century firm that prospered at the height of the China trade.

Please contact Baker Library Historical Collections at histcollref@hbs.edu to request a copy of the exhibition catalog. The physical exhibition will run through November 17, 2012, in the North Lobby, Baker Library / Bloomberg Center, Harvard Business School.

For more information about Baker Library Historical Collections, visit www.library.hbs.edu/hc/.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

CFP: Economic History Society 2013

The next annual meeting of the Economic History Society will be held at the University of York on April 5-7, 2013. The program committee welcomes proposals on all aspects of economic and social history covering a wide range of periods and countries and, particularly, papers of an interdisciplinary nature.  Preference may be given to scholars who did not present a paper at the previous year's conference. Those currently studying for, or who have recently completed, a Ph.D. should submit a proposal to the New Researcher session. The committee invites proposals for individual papers, as well as for entire sessions (3 speakers [optimum], 1.5 hours duration; no more than four papers will be accepted for any one session).  The latter should include proposals and synopses for each paper in the session.
    Proposals should be submitted online according to directions on the EHS website. The deadline for submissions is September 12, 2012 (the deadline for "New Researcher" sessions is September 5). For further details, please consult the full call for papers.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

New Books in Business and Economic History: Spring Edition

A partial listing of new and forthcoming books in business and economic history:
Richard Adelstein, The Rise of Planning in Industrial America, 1865-1914 (Routledge, April 2012)

Andrea Colli, Abe De Jong, Martin Jes Iversen, eds., Mapping European Corporations: Strategy, Structure, Ownership and Performance (Routledge, April 2012)

Carolyn M. Goldstein, Creating Consumers: Home Economists in Twentieth-Century America (University of North Carolina Press, May 2012)

Gelina Harlaftis, Stig Tenold, and Jesús Valdaliso, eds., The World's Key Industry: History and Economics of International Shipping (Palgrave Macmillan, April 2012)

Robyn S. Metcalfe, Meat, Commerce, and the City: The London Food Market, 1800-1855 (Pickering & Chatto, April 2012)

André Millard, Beatlemania: Technology, Business, and Teen Culture in Cold War America (Johns Hopkins University Press, April 2012)

Alasdair Roberts, America's First Great Depression: Economic Crisis and Political Disorder after the Panic of 1837 (Cornell University Press, April 2012)

Leslie Tomory, Progressive Enlightenment: The Origins of the Gaslight Industry, 1780-1820 (MIT Press, March 2012)

Liana Vardi, The Physiocrats and the World of the Enlightenment (Cambridge University Press, March 2012)

Gordon M. Winder, The American Reaper: Harvesting Networks and Technology, 1830–1910 (Ashgate, April 2012)

Monday, May 21, 2012

EBHA 2012 Conference Registration Now Available

The 16th annual European Business History Association (EBHA) conference, joint with the Business History Society of Japan, will be held this year in Paris, August 30-September 1, at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS). The theme for the meeting is "Business Enterprises and the Tension between Local and Global." The registration and accommodation sections of the conference website are now open.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Smithsonian's Business History Exhibit Taking Shape

The National Museum of American History is planning a new exhibition for 2015 (originally scheduled for 2014) that will explore a key area of the American experience—the history of business and innovation. Entitled American Enterprise, the exhibition will "look at how the United States developed from a loosely integrated set of colonies and frontier people to the most influential national economy in the world. It will present the benefits, failures, and unanticipated consequences of the nation’s business development. The central theme of the exhibition will be the American marketplace–the dynamic interplay of consumers and producers." The curators of the exhibit have established a website that will open the research and exhibition process to the public. Through regular blog posts readers will "learn about research trips and the issues and artifacts that the team is considering. . . . The museum is looking for interesting ideas about new artifacts to collect, topics to pursue, related personal experiences and to test ideas through surveys."
   The exhibit will take the form of chronological "marketplaces": merchant, corporate, consumer, global; the early stages of each can now be explored on the website. Readers can follow the project's blog for updates on progress and ideas. Eric Hintz, historian with the Smithsonian's Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation, is a curator of the exhibit.

Monday, May 14, 2012

History Project Aims to Encourage Economic History

The Center for History and Economics at Harvard and its counterpart, the Centre for History and Economics at Cambridge,   have announced the establishment of the History Project, a program supported by the Institute for New Economic Thinking with the object of encouraging a new generation of historians to pursue historical studies of the economy and economic life. Fields of interest include economic history, the history of economic thought,the history of economic life, legal history, financial history, environmental history, the history of work, and business history. The project will include:
  • Annual graduate student conferences, to be held at five different universities over the period 2012 to 2016 on subjects ranging from the economic history of poverty to the history of energy.
  • A program of small to medium-sized research grants, open to graduate and advanced undergraduate students.
  • A History Project website as a resource for new histories of economic life and economic thought. 
The History Project is just getting underway, but applications may be submitted for research grants; the next deadline is November 1, 2012. The series of conference themes and locations has also been announced.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Draft ABH Program Now Available

The preliminary program for the upcoming Association of Business Historians meeting, to be held July 6-7, 2012, at Aston Business School, has now been posted. There are two links--one for Friday sessions, and one for Saturday, as well as a link to a brief listing of the schedule structure. Sessions of particular interest include:
Business and the State (several sessions)
Business History and Management Studies
Narratives in Business History
International Business History
For more details, please visit the ABH Conference website.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Jon Gertner's “The Idea Factory” in the News

The Idea Factory: Bell Labs and the Great Age of American Innovation (Penguin Press, March 2012), by Jon Gertner, has been receiving a good deal of notice. The book was reviewed by Walter Isaacson and by Michiko Kakutani for the New York Times; by the Wall Street Journal; by Bloomberg Businessweek; by Slate; by Wired; by The Economist. A video of his presentation about the book at Authors@Google is also available, as well as one from Book TV and another from The Street. A print and audio transcript of Gertner's recent interview on NPR's Talk of the Nation can be found here and on the Diane Rehm show here;  audio of his interview with Lewis Lapham on Bloomberg.com can be found here. The Deal's Robert Teitelman also ran a discussion piece on a NYT article by Gertner preceding the publication of his book.
   Jon Gertner has been a contributing writer at The New York Times Magazine, where he writes about business, technology, and society; he is currently an editor for Fast Company.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

CFP: Foreign Multinationals in Emerging Markets

The German Historical Institute in Washington, D.C., will sponsor a workshop on "Translating Potential into Profits: Foreign Multinationals in Emerging Markets since the 19th Century," to be held November 2-3, 2012. The call for papers states:
The purpose of this workshop is to provide historical perspectives on the operations of multinationals in emerging markets, which present significant opportunities but also a range of serious challenges for foreign investors. The intention is to provide some general insights about how these multinationals managed to adapt to these conditions and establish a successful and lasting presence in these markets. . . . We look for papers that move beyond the current context—too often (wrongly) presented as unique and unprecedented—and examine (i) the motivations for foreign firms to invest in emerging economies, (ii) the variety of ways in which they overcame the associated challenges, as well as (iii) the results (positive or negative) of their investments for themselves and, possibly, the host economy. Both empirical and conceptual papers are welcome.
   Those interested in participating should send should send an abstract of 1,000-1,500 words and a one-page CV to Susanne Fabricius by June 1, 2012. Please see the full call for papers for additional details.