Friday, November 29, 2013

CFP: “Human Trafficking in Early America”

"Human Trafficking in Early America," an interdisciplinary conference hosted by the University of Pennsylvania, and co-sponsored by the McNeil Center for Early American Studies, the Department of History at the University of Maryland, College Park, and the Department of History at Drew University, will be held on April 23-25, 2015. The co-organizers are Richard Bell (Maryland) and Sharon Braslaw Sundue (Drew). As the organizers explain, "In early America, human trafficking took many forms, engaging and displacing native, African and European populations in every decade and in every colony and state. Drawing upon a wave of new scholarship on Indian captivity, the middle passage, the domestic slave trade, child abduction and sex trafficking, this conference offers a timely opportunity to examine the cultures and shadow economies created by and elaborated around forced migration in North America and the Atlantic world before 1860."
    Paper proposals should include a brief c.v. and an abstract of no more than 500 words. Applicants should email their proposals to by April 15, 2014. Papers must be submitted for pre-circulation byFebruary 1, 2015. Limited support for participants’ travel and lodging will be available. See the complete call for papers for additional details.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Grant Opportunities at the Smithsonian's Lemelson Center

The Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation offers fellowship and travel award programs to 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.

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 applicants' stated needs (and available funding) up to a maximum of ten weeks. Stipends for 2014-2015 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, Ph.D. 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 NMAH. 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 programs are due January 15, 2014.

Monday, November 25, 2013

CFP: Economic History Association 2014

The next annual meeting of the Economic History Association (EHA) will take place in Columbus, Ohio, on September 12-14, 2014. The theme of the meeting will be "Political Economy and Economic History." The Program Committee (John Wallis, University of Maryland, chair, together with Dan Bogart, Karen Clay, and Tracy Dennison) 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. In considering the meeting theme, the organizers explain:
Politics has a massive impact on economic outcomes. States redistribute wealth, make up for market failures, and enact policies that can devastate an economy or promote long run growth.  They also provide the essential public goods of security, the rule of law, and a means of exchange. Without these, life is brutal and trade little more than barter. But what determines the laws and regulations that states adopt and the public goods they furnish? How do states arise in the first place and gain the capacity to tax? What shapes the changes in their policies and their expenditures over time? Can we distinguish the political incentives that encourage good policies rather than tragic ones? Do the answers lie with endowments, the distribution of wealth, or deeply rooted institutions? Or are they to be sought in culture and the guiding hand of history?
    Papers and session proposals should be submitted online at the EHA submission system. 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, 2014. For more details about the meeting, please consult the full call for papers.

Friday, November 22, 2013

“The Enterprise of Culture” Research Project Launched at Leeds

A new three-year collaborative research project on the business history of fashion, based in the School of History at the University of Leeds, has been awarded €1m funding from the HERA II (Humanities in the European Research Area II) Joint Research Programme. ‘The Enterprise of Culture’ "seeks to explore the relationships among fashion as a cultural phenomenon and a business enterprise, and to examine the transmission of fashion as a cultural form across national and international boundaries by intermediaries such as educational institutions, media outlets, advertisers, branders, trend forecasters, and retailers." The principal investigators are from the universities of Leeds (project leader Regina Lee Blaszczyk), Erasmus Rotterdam (Ben Wubs), Oslo (Véronique Pouillard Maliks), Heriot-Watt (Robert MacIntosh), St. Andrews (Barbara Townley), and Newcastle (Alan McKinley).
    Over the next three years, the Enterprise of Culture team will hold a series of workshops, conferences, and public programs. The group of historians and management scholars has a strong commitment to public understanding and will work closely with non-academic institutions, including the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Centre for Business History in Stockholm, the Marks and Spencer Company Archive in Leeds, and the sponsors of fashion-textile trade fairs throughout Europe.
     Readers in the vicinity of Leeds are alerted that the Project will hold a launch event on December 5, 2013. Featuring talks from a panel of European researchers alongside fashion professionals, curators, and archivists from the V&A Museum, the Centre for Business History (Stockholm), and the M&S Company Archive, this event offers an insight into the business history of fashion. Open to anyone with an interest in the business history of fashion, this event is particularly aimed at academics, post-graduate students, curators, archivists, fashion designers, textile-related organizations, and wider public audiences. The full program is available here. The event is free but places are limited. To book or for further information, please email Fiona Blair at or phone +44(0)113 343 1910.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

CFP: “Green Capitalism: Exploring the Crossroads of Environmental and Business History”

The Center for the History of Business, Technology, and Society and the German Historical Institute–DC are co-sponsoring a conference on "Green Capitalism? Exploring the Crossroads of Environmental and Business History," to be held October 30-31, 2014 at the Hagley Museum and Library in Wilmington, Delaware.
This conference hopes to point to fresh opportunities for joining the insights of environmental and business history. The organizers
are especially interested in providing historical perspectives on a question of obvious relevance today: Can capitalism be green–or at least greener? Our title– “Green Capitalism?”– is admittedly drawn from contemporary discourse. But we are convinced that history can provide invaluable insights into the complex and changing relationship between business and the environment.
Conference planners are currently accepting proposals for papers that "consider in specific historical contexts the extent to which the business enterprises that are central to capitalism operated in an environmentally sound or detrimental manner by the way they dealt with their refuse, by managing their use of resources, and mitigating or ignoring any harmful impact on those who handled their products or were affected by their waste." The full call for papers is available here.
    Proposals may be up to 500 words in length, and should include a summary of the paper’s argument, the sources on which it draws, and the larger historiographic context or contemporary debates with which it engages. A short c.v. or resume should accompany the proposal. The deadline for receipt of proposals, which should be sent via email to Carol Lockman,, is May 1, 2014. Presenters will receive travel support to cover most costs to attend the conference.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Two Web Exhibits from the Historical Society of Pennsylvania

Among several digital history projects, the Historical Society of Pennsylvania has two that are of particular interest to business and economic historians.
Depositors wait to try to withdraw their money from the Erie National Bank, Sixth and Erie streets, 1931 (Pa. Historical Society)
    The first, "Closed for Business: The Story of Bankers Trust Company during the Great Depression," describes the rise and fall of Bankers Trust Company, the first large bank to fail in Philadelphia during the Great Depression. The site includes:
  • 320 digitized primary source documents, including documents about the bank's operation, letters from depositors desperate to get access to their funds after the bank's failure, and newspaper clippings about the aftermath of the bank's failure;
  • biographies of some of the people and organizations highlighted in the documents;
  • contextual essays (including one by R. Daniel Wadhwani) about the history of Bankers Trust Company, the Great Depression in Philadelphia, and the 1930s banking crisis in Philadelphia; and
  • an educators' page with ideas about how to use the resource in the classroom.
The second exhibit, Preserving America's Freedom, explores the complicated history of American freedom through 50 documents in the Society's collections; of specific interest is the section on "Economic Freedoms." Exhibiting selected documents and images, the site also contains essays by well-known historians, including Eric Foner, Walter Licht, and Thomas Sugrue,

Friday, November 15, 2013

Program Available: “Trading Medicines: The Global Drug Trade in Perspective”

There will be a half-day workshop entitled "Trading Medicines: The Global Drug Trade in Perspective" on January 10, 2014, at the London School of Economics. The workshop has been organized by Claire Griffin (Cambridge) and Patrick Wallis (LSE) and is supported by the Wellcome Trust, the Economic History Society, and the Royal Historical Society. The program and abstracts of the papers are available here. According to the organizers,
This half-day workshop examines the supply and reception of medical drugs during the creation of an early modern global market from the sixteenth through to the eighteenth centuries. It addresses a key question in the history of medicine: how did early modern globalisation impact medicine in Europe? The workshop explores developments across various European nations, their empires, and global trading networks. Papers will focus on the broad sweep of medical commodities that were exchanged, taking a long view and considering as many different substances as possible, in order to build a big picture of developments across the early modern period.
There is no attendance fee, but registration is required. To register, please email Clare Griffin at

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Call for Applicants: ABH 2014 Tony Slaven Workshop

The Association of Business Historians (ABH) will hold its third Tony Slaven Doctoral Training Workshop on June 26-27, 2014, immediately preceding the 2014 ABH annual conference at Newcastle University Business School; Workshop participants will be welcome to attend the annual conference. Students at any stage of their doctoral career, whether first year or near submitting, are encouraged to attend. In addition to providing new researchers with an opportunity to discuss their work with other research students in a related discipline, the sessions will also include at least one skills-related workshop.
    One aim of the Workshop is to strengthen links among students working on business history and related topics in various departments and disciplines. For the purposes of the Workshop, `business history’ is therefore interpreted broadly. Students will present on a pre-circulated paper of no more than 5,000 words, and will be expected to act as discussant for another’s paper, with further time for group discussion.
    Students interested in attending the workshop should send their application to Sheryllynne Haggerty, Department of History, School of Humanities, University of Nottingham, University Park, Nottingham, NG7 2RD. The application should consist of four pages: a one-page CV; one page stating the names of the student’s supervisors, the title of their thesis, the university and department where they are registered, and the date of commencement of their thesis registration; and a two-page abstract of the paper. Four Tony Slaven scholarships are available, each worth up to £150, to contribute toward the travel, accommodation, and registration costs of attending the doctoral workshop (not the ABH main conference). Students should clearly state in their application if they wish to be considered for the Tony Slaven scholarships. The deadline for submissions is February 21, 2014.

    Questions may be directed to Sheryllynne Haggerty at the above e-mail address. See also the workshop announcement on the ABH website.

Monday, November 11, 2013

CFP: The Business of Slavery

On September 17-19, 2014, the Centre for Economic and Business History and the Institute for the Study of Slavery at the University of Nottingham will co-host a conference on "The Business of Slavery." The conference
aims to bring together assessments of the contributions of enslaved people to the economy of different eras and societies and from various perspectives, including the wider economy, the slave traders, the slave holders and the slaves themselves. It will compare these assessments over chronological eras and in societies around the globe. Papers are invited which discuss themes as diverse as (but which are not restricted to); slave trading (including foreign and indigenous trades, legal and illegal trades), the economies of slave societies, the economies of the slaves themselves, (including hiring out), the use of slaves by freedmen and freedwomen, serfdom, debt bondage, prostitution, forced (including child) labour, and from chronological periods as diverse as Ancient Greece and Rome, Medieval Europe, the early-modern Barbary States, Sub-Saharan Africa, the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, and the modern world.
For a fuller description, please see the complete call for papers. The closing date for proposals, which should be sent to Sheryllynne Haggarty at, is March 24, 2014.

Friday, November 8, 2013

CFP: “Shady Business: White Collar Crime in History”

On September 18-20, 2014, the German Historical Institute in Washington, D.C., will host a conference on "Shady Business: White Collar Crime in History." The conveners are Edward Balleisen (History Department /Kenan Institute for Ethics, Duke University), Hartmut Berghoff (German Historical Institute), and Christopher McKenna (Said Business School, University of Oxford). According to the call for papers:
Daniel Defoe observed in the early 18th century that "[e]very degree of business" has "its invitation to do evil." Today, hardly a day passes without the media reporting on new allegations and legal proceedings relating to supposed professional misconduct on the part of corporate executives. . . . This raises many questions. What economic, company-related, and social conditions encourage this behavior? What accounts for the apparent increase of white collar crime in some areas and its decline in others? What background information sheds light on it? What motivates those who engage in such crimes? . . .
    This conference deals with the history of economic crime perpetrated by for-profit and not-for-profit corporations since the early modern period. The conference excludes industrial espionage, piracy, labor disputes, human rights violations, and environmental pollution, which might be included in many definitions of economic crime. This conference instead focuses on corporate fraud, corruption, embezzlement, misappropriation and malfeasance, electronic fraud, tax fraud, intellectual property theft, Ponzi schemes, illegal cartels, and collusion. We are interested both in occupational fraud (malfeasance directed by employees at their employers) and organizational fraud (malfeasance committed by firms against third parties). . . . our goal is to historicize economic criminal actions and public perceptions of them.
Those interested in participating should send a proposal of no more than 500 words and a short CV to Susanne Fabricius. For a fuller discussion of the conference's aims and themes, please see the complete call for papers. The deadline for submission is January 30, 2014. Expenses for travel and accommodation will be covered.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

CFP: “The Landscape of Occupations in Pre-Industrial Britain and Continental Europe, c.1400-1750”

Cultivation of grain in use amongst the peasants, Lyon, 1517The Centre for Medical History at the University of Exeter will host a workshop on April 8-9, 2014, on "The Landscape of Occupations in Pre-Industrial Britain and Continental Europe, c.1400-1750." The two-day workshop is designed to bring together papers addressing any of the following four themes: Individuals, Economic Activity, and Developments in the Early Modern Economy; Gender and Occupation; Guilds, Colleges and Occupational Identity; and Rural and Urban Economic Lives. As the call for papers explains,
Occupational identity and the economic activity of individuals have seen growing attention from historians and historical geographers over the past thirty or forty years. While earlier generations of historians, including Postan and Tawney, addressed occupational structure as an aspect of the general structure of agricultural and industrial production, researchers are increasingly focusing upon the question of economic activity from the perspective of the individual. It is increasingly recognized that occupational identity was neither definite nor fixed. How did households combine economic strategies in response to opportunities, challenges, and natural cycles? How did economic and occupational identity change throughout an individual’s lifecycle? Indeed, how did occupational identity actually reflect economic activity?
Sessions will be structured around pre-circulated papers and presentations of five minutes, to allow maximum time for discussion. For a more detailed description of topics to be addressed, please see the complete call for papers. Abstracts, of no more than 300 words, should be sent via email to Justin Colson ( by December 2, 2013.

Monday, November 4, 2013

CFP: Workshop for New Scholars in Financial History

The European Association for Banking and Financial History (EABH) and Queen’s University Centre for Economic History (QUCEH) invite the submission of research papers from advanced Ph.D. students and recent postdoctoral researchers in financial history for a "New Scholars Workshop," to be held in Belfast on April 16, 2014.

This one-day intensive workshop is specifically intended for new scholars in financial history, broadly defined, who wish to practice and improve their research through presentation and discussion with more experienced scholars. Participants who have a full research paper and are intending in the near future to go on the academic job market, or to submit their work to a top field journal in business, economic, or financial history, are particularly encouraged to apply. Research in any theme and methodology in banking and financial history is welcome. Comparative approaches are encouraged and co-authored papers will be accepted.

The workshop’s keynote speaker and discussant will be Professor Joost Jonker, NEHA professor of business history at the University of Amsterdam. Participants will also benefit from the close discussion of their work by faculty at QUCEH, a research center based at Queen’s University Management School. The EABH will cover best price economy flights and a two-night stay in Belfast. Outstanding scholars will be asked to present their paper at the EABH annual conference in Zurich on June 13, 2014.

Prospective participants should send their full paper to by January 17, 2014, along with a full CV that clearly states the (expected) date of Ph.D. completion. For additional information, please see the full call for papers.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Blaszczyk's Color Revolution Wins SHOT Prize

Nearly a year ago we featured The Color Revolution (MIT Press, 2012) by Regina Lee Blaszczyk, who holds the chair in the history of business and society at the University of Leeds. The book has now been awarded the 2013 Sally Hacker Prize by the Society for the History of Technology (SHOT). The prize is awarded at SHOT's annual meeting to honor "exceptional scholarship that reaches beyond the academy." The citation reads in part, "Blaszczyk's beautifully, thoughtfully designed book is bound to become a standard academic reference—for historians of technology as well as for a range of other scholars—but that's only the beginning; her work is of great importance because of the exemplary way in which it reaches out to a broader audience." The full citation can be found on the Leeds faculty news website.