Monday, March 31, 2014

Articles of Interest in AHA Perspectives

The current issue of the AHA's Perspectives on History (now ungated) features two articles of interest to readers of this blog. The first is an article by Barbara Hahn on the history of technology: "The Social in the Machine: How Historians of Technology Look Beyond the Object." She writes,
Despite public fascination with technology, the approaches and understandings of technology’s historians do not much penetrate popular consciousness. For example, a difficult-to-shake belief in technological determinism—the idea that tools and inventions drive change, rather than humans—is widespread. But most research into the history of technology undermines this widespread assumption. Technology itself has causes—human causes. If it didn’t, it would have no history. So the field by its very existence fights common misconceptions about technology.
Barbara Hahn is associate professor of history at Texas Tech University and the author of Making Tobacco Bright: Creating an American Commodity, 1617–1937 (Johns Hopkins University Press). She is also the associate editor of Technology and Culture and a Trustee of the Business History Conference. She tweets at @behahn.

    The second article of interest is by Chris McNickle, a history Ph.D. who served as the global head of institutional business for Fidelity Worldwide Investment. In "A Historian in the World of Investments: How Historical Thinking Resonates in Business," he argues that "As a discipline, history offers as compelling a framework for business decision making as any of the courses of study more commonly championed by those inside city skyscrapers and suburban office parks." McNickle is the author of numerous books and articles on New York City history and investment-related topics.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Article and Paper Awards from the Business History Conference

At its meeting in Frankfurt, Germany on March 13-15, the BHC announced this year's recipients of its article and paper prizes.
Paper Prizes:
The K. Austin Kerr Prize recognizes the best first paper delivered at the annual meeting of the Business History Conference by a new scholar (doctoral student or those within three years of receiving their Ph.D). It honors K. Austin Kerr, longtime professor of history at the Ohio State University and former president of the Business History Conference.
  2014 Recipient: Elizabeth Ann Semler (University of Minnesota), “Public Health or Industry Health? U.S. Government Responses to the 1970s Dietary Cholesterol-–Heart Disease Controversy”

The CEBC Halloran Prize in the History of Corporate Responsibility recognizes a paper presented at the BHC annual meeting that makes a significant contribution to the history of corporate responsibility. It is funded by the Center for Ethical Business Cultures (CEBC) at the University of St.Thomas Opus College of Business in honor of Harry R. Halloran, Jr.
  2014 Recipient: Stephanie Decker (Aston Business School), “The Impact of Colonial Development Debates on the HR Policies of Imperial Business in Ghana and Nigeria, 1940-1960”

Article Prizes:
The Oxford Journals Article Prize recognizes the author of an article published in Enterprise & Society judged to be the best of those that have appeared in the volume previous to the year of the BHC annual meeting.
  2014 Recipients: Francesca Carnevali and Lucy Newton, “Pianos for the People: From Producer to Consumer in Britain, 1851–1914,” Enterprise & Society 14 (March 2013): 37-70. HTML version  PDF version

The Mira Wilkins Prize, established in recognition of the path-breaking scholarship of Mira Wilkins, is awarded to the author of the best Enterprise & Society article pertaining to international and comparative business history published the volume previous to the year of the BHC annual meeting.
  2014 Recipient: Brenna Greer, "Selling Liberia: Moss H. Kendrix, the Liberian Centennial Commission, and the Post-World War II Trade in Black Progress," Enterprise & Society 14 (June 2013) 14: 303-326. HTML version  PDF version

Oxford Journals is making these two articles freely available for the remainder of 2014. Just follow the links above. 

Stephen Mihm Awarded the BHC's Williamson Prize

Stephen Mihm of the University of Georgia was presented with the Harold F. Williamson Prize of the Business History Conference at the organization's annual meeting, held in Frankfurt, Germany. The prize honors a mid-career scholar for contributions to the teaching and writing of business history. Mihm, who is an associate professor of history at the University of Georgia, is a member of the BHC Board of Trustees and an editorial board member for Enterprise & Society. His publications include A Nation of Counterfeiters: Capitalists, Con Men, and the Making of the United States (Harvard University Press, 2007) and, with Nouriel Roubini, Crisis Economics: A Crash Course in the Future of Finance (Penguin Press, 2010).  He also founded and edited the Echoes blog on Bloomberg View, the opinion and editorial division of Bloomberg Media, which discussed current events in the light of business history (2011-2013).  He tweets at @SMihm and still occasionally writes for Bloomberg and other media outlets. In 2012 he was the recipient of the University of Georgia History Department's Parks-Heggoy Award for excellence in graduate student teaching.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

BHC Announces Book Prizes

At its recent meeting in Frankfurt, Germany, the Business History Conference presented its two book prizes.
The co-winners of the Hagley Book Prize, for the best book in business history, are Dimitry Anastakis of Trent University for Autonomous State: The Epic Struggle for a Canadian Car Industry from OPEC to Free Trade (University of Toronto Press), and Bernhard Rieger of University College London for The People's Car: A Global History of the Volkswagen Beetle (Harvard University Press).
     The winner of the Gomory Prize, for the best book on the effects of business enterprises on the economic conditions of the countries in which they operate, is Arwen P. Mohun of the University of Delaware for Risk: Negotiating Safety in American Society (Johns Hopkins University Press).

Monday, March 24, 2014

EABH Annual Meeting Registration Now Open

The European Association for Banking and Financial History (EABH) will hold its 2014 annual meeting on June 12-13, 2014, at the Swiss Re Centre for Global Dialogue in Rüschlikon, Switzerland. The main events are the archival workshop, "Banks at War: Financial Institutions Confronted by the Great War," on June 12 and the annual conference, with the theme "Risk Management," on June 13. The conference is divided into two segments, oral histories in the morning and research papers in the afternoon.  For both the workshop and the research segment of the conference, abstracts are available on-line. Full descriptions of the workshop and conference, as well as registration information, are available on the EABH website.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

CFP: 2014 CHORD Conference

CHORD (Centre for the History of Retailing and Distribution) will hold its annual conference at the University of Wolverhampton on September 11, 2014. The theme will be "Retail Work: Historical Perspectives." The Centre invites proposals for papers that explore the work of retailing and /or distribution. All forms of work (paid and unpaid) in the retailing and distributive trades are of interest, from small shopkeepers, shop assistants, pedlars, and market sellers, to large-scale entrepreneurs, wholesalers, and distributors. All disciplinary perspectives are welcome, and there are no limitations in historical period or geographical area covered.
    To submit a proposal, send title and abstract of c.300 to 400 words to Karin Dannehl at: k.dannehl@wlv.ac.uk by May 9, 2014. Proposals may be for individual papers or for sessions (normally three papers: please include the title of the session with the abstracts).
   Please consult the call for papers for additional details.
   Those interested in CHORD may also wish to consult the program for the Centre's upcoming Workshop on "Retailing, Commerce and the Human Body: Historical Approaches," which will take place on May 14, 2014. Abstracts of the papers are also available at the website.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Business History at the Policy History Conference

The Journal of Policy History and the Institute for Political History are hosting the eighth biennial Conference on Policy History at the Sheraton on Capitol Square hotel in Columbus, Ohio, from June 4 to June 7, 2014. The primary goal behind the conference is to provide an interdisciplinary forum for scholars of policy history, American political development, and comparative historical analysis. The conference program has now been posted. Several papers and panels will be of particular interest to business historians:
  • Elizabeth Tandy Shermer will chair several sessions: see especially those on "Sunbelt Politics," on "Reexamining the New Deal: Health and Debt," the latter including a paper by David Stebenne; and on "The Politics of Economic Decline," featuring papers by David Koistinen and Joseph Arena
  • "Of Hartz and Historians: The Liberal Tradition in Modern American Politics" features papers by Benjamin Waterhouse, Jennifer Delton, and Lee Vinsel
  • "Economists, Politics, and the Policies of the Progressive Era"
  • Richard John will chair a session on "Corporations, Public Policy, and the Great War," as well as participate in a roundtable on "Party Balance, Partisan Polarization, and Policy Conflict"
  • "Banking on Politics" will be chaired by Mansel Blackford, with papers by David Freund and Mark Rose, with commentary by Brian Balogh
  • Laura Phillips Sawyer will present a paper in and Edward Balleisen will comment on the session "Building a Weak State: Public-Private Governance in Twentieth-Century America"; Balleisen will also present a paper in another session
Other presenters familiar to the BHC world include Edward Balleisen, Christy Chapin, Daniel Amsterdam, Francesca Ammon, Jesse Tarbert, Susan Yohn, and Sean Vanatta. Many sessions on politics and policies in agricultural, food, labor, and environmental history will also be of interest. For full information about the conference, please consult the meeting home page.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

CFP: Newberry Library Seminars of Interest

The Newberry Library's Dr. William M. Scholl Center for American History and Culture has issued a call for proposals for its 2014-2015 Seminar Series.

Visit each seminar's page for the specific call for proposals. The due date for all is April 25, 2014. Several of the seminars may be of interest, but those most relevant to readers of this blog are:

The Newberry Seminar in the History of Capitalism:
http://www.newberry.org/newberry-seminar-history-capitalism

The Newberry Seminar in Labor History:
http://www.newberry.org/newberry-seminar-labor-history

To propose a paper, please send a one-page proposal, a statement explaining the relationship of the paper to your other work, and a brief (two-page) c.v. to Carmen Jaramillo at the Dr. William M. Scholl Center for American History and Culture. Please send all materials as a single electronic attachment in one document via email to: scholl@newberry.org.

The Newberry Library is unable to provide funds for travel or lodging, but can assist in locating discounted accommodations.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Conference: “Population Histories in Context”

On September 16-18, 2014, Downing College at Cambridge (UK) will hold a conference, "Population Histories in Context: Past Achievements and Future Directions," to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Cambridge Group for the History of Population and Social Structure. The program is available on the Group's website, as is booking information. The deadline for registration is July 1, 2014.
    The Cambridge Group was founded in 1964 by Peter Laslett and Tony Wrigley to undertake quantitative research in family history and demographic history. For an extended description of the Group's pioneering research and publications, as well as its current projects, please see its "History" page.
    For further information about the conference, please contact Richard Smith (rms20@cam.ac.uk) or Sophy Arulanantham (sja60@cam.ac.uk).