Wednesday, June 29, 2016

CFP: “The 'Nationality' of the Company: Historical Approaches to a Possible Paradox”

An international group is organizing a conference to be held at the University of Frankfurt am Main, November 17-18, 2017, on “The 'Nationality' of the Company': Historical Approaches to a Possible Paradox.” The organizers are Boris Gehlen (University of Bonn), Christian Marx (University of Trier), Werner Plumpe (University of Frankfurt/M.), and Alfred Reckendrees (Copenhagen Business School). According to the call for papers:
The question of companies and their nationality opens the discussion about how companies relate to society and the nation state, and vice versa. What nationality (if it has one) does a company have and how can it be conceived? In this call for papers we present some topics and examples indicating that nationality might matter in specific ways and that discussing a company’s nationality and studying how it is produced and/or how it changed over time might be a promising enterprise. The topics are not conclusive; all proposals discussing the issue of nationality in regard to (private) companies are welcome.
Scholars and Ph.D. students of any relevant (sub-) discipline are invited to submit paper proposals relating to the wide range of topics that come under to the “nationality of the company.” Abstracts of 500 to 1,000 words (PDF format) presenting the subject, the conceptual framework and the analytical approach along with a brief (one-page) CV should be sent to Boris Gehlen [], Christian Marx [], or Alfred Reckendrees [] by September 30, 2016.
      Please consult the full call for papers for a more complete discussion of the conference's agenda.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Over the Counter: Issue No. 27

From the Imperial War Museums, an essay on their "Women's Work Collection," illustrating women's role during the First World War in the UK.

On a related topic, the "Women's Work in Rural England, 1500-1700" project has a new blog post on "How 'domestic' was women's work?"

The Canadian Historical Association recently announced its prize winners for 2016; included are Alexia Yates, who won the Ferguson Prize for Selling Paris, and Robert MacDougall, who won the Albert B. Corey Prize for The People's Network.

Slate's "Atlas Obscura" blog has an interesting post on the criticism Lydia Pinkham encountered for using her own image in advertising her products.

Viveka Hansen's Textilis blog has a well-illustrated essay on "Early Fashion and Cloth Trade-Cards" from the British Museum.

From the Hong Kong Maritime Museum, an essay, with lovely graphics, on the Canton Trade, 1757-1841.

"The Recipes Project" is a resource established by "an international group of scholars interested in the history of recipes, ranging from magical charms to veterinary remedies"; the site has materials that may be of interest to those researching the business aspects of food history.

A Smithsonian blog featured items from its recently digitized collection of cosmetics and personal care products; the bibliography includes business history work by Kathy Peiss, Geoffrey Jones, Tiffany Gill, and Philip Scranton. 

Dan Wadhwani has been elected chair of the Management History Division of the Academy of Management.

In May, Regina Lee Blaszczyk wrote an essay for the digital publisher Adam Mathew on the importance of Ernest Dichter, "The Hunt for the Hidden Persuader." Adam Mathew has recently digitized Dichter's major research reports as part of its "American Consumer Culture" package. The Dichter papers are held by the Hagley Museum and Library. 

Readers can find a podcast interview with Gavin Benke of Boston University on the history of Enron at's "History Slam" series. Benke is currently turning his dissertation, "Electronic Bits and Ten Gallon Hats: Enron, American Culture and the Postindustrial Political Economy," into a book.

In The Nation, Julia Ott of the New School offers "5 Books: University Press Books That Tackle Capitalism from Every Angle."

BackStory has a timely podcast about Alexander Hamilton: "Hamilton: A History"; guests include Brian Murphy of CUNY, author of Building the Empire State: Political Economy in Early America.

Richard Sylla of NYU's Stern School provided historical perspective for a "Marketplace" discussion earlier this month on "IBM: When Corporations Took Care of Their Employees."

The Toynbee Prize Foundation website recently published an interview with Tracy Neumann of Wayne State University on her new book, Remaking the Rustbelt: The Postindustrial Transformation of North America.

AHA Today recently featured an essay by guest blogger Jesse Hysell, who is writing his dissertation on material culture and gift exchange between Muslims and Christians in the early modern Mediterranean; he describes an aspect of his research in the Venetian archives focusing on "Cultural Encounters and Material Exchanges."

Friday, June 24, 2016

Banking History Summer Seminar: “Transparency and Information Management”

The European Association for Banking and Financial History (EABH), in cooperation with the Banco de España, is holding a summer seminar in Madrid, Spain, on September 14-16, 2016. The topic will be "Transparency and Information Management in Financial Institutions." According to the seminar organizers,
Transparency is becoming an increasingly important theme, and mode of operation, in today’s financial institutions and global financial markets.  This year’s EABH summer school will provide training on the latest developments in financial transparency and how financial archivists can serve their institutions’ need for evidence, information and corporate memory. . . . We will focus on initiatives within financial institutions to improve internal transparency for better control and compliance, among financial institutions to achieve costs saving and to drive financial innovation, and then moving to discuss new regulatory demands for transparency and how they affect financial institutions in the European and the global context.
The program is available here. Registration materials are available here; there is a 20% discount until July 15.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Hagley Digital Archives Reorganized and Relaunched

The  Hagley Museum and Library has just launched its newly reorganized Digital Archives website. The Hagley Digital Archives includes a selection of digitized material from the library and makes it available to researchers around the world via the internet. Since the site launched in 2008, approximately 400,000 items (photographs, manuscripts, publications, etc.) have been added, totaling millions of pages. The site is divided into topical areas, reflecting the organization of Hagley's holdings. The new format allows better and faster searching, as well as the display of audio and video materials.
     For explanations of the migration to the new site, readers can check "Collections and Research News" at Hagley here and here.

Monday, June 20, 2016

EHS Launches New Blog of Interest

The Economic History Society has launched a new blog, called "The Long Run." According to the editors,
The aim of the blog is to encourage discussion of economic and social history – broadly defined. The blog is part of the Society’s evolving strategy to, one the one hand, strengthen ties among its members and, on the other hand, broaden the public appeal of economic and social history while increasing the impact of its members’ research by making it relevant to contemporary policy debates.
The blog will also publicize abstracts of articles in the Economic History Review; the editors will select one article from those advertised as forthcoming from each issue that has appeal to a wider audience and approach a specialist to review this article. This review will also appear on the NEP-HIS blog – publication of which will be timed to coincide with publication of the article in the Review. For information about posting to the blog, please see here; submissions can be sent to the editors via email at

Friday, June 17, 2016

Joint ABH/GUG 2016 Meeting: Program Available

On May 27-28, the Association of Business Historians (ABH) and the Gesellschaft für Unternehmensgeschichte (GUG) held a joint annual meeting in Berlin at Humboldt University. The theme for the meeting was "Creativity and Entrepreneurship in the Global Economy." The program for the meeting is available on-line.
    The Coleman Prize for the best dissertation was awarded to Christopher Phillips (University of Leeds, UK) for "Managing Armageddon: The Science of Transportation and the British Expeditionary Force, 1900-1918."
     The keynote address was given by John Lithgow and Mary Yeager (past-president, BHC) on the topic "Money in Thy Purse: The Drama of Business."

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

CFP Reminder: SEJ Special Issue Deadline Approaching

This is a reminder that the deadline for the Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal special issue on "Historical Approaches to Entrepreneurship Research" is July 15. Scholars working on papers that (a) use historical perspectives on time, context, or change to address entrepreneurship theory or concepts, (b) take an entrepreneurial perspective onto history, or (c) explore the potential value of historical sources and/or methods for entrepreneurship research are encouraged to submit.
    Editors for the issue are R. Daniel Wadhwani, David Kirsch, William Gartner, Friederike Welter, and Geoffrey Jones.
    For an extended discussion of the aims for the special issue, editor contact details, and submission information, please see the full call for papers. Authors are encouraged to contact the special issue editors if they have questions.

Monday, June 13, 2016

SHOT 2016: Program Available

The Society for the History of Technology (SHOT) will hold its 2016 annual meeting on June 22-26 in Singapore. The opening plenary will feature Bruno Latour; Ruth Schwarz Cowan will be the keynote speaker; and Francesca Bray will give the presidential address. The full program is available as a pdf; daily sections can be viewed on the conference website.
    There is of course a large overlap between business historians and historians of technology; among the many familiar names on the program are Ross Bassett, Hyungsub Choi, Lars Heide, Lee Vinsel, Xaq Frolich, Courtney Fullilove, Corinna Schlombs, Ann Johnson, Merritt Roe Smith, Emanuela Scarpellini, Scott Knowles, Jonathan Coopersmith, and Ellen Spero.
     For registration and other information, please consult the conference website.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Latest Common-Place Features Piketty Forum

The most recent issue of the on-line journal Common-Place features a roundtable on Thomas Piketty and his Capital in the 21st Century. The forum focuses on the work in relation to the humanities; as the introductory essay by Michelle Burnham argues:
Taken together, the short essays gathered here point out the ways in which numbers and graphs constitute narratives, and insist that data’s stories are just as constructed as those found in words and novels. . . . we hope this forum points toward possibilities for developing a critical business humanities, an endeavor made all the more necessary in a neoliberal age in which the human is increasingly defined in terms of numbers.
The six essays offer a different viewpoint from that of the many reviews by economists and economic historians. There is also a link to another interesting forum on the book, this one by political scientists, philosophers, and sociologists, coordinated by Crooked Timber's Henry Farrell.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Data Online: Foreign Companies in Argentina

The project "Base de Datos de Empresas Extranjeras en Argentina / Foreign Companies in Argentina"has recently launched a website where the database can be freely examined.
     The "Foreign Companies in Argentina Database" (FCAD–PICT 2010/0501) contains information on all foreign companies (registered as foreign or registered in Argentina) operating in the country, and takes into account country of origin, date of creation, organizational form, principal activity, type of investment (greenfield, brownfield and joint-venture), social capital, reserves and results, as well as other data such as composition of boards, for the selected years: 1913, 1923, 1930, 1937-8, 1944, 1959-60, and 1970-1.
     The head researchers on this project are Andrea Lluch (CONICET/UNLPam y Facultad de Administración, UNIANDES, Colombia, and a BHC trustee) and Norma Lanciotti (CONICET-Universidad Nacional de Rosario). As they explain on the website,
Foreign companies have played a fundamental role in the Argentinian economy development since the beginning of the process of internal market organization and the consolidation of the nation state in the 19th century until the present day. With this in mind, the general aim of the project is to analyze the historical role of multinational companies and the characteristics of the different cycles of foreign direct investment in the long term and from a business history perspective. 
Scholars are invited to explore the database and to offer comments and suggestions to Andrea Lluch ( and Norma Lanciotti (

Monday, June 6, 2016

HBS Fellowships Available

Harvard Business School invites applications for its several fellowships in business history:
The Harvard-Newcomen Postdoctoral Fellowship in Business History
To 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. This fellowship 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. This fellowships will also provide an opportunity for the fellow to participate in the activities of Harvard Business School. This can take several forms. The fellow can research and write a case, under the direction of a senior faculty member, to be used in one of the business history courses. She or he might also organize a research conference under the auspices of the Business History Initiative, or assist the Initiative’s ongoing projects in other ways. 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 17 of the calendar year preceding that in which the fellowship is to be used. It is the responsibility of the applicant to solicit these letters. The fellowship will be awarded and all applicants notified by mid-January. The Fellowship will begin July 1. Applications should be received no later than October 17 and submitted online to: Please direct your recommenders to visit:
Thomas K. McCraw Fellowship
This award honors the work and contributions of Thomas K. McCraw (1940-2012), who was Isidor Straus Professor of Business History at Harvard Business School. The fellowship enables established scholars from around the world whose primary interest is the business and economic history of the United States to spend time in residence at Harvard Business School. The main activities of the Thomas K. McCraw Fellow will be to conduct research in the archives of Baker Library or in other Boston-area libraries, present his or her work at a seminar, and interact with HBS faculty. The Thomas K. McCraw Fellow will receive a stipend of $7,000 to cover travel and living expenses. Fellows are expected to be in residence for a minimum of two months. Recipients of the fellowship will receive work space, an e-mail account, a phone, a computer, an ID card, and access to the University’s libraries and to the HBS Intranet for the duration of the appointment. Applicants should send a cover letter, a CV, and a two- to three-page research proposal to Walter A. Friedman, Connell 301A, Harvard Business School, Boston, MA 02163, U.S.A. This material can also be sent via e-mail to Applications for the fellowship should arrive no later than October 3 of the calendar year preceding that in which the fellowship is to be used. The applicant should also arrange for two letters of reference, sent directly by the recommender, to arrive at the above address by October 3. Grants will be announced by the beginning of November. 
The Alfred D. Chandler Jr. International Visiting Scholar in Business History Program
This program invites established scholars in business history based outside the United States to spend a period of time in residence at Harvard Business School. The Chandler International Visiting Scholar is expected to interact with faculty and researchers, present work at research seminars, and conduct business history research. Recipients will be given a $7,000 stipend (payable at the end of their visit), office space, an e-mail account, phone, computer, ID card, and access to the University’s libraries and the HBS Intranet. The program requires a two-month minimum length of stay. Scholars may stay up to a maximum of six months. Applicants should indicate when, during the calendar year, they would like to be in residence at the School. It is expected that the recipient will be actively engaged in the intellectual life of the business history group. Applicants should send a cover letter, a CV, and a two- to three-page research proposal to Walter A. Friedman, Connell 301A, Harvard Business School, Boston, MA 02163, USA. This material can also be sent via e-mail to Applications for the fellowship should arrive no later than October 3 of the calendar year preceding that in which the fellowship is to be used. The applicant should also arrange for two letters of reference, sent directly by the recommender, to arrive at the above address by October 3. Grants will be announced by the beginning of November. 
The Alfred D. Chandler Jr. Travel Fellowships
The purpose of this fellowship is to facilitate library and archival research in business or economic history. Individual grants range from $1,000 to $3,000. Three categories of applicants will be eligible for grants: 1) Harvard University graduate students in history, economics, or business administration, whose research requires travel to distant archives or repositories; 2) graduate students or nontenured faculty in those fields from other universities, in the U.S. and abroad, whose research requires travel to Baker Library and other local archives; and 3) Harvard College undergraduates writing senior theses in these fields whose research requires travel away from Cambridge. To apply, send a CV, a summary of past academic research (of 1-2 pages), and a detailed description of the research you wish to undertake (of 2-3 pages). Applicants must indicate the amount of money requested (up to $3,000). Please also arrange to have one letter of reference sent independently of the application. The deadline for receipt of applications is November 1 of the calendar year preceding that in which the fellowship is to be used. All materials should be sent to Walter A. Friedman, Connell 301A, Harvard Business School, Boston, MA 02163. E-mail:
For more information, please visit the HBS Fellowships website.

Friday, June 3, 2016

"Enterprise of Culture" Final Conference: The European Fashion System around the World

The final project conference for "The Enterprise of Culture," a three-year European collaborative research project investigating international structures and connections in the fashion industry since 1945, will take place at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London on June 10, 2016. The theme for the day will be ""The European Fashion System around the World." According to the organizers,
This one-day event showcases exciting new research undertaken by the Enterprise of Culture project team and offers an insight into the European fashion industry around the world, looking at topics such as influential brands from Biba and Mary Quant to today’s H&M, Italian fashion and the role of the department store buyer, Scottish tartan and tweed, the international reach of British textiles, and global luxury brands such as LVMH. We welcome speakers from the V&A, the Centre for Business History Stockhol, archive collections, the fashion industry and researchers from the universities of Leeds, Oslo, Newcastle, Erasmus Rotterdam, Heriot Watt and St Andrews.
The guest speaker will be Edwina Ehrman, Curator of the V&A’s new exhibition, Undressed: A Brief History of Underwear, who will take a close look at the creation and marketing of a luxury lingerie brand, Janet Reger. The V&A will be open until 9.45pm, allowing participants the opportunity to explore the museum collections.
    Open to anyone with an interest in the business history of fashion, this event will bring together academics, fashion industry practitioners, students, archivists, museum curators and wider public audiences. There is no fee, but registration is required. The full program, registration information, and other details can be found on the conference website.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Position Available at Hagley's Center for the History of Business, Technology, and Society

Hagley Museum and Library in Wilmington, Delaware, seeks a full-time, year-round Associate Director and Oral Historian for its Center for the History of Business, Technology, and Society. The position includes full benefits and provisions for scholarly work, including travel and attendance at professional meetings. Hagley Library is an independent research library devoted to documenting the history of American business, technology, and industrial design.

Responsibilities: The Associate Director and Oral Historian will lead Hagley’s oral history collecting initiatives and participate in all aspects of Center program activities, including its grant programs, public events, and administration of the Business History Conference. The Associate Director also is expected to engage in his or her own scholarship, and will receive support for those activities.

Requirements: At a minimum, a doctorate in a relevant field of history in hand at time of application; experience with oral history; experience with administration or project management; and research interests that engage with Hagley’s collections, initiatives, and projects, broadly defined. Application materials must include a C.V., at least two references, and a letter that addresses how the applicant meets the qualifications specified above.

Application materials must be submitted by July 1, 2016. The position will commence early in Autumn 2016. Application materials should be sent to Yvonne Dalton, Director, Personnel Support Services, Hagley Museum and Library, P.O. Box 3630, Wilmington, DE 19807, or via email at

Hagley Museum & Library is an Equal Opportunity Employer.