Friday, December 30, 2016

Program and Conference Report: “Credit, Currency & Commerce”

‘Dividend Day at the Bank of England’ (cropped) by George Elgar Hicks (1824-1914), Bank of England Museum © The Governor and Company of the Bank of England.
The Centre for Financial History at Cambridge hosted a two-day conference in September 2016 on "Credit, Currency & Commerce: New Perspectives in Financial and Monetary History." The conference program is available here. The keynote speakers were Martin Daunton, who spoke on "Bretton Woods Revisited: Currency, Commerce and Contestation," and Anne Murphy, whose topic was "The Genesis of Modern Management: the Eighteenth-Century Bank of England at Work." An extensive conference report by Sabine Schneider has been posted. Support for the meeting was provided by the Economic History Society, the Centre for Financial History and the Faculty of History at the University of Cambridge.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Catching Up on Business History around the Web

For the reading pleasure of those academics on holiday break this week, we provide some links to the work of business historians recently featured on-line:

Christy Chapin appeared on "Who Makes Cents?" to discuss the centrality of insurance companies to American health care.

The "Ben Franklin's World" podcast, run by Liz Covart, recently hosted three episodes of interest:
    Brian Murphy on his book, Building the Empire State
    Jonathan Eacott on his work, Selling Empire: India in the Making of Britain and America, 1700-1830
    Mary Beth Norton, on the Tea Crisis of 1773 

Ken Lipartito has posted Part II of his essay on capitalism and slavery.

On BackStory, two rebroadcasts of interest in December: "Counter Culture: A History of Shopping" and "New and Improved: Advertising in America."

Thomas Zeiler has a review essay on Marc-William Palen's "Conspiracy" of Free Trade on the Imperial & Global Forum.

Lucy Newton discusses Guide to the Unprotected in Every-Day Matters Relating to Property and Income (1863) on BBC Radio 4.

Roger Horowitz talks about his book Kosher USA with Melissa Amster of "Everyday Eats." He also guest blogged about his research for the Jewish Book Council's "Prosen People" site.

Monday, December 26, 2016

WEHC 2018: Accepted Panels and Final CFP

The list of accepted panels for 2018 has been posted on the World Economic History Congress (WEHC) website. There is now ongoing a second and final call for proposals, with a deadline of June 30, 2017. According to the WEHC statement
Organizers are strongly encouraged to consult the list of already accepted sessions, with the goal of adding to the breadth of the Congress program, as well as to find models of successful proposals. As before, we will continue to welcome innovation in the format of individual sessions as appropriate for the topic, the methodologies employed, and the participants invited.
In the accepted panels section, panel titles link to full abstracts of the session and lists of participants. Information is also provided about those panels that have posted specific calls for papers. Nearly all the panels will of course be of interest, but some highlights include
"Business History in the Age of Modern Globalization"
"Multinationals and the Transformation of the World Economy"
"Multiple Futures for Business History: Building on Recent Debates and Suggestions"
"Passage to Panama: Nation States, Taxation and Multinational Enterprise in the Twentieth Century"
"Transnational Business Encounters in the Twentieth Century: Informal Company Networks, Cartels and Business Interest Associations Compared"
The Congress will take place in Boston, Massachusetts on July 29-August 3, 2018.

Friday, December 23, 2016

BHC Moves 2018 Charlotte NC Annual Meeting in Response to HB2

The Business History Conference, the largest professional organization of business historians in the United States, has cancelled plans to hold its 2018 annual meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina. Its decision is in response to the adoption of HB2 by the state government, and the recent rejection of a repeal of the measure by the North Carolina legislature. The BHC will instead hold its 2018 annual meeting at the Baltimore Embassy Suites Inner Harbor in Maryland.
      The BHC’s action culminates a nine-month process of discussion with its members and its intended partner for the 2018 meeting, the Charlotte Marriott City Center Hotel. Consultation with the BHC’s membership and leadership showed strong sentiment against the planned North Carolina location, as many would not or could not attend a conference in the state so long as the HB2 measure remained in effect. The BHC trustees voted in early December 2016 to cancel the hotel contract with the Charlotte Marriott, but action was deferred until the state legislature rejected a repeal of the HB2 measure yesterday.
     We want to commend Marriott for its constructive participation in these deliberations and make clear we have no grievances with its Charlotte hotel. Conversations with Marriott leadership secured modification of our contract to create more flexibility with its provisions regarding cancellation penalties. The hotel also provided unconditional assurances that it would not enforce the HB2 law; we note that Marriott’s opposition to the law is robust and a matter of record. Nonetheless, we simply cannot meet in a state that sanctions discrimination against LGBT individuals – a group that includes some of our own members.
     Readers may contact Business History Conference Secretary-Treasurer Roger Horowitz at for more information about the organization’s decision.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Ken Lipartito Launches Blog on Trump and Economic History

Long-time BHC member (past-president, 2012-13) and former editor of Enterprise & Society Ken Lipartito has launched a blog called "In the Age of Trump," styled as "an occasional blog on economics, politics, and culture" and "a first draft of history in the age of Trump." The point of view may be inferred from the site's logo, which is an image of the sinking Titanic. Lipartito, who teaches history at Florida International University in Miami ("the future Atlantis"), promises to continue writing the blog "as long as I can keep treading water."
    The initial post, "An Economic History of Trumpism," provides a link to an extended essay posted on SSRN. A second essay (in two parts), is titled "Capitalism and Slavery Redux" and comments on recent publications and discussion on that topic.

Monday, December 19, 2016

CFP: EABH Workshop: “Appraisal in the Digital Era”

The European Association for Banking and Financial History (EABH), in co-operation with BNP Paribas and Banque Lombard Odier, will hold a workshop on "Appraisal in the Digital Era" on June 22, 2017, in Paris, France.
     The one-day workshop is designed for archivists, records managers, and information professionals of financial and public institutions, as well as researchers and users of digital archival material. According to the organizers,
The amount of official and unofficial digital records that financial and public organisations produce on a daily basis is monumental. Accurate appraisal of digital records is an integral part of modern day business in general - not only for financial institutions. Accessibility, timely retrieval of crucial documents, contextual understanding and cost savings are only some of the benefits of high quality appraisal policies. 
The workshop committee (Carmen Hofmann [EABH], Roger Nougaret [BNP Paribas], Hrvoje Stancic [University of Zagreb], Ines van Dijk [De Nederlandsche Bank], and Gabriella Massaglia [EABH]) invites proposals from record managers, archivists, tool developers and information professionals. Submissions describing goals, results and evaluations of ongoing or already implemented projects in the field are particularly welcome. Submissions (a short CV and an abstract of around 500 words) should be sent to no later than January 15, 2017
     Please consult the full call for papers for additional information.

Friday, December 16, 2016

October 2016 Special Issue of BHR on Agriculture: Open Access

The October 2016 number of the Business History Review is a special issue on "Food and Agriculture." The contents can currently be accessed without subscription or charge on the Cambridge University Press BHR site. Articles include
Emily Pawley, "Cataloging Nature: Standardizing Fruit Varieties in the United States, 1800–1860"
Casey Marina Lurtz, "Developing the Mexican Countryside: The Department of Fomento's Social Project of Modernization"
Teresa da Silva Lopes, "Building Brand Reputation through Third-Party Endorsement: Fair Trade in British Chocolate"
Ai Hisano, "The Rise of Synthetic Colors in the American Food Industry, 1870–1940"
Sarah Milov, "Promoting Agriculture: Farmers, the State, and Checkoff Marketing, 1935–2005"
Shane Hamilton, "Revisiting the History of Agribusiness"
Readers will also be interested to know that the BHR has set up a series of "online collections," comprising key articles from various issues on specific topics: Economic History, Emerging Markets, Editors' Picks for 2016, and (forthcoming) Management and Strategy. All of these essays can be freely accessed.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

The BHC at OAH 2017

The 2017 meeting of the Organization of American Historians (OAH) will take place in New Orleans, Louisiana, on April 6-9. The theme of the meeting is "Circulation."
    The Business History Conference is sponsoring several sessions at the meeting. The early version of the OAH program on-line does not allow linking, but the list can be found by selecting "Business and Economy" on the By Interest" section of the program page. BHC-related sessions are:
"New Perspectives on Advertising History"
"Pimps, Rebels, and 'Fancy Girls': Troubled Circulations in the North American Slave Trade"
"The Post Office Department and the Shaping of American Life"
"Captive Minds and Footloose Capital: Making Transnational Capitalism in Postwar America"
"Grades of Purity: Agricultural Marketing and Circulating Commodities"
Readers might also be particularly interested in "Economic Circulations in the Early American Republic," which can be found in the "Early America" section. The program contains many other sessions and individual papers of interest; we will highlight those in a later post. 

Monday, December 12, 2016

CFP: Business History Special Issue on Secondhand Economies

For a special issue of Business History, original research papers are invited that focus on changing secondhand markets and economies involving a variety of commodities ranging from used clothing, pre-owned cars, and antiquities to recycled ships and electronic waste. The guest editors, Karen Tranberg Hansen, Professor Emerita, Department of Anthropology, Northwestern University, and Jennifer Le Zotte, Lecturer, Department of History, University of Nevada, Reno, write:
This special issue aims to present the best of ongoing interdisciplinary scholarship on historical and contemporary processes involved in the flow of secondhand objects and materials, their transformations and revaluations, and the persons, policies, and markets involved with them.  Recent concerns with the speed and effects of commodity flows have brought fresh scholarly attention to secondhand economies both in terms of their history and of their contemporary significance for livelihoods and sustainability.  Since the rise of global capitalism has markedly altered the functions of secondhand exchanges, content will be limited to the mid-nineteenth century to the present.
Articles should be based on original research and/or innovative analysis and should not be under consideration by another journal. All articles should be submitted by January 15, 2017, via ScholarOne using the link and clearly indicating that they are for the Special Issue on "Changing Secondhand Economies."
    For a fuller discussion of relevant topics, please see the full call for papers.

Friday, December 9, 2016

CFP: Association of Business Historians, 2017

The Association of Business Historians (ABH) will hold its next annual meeting in Glasgow, Scotland, on June 29-July 1, 2017. The theme of the conference will be "The Human Factor in Business History." According to the call for papers:
Understanding the strategy and structure of firms forms a vital part of the discipline of business history, as does the deployment of essential tools such as typologies of company forms, theories of the firm and firm growth and so on. But it is vital, too, for business historians to recognise and investigate those who stand at the heart of business history: the people who create firms, those who own them and those who work for them in various capacities. . . .  Just as important, though, is the human impact of the firm and other organisations that employ people, not least because even today those employed spend a very large proportion of their time in the workplace. . . .  The firm is therefore a place not only for work, which itself involves considerable human interaction, but also a focus for social life and identity.
For a more extended discussion of the theme and possible papers topics, please see the full call for papers. The organizers will also consider proposals on toics not directly related to the conference theme.
     The program committee will consider both individual papers and entire panels. Individual paper proposals should include a one-page (up to 300 word) abstract and one-page curriculum vitae (CV). Panel proposals should include a cover letter stating the rationale for the panel and the name of its contact person; one-page (300 word) abstract and author’s CV for each paper; and a list of preferred panel chairs and commentators with contact information. The deadline for submissions is January 15 20, 2017.
     Proposals for the conference should come through the ABH online submission platform.
     The call for papers also contains information about the Coleman Prize and the Tony Slaven Workshop.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Teaching Position, December 15 Deadline: History of Capitalism at the University of Delaware

The Department of History at the University of Delaware invites applications for a full-time, tenure-track assistant professor in the history of capitalism in North America in the “Long Nineteenth Century.” According to the job announcement:
We seek a scholar of exceptional promise prepared to teach both graduate and undergraduate courses. Possible areas of specialization include race and ethnicity, business, political economy, and consumer culture. Preferred candidates will have research and teaching interests that complement one or more of the following graduate and undergraduate initiatives at the University of Delaware: (a) the Hagley Program in Capitalism, Technology, and Culture, (b) environmental humanities, (c) African American history and public humanities, and (d) material culture studies. Applicants whose work involves a transnational perspective are especially welcome. This position is also part of a commitment by the department and the College of Arts and Sciences to strengthening ties to the Hagley Museum and Library and to UD’s Lerner College of Business and Economics. Because of the history department’s long association with the Hagley Museum and Library, the successful candidate will have opportunities to work in Hagley’s research collections and to participate in its academic programs.
    The start date for this position is September 1, 2017. Candidates are expected to have the Ph.D. in hand by August 1, 2017.
    Applicants should submit a letter of application, a current curriculum vitae, and three letters of recommendation. Additional application materials may be requested by the committee at a later point. For full consideration, please submit an application by December 15, 2016. Inquiries may be sent to Professor David Suisman, Search Committee Chair, Application materials will not be accepted through personal correspondence with the Chair or other committee members.
     The university is using Interfolio's ByCommittee to conduct this search. Applicants to this position should visit for a complete job description and application instructions.

Monday, December 5, 2016

CFP: “Techniques of the Corporation”

The conference "Techniques of the Corporation" will take place on May 4-6, 2017, at the University of Toronto, hosted by the university's Technoscience Research Unit.  The call for papers explains:
Over the last 150 years, corporations, like universities and laboratories, have generated an abundance of knowledge-making techniques. . . . As dominant forms of the last century, corporations are assembled with instruments, infrastructures, and interventions that arrange and rearrange the dynamics of capitalism. These techniques of the corporation have filtered into our daily lives, influencing everyday understandings of self, inequality, environment, and society. . . . This conference aims to foster a timely conversation between Science and Technology Studies (STS) approaches and the recent histories of capitalism. . . . The conference takes as its starting place North American corporations with the understanding that corporations are multinational forms with complex transnational histories. Building from the recent history of capitalism, we attend to the entangled genealogies of corporations with slavery, exploitation, environmental destruction, colonialism, and inequality. . . . [the] event will be an intimate multi-day conversation between established and emerging scholars in the fields of STS, history of science, and the history of capitalism. 
"Techniques of the Corporation" will be headlined by keynote speaker Joseph Dumit, and features invited talks by Dan Bouk, Elspeth Brown, Deborah Cowen, Orit Halpern, Louis Hyman, Michelle Murphy, Martha Poon, and Elise Thorburn. Both emerging and established scholars in diverse fields (including business history; labour history; anthropology; geography; economic sociology; media studies; critical race studies; architecture studies; feminist and sexuality studies; environmental studies; and cultural studies) to explore the techniques, epistemologies, and imaginaries of corporations. For a more extended description of the conference goals, please see the full call for papers.
      In addition to traditional papers, the conference encourages creative methods to query corporate forms, including art installations, videos, interactive multimedia projects, and role-playing games.  Abstracts of no more than 300 words and a CV should be submitted to the conference organizers (Justin Douglas, Bretton Fosbrook, Kira Lussier, and Michelle Murphy) at by January 13, 2017.

Friday, December 2, 2016

CFP: Economic History Association 2017

The Economic History Association (EHA) will hold its 2017 annual meeting in San Jose, California, on September 15-17. The theme of the meeting will be "Macroeconomic Regimes and Policies: The Quest for Economic and Financial Stability and Growth." According to the call for papers:
Topics of interest are wide ranging including: the history and origins of monetary, fiscal and financial institutions and markets; monetary and exchange rate regimes (specie, fiat); fiscal regimes; the history of central banks and monetary policy; and the relationship between macroeconomic regimes and policy in causing or correcting major economic and financial disturbances (depressions, recessions, inflations, deflations and financial crises) as well as influencing economic growth. The studies could be comparative, country specific or global.
The program committee welcomes submissions on all subjects in economic history, though some preference will be given to papers that fit the theme of the conference. Papers should be submitted individually, but authors may suggest to the Committee that three particular papers fit well together in a panel. Papers should in all cases be works in progress rather than accepted or published work.  Individuals who presented or co-authored a paper given at the 2016 meeting are not eligible for inclusion in the 2017 program.
     Papers and session proposals should be submitted online, following the link on the meeting website. For more details about submissions, please consult the full call for papers. The deadline for submissions is January 31, 2017.