Friday, November 24, 2017

Thanksgiving and Marketing

As we in the United States celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday, marketing professor Samantha Cross discusses "How Advertising Shaped Thanksgiving as We Know It" in "The Conversation." She and her colleagues studied 99 years of Thanksgiving ads in Good Housekeeping magazine to find out how the success of marketing campaigns accounts for our near-universal association of turkey, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie with the holiday.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Podcasts of Interest: “Doing History” on the Revolutionary Economy

The Doing History podcast, edited by Liz Covart and recently brought under the auspices of the Omohundro Institute for Early American History and Culture (OIEAHC), has been producing high-quality material for several years now. Recent episodes have been focusing on the American Revolution, and the last three topics may be of particular interest to economic and business historians working in the colonial America field:
  • The Revolutionary Economy, featuring Serena Zabin of Carleton College, author of Dangerous Economies: Status and Commerce in Imperial New York (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2009)
  • The Politics of Tea, featuring Jane Merritt of Old Dominion University, author of The Trouble with Tea: The Politics of Consumption in the Eighteenth-Century Global Economy (Johns Hopkins University Press)
  • Smuggling and the American Revolution, with guests including Wim Klooster, Fabricio Prado, and Christian Koot
In addition to links provided with each episode, additional materials are available through the OI Reader, available in both Apple and Android versions.

Monday, November 20, 2017

CFP: Business and the Law Workshop

The University of Bayreuth is holding a workshop on "Business and the Law: Historical Perspectives on Legal Change," which will take place on June 21-23, 2018. According to the organizers,
The aim of the workshop is to understand legal change as a change in routines that affected the ways in which businesses and courts interpreted the "rules of the game." Such a change could manifest itself in written law or lead to a fundamentally different way of interpreting it. In both cases the focus needs to be on economic and legal practices, i.e. on the question what the law meant in its historical context and how it actually affected economic actions. We are looking for theoretical work as well as empirical case studies that help to shed light on the historical transformations of legal institutions at the intersection of businesses and the law.
Travel costs and accommodation will be covered for the presenters of all accepted papers. The workshop will be organized as a paper development workshop. There will be only a small number of individual presentations during the workshop, intended to provide an overview to the different fields of interest. All workshop participants are expected to read the papers that will be pre-circulated. Some of the papers will be published in a special issue on "Business and the Law," edited by the workshop organizers, in Management and Organizational History.
    Proposals should be sent as a single document (PDF) by December 31, 2017. The document should include the name, institutional affiliation, and contact information of those submitting; a 500-800 word abstract; and a one-page CV.
   For a fuller explanation of the Workshop's aims and discussion of the topic, please see the full call for papers.

Friday, November 17, 2017

E&S Announces Annual 5th Issue: Call for Guest Editors for “Histories of Business and Inequality”

The editors of the BHC journal Enterprise & Society have announced a new initiative to expand the content of the journal by publishing an annual 5th issue on a special topic, to be delivered online. According to Andrew Popp, Enterprise & Society editor, the goal of the 5th issue is "to significantly enhance the reach and impact of business history by creating a space in which to explore inter-disciplinary dialogue and address very large scale problems in ways that are beyond the scope of conventional original research articles and typical thematically focused special issues." Here is more from the general announcement on the Cambridge University Press website:
The new fifth issue, which will be published online, will be a special issue unlike most others. Rather than seeking original research articles the aim is to generate bold, ambitious, synthetic articles that will spark debate, inspire future lines of work, and broaden audiences. Each issue will focus either on the potential intersections of business history and another field, both within and beyond history, or on problems of the greatest magnitude. . . .
     The new fifth issue will also differ from most Special Issues in other ways. We will not seek theme proposals. Rather, the editorial team at Enterprise and Society will decide themes. Teams of potential guest editors will then be invited to bid to take each theme forward to publication. Space and support will be given for guest editors to organize a supporting workshop at the Annual Meeting of the Business History Conference, on whose behalf Enterprise and Society is published.
All articles accepted for publication in Special Issues will be subject to the same peer review and editorial processes as articles appearing in the regular print issues. They will also be produced and formatted to identical standards as those in regular print issues.
     The journal has now issued a call for guest editors to oversee the first issue in a new initiative; the topic will be "Histories of Business and Inequality." Expressions of interest from potential editorial teams will be assessed according to both the composition of the editorial team and how they propose to shape and address the chosen theme. Editorial teams must comprise a minimum of two individuals and must be interdisciplinary. Interdisciplinarity is defined as at least one member from beyond the field of business history, broadly defined. Team members may be drawn from the wider field of history or other cognate fields of study. International teams will be viewed favorably, as will teams combining established and emerging scholars. For more details about the theme and the submission and publication processes, please see the full call for papers.
     Proposals, consisting of a description of the proposed editorial team, a document outlining how the theme will be shaped and addressed, and CVs for all team members, should be sent to editor-in-chief Andrew Popp by January 31, 2018, at andrew.popp@liverpool.ac.uk. Enquiries from prospective teams are welcome and can be sent to the same email address.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

CFP: EBHA 2018

The European Business History Association (EBHA) will hold its next annual conference on September 6-8, 2018, in Ancona, Italy, hosted by the Università Politecnica delle Marche. The theme of the meeting will be "The Firm and The Sea: Chains, Flows and Connections."
    According to the call for papers,
The sea - whether considered as open ocean or as a mass of water bordered by land masses - is an enormous economic resource for mankind. Not only is it the principal way of transportation for goods and humans but it’s also a formidable source of food. Since we want to link the sea with the business unit (the firm, as well as other organizational units like clusters, networks and global value chains) the focus of the next EBHA conference will be on two units of analysis that are both extremely relevant for the sea as well as economic resources - ships and harbors. 
Topics without ties to the sea or the firm will be given consideration, "provided that the proposal demonstrates originality and that [the EBHA meeting] could be a useful place for further reflection."
Formats other than traditional papers, such as panels and roundtables, poster sessions for Ph.D. students, workshops aiming to start collaborative projects, and "toolkit sessions," are also welcome; such proposals should be directed to the paper committee as well.
     For much more detail about the conference theme, and information about the submission process, please see the full call for papers. The submission deadline is January 15, 2018. Questions may be directed to Veronica Binda or Roberto Giulianelli at scientific.ebha18@univpm.it.

Monday, November 13, 2017

New Books of Interest: Fall 2017 Edition

New and forthcoming books of interest to business and economic historians, October-December 2017 (and a few earlier titles we missed):
Leslie Berlin, Troublemakers: Silicon Valley's Coming of Age (Simon & Schuster, November 2017)

Regina Lee Blaszczyk, Fashionability: Abraham Moon and the Creation of British Cloth for the Global Market (Manchester University Press, October 2017)

Regina Lee Blaszczyk and Uwe Spiekermann, eds., Bright Modernity: Color, Commerce, and Consumer Culture (Palgrave, October 2017)

Michael R. Cohen, Cotton Capitalists: American Jewish Entrepreneurship in the Reconstruction Era (NYU Press, December 2017)

Pierre-Yves Donzé and Rika Fujioka, eds., Global Luxury: Organizational Change and Emerging Markets since the 1970s (Palgrave, October 2017)

Anne Fleming, City of Debtors: A Century of Fringe Finance (Harvard University Press, December 2017)

Sarah Ruth Hammond, God's Businessmen: Entrepreneurial Evangelicals in Depression and War [ed. Darren Dochuk] (University of Chicago Press, November 2017)

Douglas A. Irwin, Clashing over Commerce: A History of US Trade Policy (University of Chicago Press, November 2017)

Alice Kessler-Harris and Maurizio Vaudagna, eds., Democracy and the Welfare State: The Two Wests in the Age of Austerity (Columbia University Press, October 2017)

Colleen E. Kriger, Making Money: Life, Death, and Early Modern Trade on Africa’s Guinea Coast
(Ohio University Press, October 2017)

David Kynaston, Till Time's Last Sand: A History of the Bank of England, 1694-2013 (Bloomsbury Publishing, November 2017)

Naomi R. Lamoreaux and John Joseph Wallis, eds., Organizations, Civil Society, and the Roots of Development (University of Chicago Press, December 2017)

Qian Lu, From Partisan Banking to Open Access: The Emergence of Free Banking in Early Nineteenth Century Massachusetts (Palgrave, October 2017)

Bianca Murillo, Market Encounters: Consumer Cultures in Twentieth-Century Ghana (Ohio University Press, October 2016)

William A. Pettigrew and David Chan Smith, eds., A History of Socially Responsible Business, c. 1600-1950 (Palgrave, October 2017)

Jamie L. Pietruska, Looking Forward: Prediction and Uncertainty in Modern America (University of Chicago Press, December 2017)

Mark H. Rose and Roger Biles, eds., The President and American Capitalism since 1945 (University Press of Florida, November 2017)

E. Michael Rosser and Diane M. Sanders, A History of Mortgage Banking in the West: Financing America's Dreams (University Press of Colorado, October 2017)

Laura Philips Sawyer, American Fair Trade: Proprietary Capitalism, Corporatism, and the 'New Competition,' 1890–1940 (Cambridge University Press, December 2017)

Peter Scott, The Market Makers: Creating Mass Markets for Consumer Durables in Inter-war Britain (Oxford University Press, November 2017)

Jeffrey Sklansky, Sovereign of the Market: The Money Question in Early America (University of Chicago Press, November 2017)

Harry S. Stout, American Aristocrats: A Family, a Fortune, and the Making of American Capitalism  (Basic Books, November 2017)

Jim Tomlinson, Managing the Economy, Managing the People: Narratives of Economic Life in Britain from Beveridge to Brexit (Oxford University Press, December 2017)

Emily E. LB. Twarog, Politics of the Pantry: Housewives, Food, and Consumer Protest in Twentieth-Century America (Oxford University Press, October 2017)

Andrew Urban, Brokering Servitude: Migration and the Politics of Domestic Labor during the Long Nineteenth Century (NYU Press, December 2017)

Grietjie Verhoef, The History of Business in Africa: Complex Discontinuity to Emerging Markets (Springer, October 2017)

Zhang Yingyu, The Book of Swindles: Selections from a Late Ming Collection, trans. Christopher Rea and Bruce Rusk (Columbia University Press, September 2017)

Jeffrey R. Yost, Making IT Work: A History of the Computer Services Industry (MIT Press, September 2017)

Friday, November 10, 2017

CFP: Economic History Association, 2018

The next annual meeting of the Economic History Association (EHA) will take place in Montreal, Canada, on September 7-9, 2018. The theme for EHA 2018 is “‘From Plague, Famine, and War, Save us, O Lord’: Shocks and Disasters in Economic History.” As the call for papers explains:
The age-old prayer refers to disasters that have blighted lives throughout history. The theme is an invitation for papers on the broader economic-historical aspects of such crises—environ-mental, climatic, humanitarian, economic, and other. . . . The theme of the 2018 meetings embraces topics such as the economic causes and consequences of wars and of other disasters; comparative and interdisciplinary analyses of famines and plagues from classical antiquity to modern times; analyses of the institutions that attempted to counter them; of their proximate and remoter causes (e.g. climate change); of their changing incidence over time; of the welfare gains from their eradication; and of their short- and long-run economic, demographic, and political consequences.
The program committee will consider submissions on all topics in economic history, though some preference will be given to papers related to the conference theme.
    Proposals should be submitted using the EHA's online system (now open), and must be received by January 31, 2018. For additional information about submitting materials for EHA prizes and for the dissertation session, please see the full call for papers.


Monday, November 6, 2017

WEHC 2018: Accepted Panels Update and Call for Dissertations

The next World Economic History Congress (WEHC) will be held in Boston, Massachusetts, on July 29-August 3, 2018. Panel proposals accepted during the second round are now online and are listed together with the first-round proposals. Panels from either round that still have open calls for papers are indicated in the listing.
   Students who have completed their dissertations between June 2014 and August 2017 are encouraged to submit their theses for the dissertation panel/competition. Dissertations will be shortlisted and considered for awards in three separate categories: Ancient/medieval/early modern period; the long 19th century; and the 20th century. The three finalists in each category will be invited to present their work in the dissertation panel. Theses written in languages other than English will also be considered, although the abstract needs to be in English. The deadline for electronic submissions of the theses, along with information on past and current affiliation of the student, advisor, 500-word abstract, and any other pertinent information is December 1, 2017. All materials should be sent by email to: iehaofficial@gmail.com.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Fellowships: Research Opportunities at the Smithsonian’s Lemelson Center

Through its fellowships and travel grants, the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation supports research projects that present creative approaches to the study of invention and innovation in American society. Projects may include (but are not limited to) historical research and documentation projects resulting in dissertations, publications, exhibitions, educational initiatives, documentary films, or other multimedia products. A comprehensive catalog of objects, manuscripts, images, and research materials held by the National Museum of American History (and other Smithsonian units) is available on the Smithsonian website.
    The Lemelson Center invites applications covering a broad spectrum of research topics in the history of technology, invention, and innovation, but especially encourages project proposals whose topics align with one (or more) of the Lemelson Center’s strategic research and programmatic areas, including: (1) the cultivation and training of inventors and innovators; (2) innovation in sports and sports technology; (3) the role of risk and failure in invention and innovation; (4) the role of venture capitalists and other intermediaries (e.g. patent attorneys, incubators, designers, etc) in the process of innovation; or (5) projects that illuminate inventors from diverse backgrounds or any inventions and technologies associated with groups (e.g. women, minorities, disabled, LGBTQ, etc.) that are traditionally under-represented in the historical record.
    The Arthur Molella Distinguished Fellowship supports the work of an experienced author or senior scholar (at the associate/full professor level or equivalent) from the history of technology, science and technology studies, business history, museum studies, STEAM education, or an allied field. The specific arrangement is flexible: the Molella Fellow may use the funds as a sabbatical supplement; for several short-duration visits; for a single residency focused on research and writing; or for a series of lectures leading to a major publication. The stipend is $35,000. Funds may be used flexibly to support travel for several short-term visits, living expenses for longer residences up to six months, and related research expenses; dates are flexible.
     The Lemelson Center Fellowship Program annually awards 2 to 3 fellowships to pre-doctoral graduate students, post-doctoral and experienced 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 will be $630/week for pre-doctoral fellows and $925/week for post-doctoral and professional fellows.
    For both these fellowships, researchers may wish to consult with the fellowship coordinator before submitting a proposal – contact historian Eric S. Hintz, Ph.D. at +1 202-633-3734 or hintze@si.edu.
    The Lemelson Center Travel to Collections Award Program annually awards 3 to 4 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. Researchers may wish to consult with the travel award coordinator before submitting a proposal – contact archivist Alison Oswald at +1 202-633-3726 or oswalda@si.edu.
     For application procedures and additional information about these fellowships, please follow the indicated links to the specific award programs on the Lemelson Center website.The application deadline for all the fellowships is December 1, 2017.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Digital Resource: Newberry Collections for the Classroom

The American Express building in Chicago
The Newberry Library has organized hundreds of items among its large holdings into "Collections for the Classroom." Materials are divided by topic (for example, "Commodities and the Transformation of the American Landscape"; "The New Deal in Chicago and the Midwest"), but items may also be browsed alphabetically and can be sorted by date, author, or title. Users can log in to create their own lesson plans by assembling Newberry materials of their choosing; the results will be stored as a unique URL.
     For a full list of the Newberry's many online exhibits and topical digital publications, please see the Newberry website.

Friday, October 27, 2017

CFP: Association of Business Historians 2018

The 2018 Association of Business Historians (ABH) annual conference will be held on June 29-30, 2018, at the Open University Business School in Milton Keynes. The conference theme is "Pluralistic Perspectives of Business History: Gender, Class, Ethnicity, Religion." The conference "aims to explore the impact of gender, social class, ethnicity, and religion on business success, fraud, funding, financial markets, corporate governance, and corporate social responsibility."
    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, 2018. Conference proposals should come through the online submission platform.
     For a fuller discussion of the meeting's theme, instructions for proposal submissions, and other details, please consult the full call for papers. Questions may be addressed to the local organizers:
dimitris.sotiropoulos@open.ac.uk or Janette.Rutterford@open.ac.uk.
    Doctoral students will also be interested in the Tony Slaven Doctoral Workshop, which will take place in conjunction with the ABH meeting.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Program Available and Registration Open: EABH Workshop on “The Data Dilemma”

The European Association for Banking and Financial History (EABH) is sponsoring a one-day workshop at the Westin Zagreb Hotel in Zagreb, Croatia, on November 10, 2017, on "The Data Dilemma: A Risk or an Asset?" According to the organizers:
The amount of data about the finance sector is growing exponentially and storing it is becoming easier. Businesses are excited about the commercial possibilities of ‘Big Data’; academics are relishing the research potential of deep data archives and regulators are hoping for a fuller view of systemic risk and stability. Will it all turn out well though? The current reality of massive data stores is often no more than massive cost and complexity. The workshop will explore how we got here with data and where we go next. 
The program is available on the EABH website, and registration information is here. The workshop will run in parallel to the international conference "INFuture 2017: Integrating ICT in Society," meeting in Zagreb on November 8-10.


Monday, October 23, 2017

Business History in the Current Common-Place

The latest issue of the online journal Common-Place (issue 17, no. 4) has two pieces of direct interest to business historians. First, in "The Business of Building Books," Paul Erickson explores the value of thinking about books "as objects that were processed, stored, and packaged by industrialists," and that could be used "as payments to workers who labored on their manufacture."
    In the book review section, Courtney Fullilove examines Gergely Baics, Feeding Gotham: The Political Economy of Geography and Food in New York, 1790-1860, in an essay entitled "Slaughterhouse Rules: The Deregulation of Food Markets in Antebellum New York."

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

CFP: EBHS 2018

The 43rd Economic and Business History Society (EBHS) Annual Conference will be held at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland, on May 30-June 2, 2018. The general theme is "Early Modern Origins of Growth and Business." However, proposals for presentations on any aspect of ancient to recent economic, social or business history are welcome, as are proposals for whole panels. Submissions from graduate students and non-academic affiliates are encouraged.
    Proposals should include an abstract of no more than 500 words and contact details. The deadline for submission of proposals is February 15, 2018. Proposals may be submitted through the EBHS website at www.ebhsoc.org (or by email to ebhs2018@ebhsoc.org). Please consult the complete call for papers for more details about the meeting and submission procedures.
    Questions should be addressed to Program Chair Olli Turunen, oturunen@wisc.edu, or EBHS 2018 President Jari Eloranta, elorantaj@appstate.edu.


Monday, October 16, 2017

CFP: Special Issue of Management and Organizational History on “ Making Managers”

The journal Management and Organizational History has issued a call for papers for a special issue on "Making Managers." Guest editors are Rolv Petter Amdam, Mathias Kipping, and Jacqueline McGlade. They state:
The issue intends to fill an important gap in the current literature on the history of management education, which has largely been centered on organizational development narratives, i.e. the rise of business schools, the global spread of the American model, business-based academic disciplines, etc. We therefore invite papers that to chronicle the actual preparation of managers in all types, venues and forms; address questions and perspectives that have not been addressed; and cover geographical areas or industries and activities that are not in focus in the extant literature.
For a much fuller explanation of possible topics and the submission process, please see the journal website. The deadline for submissions is March 31, 2018.


Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Digital Resource: Business History Explorer

Business History Explorer (BHE) is a bibliography covering the history of UK businesses and the industries to which they belong. At the end of 2016 it contained c45,000 entries. Its prime purpose is to assist researchers in locating historical information about specific businesses. The bibliography includes monographs, periodical articles, theses, chapters in multi-author works, unpublished works, and selected product and employment literature. The database is being continuously updated in order to include new publications and to plug gaps in the existing constituency. According to the project website, "Many gaps remain in periodical article coverage and priority is being given in 2017 to addressing this."
    One can search the database to get a sense of the contents without charge, but viewing the results returned requires payment of an annual fee, substantially discounted for BAC members and affiliates.
       The BHE is the successor to Francis Goodall, A Bibliography of British Business Histories, published in 1987. The work in gathering information for the present bibliography has been undertaken by John Orbell with Richard Storey. It is supported by the British Archives Council.


Monday, October 9, 2017

And More Business Historians in the News

News about and by historians of business continues to pop up in the general media. [Note that some of these links may lead to material that is gated, but readers with access to university or public libraries should be able to gain entry.]
In an opinion piece in the wake of the Google employee memo about gender in the industry, Marie Hicks drew on her recent research to write "Women were foundational to the field of computing" for the Washington Post.

Marc Levinson wrote an op-ed in the New York Times on "Can Amazon Be the Next Apple?"

Josh Lauer appeared on NPR's Marketplace, discussing his new book, Creditworthy: A History of Consumer Surveillance and Financial Identity in America.

An essay on the Bank of England blog on Britain's early efforts to finance the First World War, written by Michael Anson, Norma Cohen, Alastair Owens and Daniel Todman, received widespread coverage in the UK press; see, for example, the Financial Times.

Ed Balleisen's Fraud: An American History from Barnum to Madoff continues to attract media attention; see Katherine Epstein, “Deconstructing Fraud,” The American Interest, and Brooke Harrington, “Why Americans Get Conned Again and Again,” The Atlantic. There is also a podcast discussion of the book between Balleisen and David Burch on the latter's podcast site.

Julia Ott wrote an extended review essay of Robert Gordon's The Rise and Fall of American Growth for the online site Public Books.

The Washington Post featured a discussion of the The Negro Motorist Green-Book.

Robert Wright can be found on C-Span talking about Alexander Hamilton's views on the national debt, under the auspices of the Museum of American Finance. 

Noam Maggor's Brahmin Capitalism was reviewed by John Steele Gordon for the Wall Street Journal.

 A large contingent of historians, including Dael Norwood, contributed to a two-part story on WBUR's online site, "Commonwealth," "How Profits From Opium Shaped 19th-Century Boston."

Friday, October 6, 2017

CFP: “Contextualizing Bankruptcy”

The Institut historique allemand in Paris is holding a two-day workshop on March 19-20, 2018, on the subject "Contextualizing Bankruptcy: Publicity, Space and Time (Europe, 17th to 19th c.)." The organizers [Natacha Coquery (LARHRA, Lyon 2, IUF); Jürgen Finger (DHI Paris); Mark Sven Hengerer (LMU Munich)] write in their call for papers:
Although bankruptcy is a rather exceptional situation in the life of a merchant, it has explanatory power for routines of economic stakeholders. Considering the long, non-uniform and unsteady transition from merchant capitalism to industrial and financial capitalism, we suggest to start a dialog between modernistes and contemporanéistes. The workshop focuses on the various forms of contextualizing business failure and puts forward three major research axes: Covering and uncovering/secrecy and publicity; economic space and area of jurisdiction; temporal narratives of (in)solvency.
Those interested in presenting should send an abstract of the presentation (max. 500 words) and a short biographical note (1/2 page) with a list of relevant publications to jfinger@dhi-paris.fr by the deadline of October 31, 2017.
    For a much more extended discussion of the workshop topic, please see the complete call for papers.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Blogs of Interest

A number of history organizations and groups now publish active and informative blogs, which often include material of interest to business and economic historians. A (far from comprehensive) sampling:
American Antiquarian Society: Past Is Present
American Historical Association: AHA Today
Centre for Imperial and Global History, Exeter: Imperial & Global Forum  
Economic History Society: The Long Run
Global Urban History
Hagley Library and Museum: Research and Collection News
Legal History Blog 
National Museum of American History, O Say Can You See? (filtered for business history)
New-York Historical Society: From the Stacks  
Organization of American Historians: Process
Organizational History Network
Society for Historians of the Early Republic (SHEAR): The Panorama
The Junto (early Americanists)
Urban History Association: The Metropole 
In addition, several individual historians manage blogs of interest:
Ed Ayers, et al., Bunk: Rewiring American History
Ken Lipartito, In the Age of Trump
Stephen Mihm blogs regularly at the Bloomberg View
Andrew Smith, The Past Speaks
John Turner, Finance: Past, Present, and Future
Robert E. Wright, Finance: History and Policy

Monday, October 2, 2017

Program Available: Hagley Conference on “Hidden Capitalism”

On November 10, 2017, the Hagley Museum and Library will offer a conference on "Hidden Capitalism: Beyond, Below, and Outside the Visible Market." The conference was initiated by Lisa Jacobson (UC Santa Barbara) and Ken Lipartito (Florida International University); they were joined on the program committee by Roger Horowitz (Hagley Museum and Library) and Wendy Woloson (Rutgers University). Session titles are: "Business in the shadows"; "Liminal spaces and global order";"Capitalisms in collision"; and "Regulating alternative markets."
    For additional information, please contact Carol Lockman at clockman@hagley.org.


Friday, September 29, 2017

Reminder: BHC Doctoral Colloquium Deadline Approaching

The 2018 BHC Doctoral Colloquium in Business History will be held in conjunction with the BHC annual meeting. This prestigious workshop, funded by Cambridge University Press, will take place in Baltimore on Wednesday, April 4, and Thursday, April 5. Typically limited to ten students, the colloquium is open to early stage doctoral candidates pursuing dissertation research within the broad field of business history, from any relevant discipline and from any country. Topics may range from the early modern era to the present, and explore societies across the globe. Participants work intensively with a distinguished group of BHC-affiliated scholars (including at least two BHC officers), discussing dissertation proposals, relevant literatures and research strategies, and career trajectories.
     Applications, due by November 15, 2017 via email to BHC@Hagley.org, should include: a statement of interest; CV; preliminary or final dissertation prospectus (10-15 pages); and a letter of support from the dissertation supervisor (or prospective supervisor). Questions about the colloquium should be sent to its director, Edward Balleisen, eballeis@duke.edu. All participants receive a stipend that partially defrays travel costs to the annual meeting.  Applicants will receive notification of the selection committee’s decisions by December 20, 2017.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Book Reviews of Interest

A selection of recent (ungated) reviews of books in business and economic history:
Charles Thompson reviews Nicolas Barreyre, Gold and Freedom: The Political Economy of Reconstruction, for Reviews in History.

Aaron L. Chin reviews Gautham Rao, National Duties: Custom Houses and the Making of the American State for Common-Place.

John Kampfner reviews David Kynaston, Till Time’s Last Sand: A History of the Bank of England, 1694-2013 for The Guardian.

Bernard Attard reviews Marc Flandreau, Anthropologists in the Stock Exchange: A Financial History of Victorian Science for EH.Net.

Larry Neal reviews Youssef Cassis, Richard S. Grossman, and Catherine R. Schenk, eds., The Oxford Handbook of Banking and Financial History for EH.Net.

Jean-Pierre Dormois reviews Robert Gordon, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, for Books & Ideas.net.

Erik Benson reviews Richard R. John and Kim Phillips-Fein, eds., Capital Gains: Business and Politics in Twentieth-Century America for EH.Net.

David González Agudo reviews Rafael Torres Sánchez, Military Entrepreneurs and the Spanish Contractor State in the Eighteenth Century for EH.Net. The book is also reviewed by Jobie Turner for H-War.

Lynne Kiesling reviews John L. Neufeld, Selling Power: Economics, Policy, and Electric Utilities before 1940 for EH.Net.

Michael Haupert reviews James W. Cortada, All the Facts: A History of Information in the United States since 1870 for EH.Net.

Anne L. Murphy reviews Ranald C. Michie, British Banking: Continuity and Change from 1694 to the Present for EH.Net.

Joshua Friedman reviews Adam Teller and Rebecca Kobrin, eds. Purchasing Power: The Economics of Modern Jewish History for H-Judaic.

Martin Bemman reviews Hartmut Berghoff and Adam Rome, eds., Green Capitalism? Business and the Environment in the Twentieth Century for H-Soz-u-Kult [in German].

Gayle K. Brunelle reviews Jutta Wimmler, The Sun King's Atlantic: Drugs, Demons and Dyestuffs in the Atlantic World, 1640-1730 for H-Atlantic.

Sean Seyer reviews Molly W. Berger, Hotel Dreams: Luxury, Technology, and Urban Ambition in America, 1829-1929 for H-USA.

Nate Holdren reviews Elizabeth Anderson, Private Government: How Employers Rule Our Lives (and Why We Don’t Talk about It), and Chad Pearson, Reform or Repression: Organizing America's Anti-Union Movement for History News Network.

Anthony Swift reviews Robert Rydell, ed., World's Fairs: A Global History of Exhibitions for Reviews in History.

Helen Paul reviews Amy Froide, Silent Partners: Women as Public Investors during Britain’s Financial Revolution, 1690-1750 for Reviews in History.


Monday, September 25, 2017

CFP: Richard Robinson Workshop in Business History 2018

The 3rd biennial Richard Robinson Workshop on Business History will take place at Portland State University on May 24-26, 2018. The theme for the meeting will be "Risk, Honor & Innovation: Imagining New Markets." According to the call for papers:
The market, market-relations, and the marketplace, have become key markers of what is forward-looking and progress-oriented in modern societies. These markers delineated an impersonal sphere of scientific, technical and agentless activities whose workings seemingly lay outside the realm of desires and emotions. Our workshop seeks to break down the divide between the impersonal (effects of technical limits and aggregations of large numbers) and the subjective (articulations of perceptions, fears, and self-regard) in the ways “the market” and “the economy” are conceived. We aim to reconsider market and business activities in light of both the techniques and the emotional vectors that infuse them.
The organizers are looking for "business histories (broadly construed) that tackle this intersection of desire, norms and markets in a variety of ways from all time periods and places," and they particularly encourage "proposals on global, transnational, and non-Western topics and on developments before the twentieth century." For a much fuller discussion of possible topics, please see the full call for papers.
    Paper proposals, consisting of a one-page CV and a 500-word abstract, should be sent to the workshop organizers, Thomas Luckett (Portland State University), Chia Yin Hsu (Portland State University), and Erika Vause (Florida Southern College), at psu.business.history. workshop@gmail.com by November December 15, 2017

Friday, September 22, 2017

Schedules: Fall 2017 Workshops and Seminars of Interest

As the new academic year begins, we once more offer a round-up of ongoing workshops, forums, and discussion groups in business and economic history. Please check each website for more detailed information. Some groups, particularly those in non-US universities, may not yet have posted Fall 2017 information; in those cases, a link to the home site or last available listing is included.
     In addition to their value for those able to participate directly, these groups often maintain mailing lists and sometimes make speakers' papers freely available.
Business History Seminar, Harvard Business School (scroll down)
Business History @ Erasmus Seminars
Center for the History of Business, Technology, and Society (Hagley) Research Seminars
Centre for Business History Seminar, Copenhagen Business School
Columbia University Seminar in Economic History
Economic History Seminar, LSE
Economic History Seminar, Stern School of Business, NYU
Economic History Workshop, Stanford University
Economic and Social History of the Early Modern World, IHR, University of London
Economic and Social History Seminar, Utrecht University (scroll down)
Harvard Economic History Workshop
History and Economics Seminar, Harvard University
International and Global History Forum, Harvard University
Newberry Seminar on the History of Capitalism
Northwestern Economic History Workshop
Paris School of Economics, Economic History Seminar
PEAES Fellows Colloquium and Seminars, Library Company of Philadelphia
Penn Economic History Forum
Political Economy of Modern Capitalism Workshop, Harvard University
Queen's University (Ontario) Economic History Workshop
Queen's University (Belfast) Centre for Economic History Workshop
Seminar on the History of American Capitalism, Johns Hopkins University
Seminars in Economic and Social History, University of Cambridge
Vanderbilt University Economic History Workshop
Von Gremp Workshop in Economic and Entrepreneurial History, UCLA
Washington (D.C.) Area Economic History Seminar
Yale Economic History Workshop
In addition, the following seminars, though not specifically focused on business or economic history, often have papers of interest:
McNeil Center for Early American Studies
Omohundro Institute Colloquium

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

EBHA Summer School

Every other year, the European Business History Association (EBHA) sponsors a Doctoral Summer School; the 2017 edition was held in Ancona, Italy in early September. Adam Nix has written a report about the meetings for the Organizational History Network blog. As he explains,
the school constitutes the EBHA’s main effort in their aim to develop the academic discipline of business history. The school seeks to attract talented junior historians and social scientists to the broad scope of business history, encouraging further study of the history of organizations, markets and the people impacted by them. The school, fundamentally international in nature, has developed a reputation for facilitating long lasting friendships within the field and providing a safe, friendly, but ultimately rigorous atmosphere within which to promote and engage with doctoral research.
Keynote speakers were Franco Amatori (Bocconi University), Harold James (Princeton University), and Grietjie Verhoef (University of Johannesburg); faculty members were Marten Boon (Norwegian University of Science and Technology), Ludovic Cailluet (EDHEC Business School), Andrea Colli (Bocconi University), Abe de Jong (Rotterdam School of Management), Jeffrey Fear (University of Glasgow), Andrea Schneider (Gesellschaft für Unternehmensgeschichte), and Ben Wubs (Erasmus University).
    EBHS president Ludovic Cailluet emphasizes that the school is open to all nationalities, and he encourages North American students to apply when information about the 2019 session becomes available.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Business History/Historians at the 2018 AHA: Program Available

The 2018 annual meeting of the American Historical Association (AHA) will take place in Washington, D.C., on January 4-7. The program has now been posted online at the meeting website.
    The Business History Conference has three sponsored events as an AHA-affiliated society: two sessions and a luncheon:
Session 73: "Ideologies of Industrialization in the Early American Republic"
[No session number]: "Peddling Print in 19th-Century America: Subscription Publishing as a Business Model"
BHC Luncheon: "Race, Ethnicity, and Nationalism: Perspectives from Business History"
In addition, many other sessions feature business history and historians. The AHA program site allows users to search for papers in a variety of ways, including key words; searches on "business" and "capital" return dozens of papers--too many to list here. A few of particular interest:
Session 19: "Knowledge Production and Economic Life in the Long Gilded Age"
Session 150: "Race, Risk, and Capitalism in the Twentieth-Century United States"
Session 159: "Teaching Capitalism"
Session 193: "Records and Revolutions: The Music Industry as an Agent of Change"
Session 228: "Revolutionaries, Refugees, and Smugglers: New Directions in Inter-American Exchanges during the Age of Revolution"
Session 266: "The US Military as an Economic Institution since World War II"
Session 274: "Black Economic Internationalism in the 20th Century"



Friday, September 15, 2017

Research Source: Sarnoff Collection at Hagley Opens

After three years of processing, preserving, and cataloging, Hagley Library announced this week that the contents of the David Sarnoff Library collection are now fully available to the public, including 700 digital images available through the Hagley Digital Archives. The collection includes thousands of linear feet of documents, reports, photographs, films, and publications detailing the rise and fall of the Radio Corporation of America (RCA) and of Sarnoff, its longtime leader.
    In December 2013, Hagley Library was awarded a $291,500 grant by the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) to process and make accessible the collections of the David Sarnoff Library. Employing two project archivists, Daniel Michelson and Kenneth Cleary, a number of graduate assistants and interns from the University of Delaware, and occupying a number of its library staff, Hagley completed the David Sarnoff Library Processing Project in May 2017.
    “Hagley is proud of its work to preserve this collection documenting an iconic and innovative American business and the man who led that business for multiple decades,” said Erik Rau, director of library services at Hagley. “The collection includes materials donated by more than one hundred individuals and companies resulting in tens of thousands of individually cataloged reports and publications. We invite the public to explore this incredible collection on our website and at the library.”
    In the early 1960s, Sarnoff opened a library in the David Sarnoff Research Center in Princeton, N.J., to house his private papers and focus on his contributions to the communications and electronics industries; the David Sarnoff Collection (as it was then known) opened in late September 1967. The collection developed further with the acquisition of papers of former RCA executives, scientists, and engineers. However, the Sarnoff Corporation closed the library in 2009, following the onset of the Great Recession. Hagley obtained the Sarnoff Collection records shortly thereafter.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Reminder: BHC 2018 Proposals Due October 2

We remind everyone that the deadline for submissions to the program committee for the 2018 Business History Conference annual meeting is October 2, 2017. The meeting will be held on April 5-7, 2018, in Baltimore, Maryland. The theme will be "Money, Finance, and Capital." For the full call for papers and additional information about paper competitions, the dissertation session, and BHC policies, please see the BHC Annual Meeting website.

Monday, September 11, 2017

CFP: Research Competition on US Scientists and Engineers in World War I

David Hounshell of Carnegie Mellon University, who is serving as chair of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Committee on World War I and the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) /National Research Council (NRC): A Research Competition, sends word of a scholarly competition for younger researchers. He writes,
the committee is pleased to announce an open competition for scholars under the age of 30 to research and write a scholarly paper on a major aspect of how scientists and engineers in the United States were engaged in the World War I effort. The focus, drawing on the NAS’s creation of the National Research Council as a response to the United States’ expected involvement in World War I, is on institutional changes (e.g., the charter of the NRC) and the research enterprise in America. In effect, scholars should look at how the war experience shaped long-term relationships among scientists and engineers and U.S. policymakers regarding national security and public welfare. The winner of the competition will be awarded a $10,000 prize.
Please note that a research grant in the amount of $5,000 will be available to five scholars who submit the most compelling proposals prior to December 1, 2017. Additional information about the competition, as well as the formal request for proposals, may be found on the competition website.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

CFP: SHEAR 2018

The 40th annual meeting of the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic (SHEAR) will take place on July 18-22, 2018, in Cleveland, Ohio. The program committee invites proposals for sessions and papers exploring all aspects of and approaches to the history and culture of the early American republic, c. 1776-1861. Particularly encouraged are submissions that
  • reflect the diversity of the past, but also address the most pressing issues of the present;
  • fill gaps in the historical narrative and/or historiography;
  • focus on pedagogy, public history, digital humanities, and other alternative methodologies;
  • foster audience participation, feature pre-circulated papers, or assess the state of a given field.
Individual proposals will be considered, but the program committee gives priority to proposals for complete panels that include a chair and commentator, though the committee reserves the right to alter and rearrange proposed panels and participants. Proposals should be prepared according to the guidelines available under the “Annual Meeting” menu on the website.

The deadline for submissions is December 1, 2017. Proposals should be submitted by email to the program committee co-chairs at shear2018@gmail.com with “SHEAR2018” in the subject line.

For more details, please see the SHEAR annual meeting website.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Recent Prizes, Awards, and Recognition for Business Historians

A few non-BHC awards and honors for folks in the general field of business history:
The World History Association announced that Jonathan Eacott of the University of California Riverside is the co-winner of its 2017 Bentley Book Prize for Selling Empire: India in the Making of Britain and America, 1600-1830.

The Business History Review Editorial Advisory Board has announced that the winner of the 2016 Henrietta Larson Article Award (for the best article in BHR) is Sean H. Vanatta of Princeton University for "Citibank, Credit Cards, and the Local Politics of National Consumer Finance, 1968–1991" (Spring 2016): 57-80. The Vanatta article is currently free to access on Cambridge Core.

Gautham Rau of American University has been named as the new editor of the Law and History Review.

Kenneth Lipartito has been named to the Board of Editors of the American Historical Review; his primary responsibility is modern U.S. history, and he encourages business historians to submit articles to the AHR, "which is increasingly interested in works dealing with economy, business, and capitalism."

Julia Ott of the New School has been named to the Editorial Board of Dissent. She is also the co-director of the Robert L. Heilbroner Center for Capitalism Studies at the New School, which has just received a million-dollar grant to further its programs.

Jessica Ann Levy of Johns Hopkins University has been awarded the Jefferson Scholar/Hagley Library Fellowship in Business and Politics for 2017, the Center for the History of Business, Technology, and Society at the Hagley Museum and Library has announced. Her dissertation, “From Black Power to Black Empowerment: American Business and the Return of Racial Uplift in the United States and Africa, 1964–1994,” examines the investments made by American business people, government officials, and black entrepreneurs on two continents in promoting free enterprise and reorienting black activism toward the market.

Charles Read, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Cambridge, was awarded both the 2017 Thirsk-Feinstein Dissertation Prize and the T.S. Ashton Prize for the best article in the Economic History Review.

Friday, September 1, 2017

CFP: Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture Annual Conference

The next annual conference of the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture (OIEAHC) will be held in Williamsburg, Virginia, on June 14-17, 2018. The meeting will celebrate the Omohundro Institute’s 75th anniversary and will assess the past, present, and potential futures for the practices of early American History.
     Proposals are welcome that consider all aspects of early American history, which the OIEAHC takes to include "the adjoining oceans and seas and both continents of the Americas and all of the peoples who lived on or traveled across those waters and territories." Proposals that highlight digital tools, methods, and scholarly projects are also encouraged. Please see the call for papers for more details about the four different format options for sessions: research panels, roundtables, posters, and workshops.
      For questions regarding the proposal process,  please contact Martha Howard at Martha.Howard@wm.edu or 757-221-1115. All proposals, which are to be submitted online, are due by September 29, 2017.



Wednesday, August 30, 2017

New Books of Interest, Late Summer Edition

More new and forthcoming books of interest to business and economic historians, July-September 2017 (and a few we missed):
Antonella Alimento and Koen Stapelbroek, eds., The Politics of Commercial Treaties in the Eighteenth Century: Balance of Power, Balance of Trade (Palgrave, September 2017)

Mehrsa Baradaran, The Color of Money: Black Banks and the Racial Wealth Gap (Harvard University Press, September 2017)

David R. Bellhouse, Leases for Lives: Life Contingent Contracts and the Emergence of Actuarial Science in Eighteenth-Century England (Cambridge University Press, July 2017)

Cary Carson, Face Value: The Consumer Revolution and the Colonizing of America (University of Virginia Press, August 2017)

Theodore Catton, Rainy Lake House: Twilight of Empire on the Northern Frontier (Johns Hopkins University Press, August 2017)

Eli Cook, The Pricing of Progress: Economic Indicators and the Capitalization of American Life (Harvard University Press, September 2017)

Aled Davies, The City of London and Social Democracy: The Political Economy of Finance in Post-war Britain (Oxford University Press, August 2017)

Joshua Clark Davis, From Head Shops to Whole Foods: The Rise and Fall of Activist Entrepreneurs (Columbia University Press, August 2017)

Marian Mathison Desrosiers, John Bannister of Newport: The Life and Accounts of a Colonial Merchant (McFarland, July 2017; pb original)

Peter J. Drake, Merchants, Bankers, Governors: British Enterprise in Singapore and Malaya, 1786–1920 (World Scientific, September 2017)

William M. Fowler, Jr., Steam Titans: Cunard, Collins, and the Epic Battle for Commerce on the North Atlantic (Bloomsbury Publishing, August 2017)

Anthony C. Hotson, Respectable Banking: The Search for Stability in London's Banking and Credit Markets since 1695 (Cambridge University Press, July 2017)

Louis Hyman and Joseph Tohill, eds., Shopping for Change: Consumer Activism and the Possibilities of Purchasing Power (Cornell University Press, June 2017)

Josh Lauer, Creditworthy: A History of Consumer Surveillance and Financial Identity in America (Columbia University Press, July 2017)

Kate Moore, The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America's Shining Women (Sourcebooks, May 2017) 

Amanda Porterfield, Darren Grem, and John Corrigan, eds., The Business Turn in American Religious History (Oxford University Press, August 2017)

Gideon Reuveni, Consumer Culture and the Making of Modern Jewish Identity (Cambridge University Press, August 2017)

George Robb, Ladies of the Ticker: Women and Wall Street from the Gilded Age to the Great Depression (University of Illinois Press, September 2017)

Augustus J. Veenendaal, Jr., Smoke over Oklahoma: The Railroad Photographs of Preston George (University of Oklahoma Press, January 2017)

James Wadsworth, ed., The World of Credit in Colonial Massachusetts: James Richards and His Day Book, 1692-1711 (University of Massachusetts Press, September 2017; pb original)

Robert E. Weems, Jr., and Jason Chambers, eds., Building the Black Metropolis: African American Entrepreneurship in Chicago (University of Illinois Press, September 2017)

Richard White, The Republic for Which It Stands: The United States during Reconstruction and the Gilded Age, 1865-1896 (Oxford University Press, September 2017)

Monday, August 28, 2017

CFP: “(En)gendering the Atlantic World”

The faculty and students of the Atlantic World Workshop at New York University announce their upcoming conference, “(En)gendering the Atlantic World,” to be held at NYU on April 20-21, 2018. This conference is open to scholars of all ranks, as well as the public. According to the call for papers,
Over the last five decades, historians have demonstrated that focusing on gender enables a deeper understanding of the diversity of human experience, ideologies, and epistemologies that shaped the Atlantic World. This conference aims to convene emerging and established scholars whose work speaks to gender in the Atlantic World between 1400 and 1800. While we welcome papers on any aspect of gender in the Atlantic World, we particularly encourage those that situate enslaved and Native actors within the broader Atlantic context, as well as those that critically consider imperial structures and the archival challenges they produce. 
Among possible topics of specific interest here are
  • Science, Technology, Medicine, Environment 
  • Commerce, Capitalism, Trade 
  • Cultural Production, Material and Sartorial Culture, Consumption 
  • Race, Slavery, Commodification 
  • Labor and Work 
Individual submissions of papers twenty minutes in length are invited. Proposals should include a 200-300 word prospectus and a one-page CV. Please email submissions to Lila Chambers (lila.chambers@nyu.edu) AND Elise A. Mitchell (elise.mitchell@nyu.edu) by October 15, 2017.

Please see the full call for papers for additional information.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Over the Counter: No. 37

Some sites of interest from around the web:
A conference on "Labour Markets and Living Standards in Britain, 1870-1960" was held at the University of Essex in June. The program, with links to some of the papers, is available online.

ESRICanada has produced an interesting GIS map showing the growth of Canadian railroads, 1835-1995.

And Alisha Knight has posted "Putting Them on the Map: Mapping the Agents of the Colored Co-operative Publishing Company," a GIS visualization that traces this Boston company's expansion across the country.

Noam Maggor discusses "Brahmin Boston and the Politics of Interconnectedness" on the Global Urban History blog, drawing on his recent book, Brahmin Capitalism.

This year's Hakluyt Society symposium, taking place at the University of Kent on September 11-12, 2017, is on the topic "Trading Companies and Travel Literature"; the full program is available on the Society's blog.

On his blog "Marginal Revolution," Tyler Cowan wonders when/if there would have been an industrial revolution in the absence of the British one.

On "Five Books," Peter Temin discusses his selection of favorite books in economic history.

Economic history as a subject has been the topic of several recent essays:
On the "Women's History Network," George Campbell Gosling writes about recent scholarship on "Women and Money."

On "Pro-Market," the blog of the Stigler Center at the University of Chicago, Prateek Raj considers "How Markets in Europe Opened Up as Guild Monopolies Declined in the Sixteenth Century."

In a well-illustrated Bloomberg article, "Inside the Vault with Canada's Oldest Banking Secrets," Doug Alexander interviews Bank of Montreal archivist Yolaine Toussaint about the archives' holdings.

In his blog, Nuno Palma considers "How important was colonial trade for the rise of Europe?" [There is also an audio discussion with "Economics Detective Radio" here.]

Duke University's Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library has announced the acquisition of a collection of marketing and promotional posters directed at African Americans, 1967-1984. [Note: the collection is not yet digitized.]

The American Philosophical Society has digitized Benjamin Franklin's Post Office account book, 1748-1752.

A number of journals have recently published special issues and sections of interest, some of it open access, at least temporarily:
Articles in the latest issue of Financial History Review, on "The Financial and Monetary History of South-East Europe," are temporarily open access.

Several essays in the Winter 2016 issue of the Business History Review are temporarily open access, including a special section on Management Consulting, introduced by Christopher McKenna. And the Summer 2017 issue makes available Jeff Fear's memorialization of Christopher Kobrak.

And, although not freely available, the recent issue of Business History (vol. 58, no. 8) is a special issue on the "Narrative Turn and Business History," including essays by Pamela Walker Laird and Andrew Popp and Susanna Fellman.

Similarly, the May 2017 issue of Continuity and Change is a special number on "Merchants and Commercial Conflicts in Europe, 1250–1600." It is not open access. Many readers will be able to access these materials through institutional subscriptions.