Friday, March 31, 2017

CFP: “Money, Power and Print,” 2018 Colloquium

Hogarth, "Emblematical print of the South Sea," from <em>Hogarth Restored: The Whole Works of the celebrated William Hogarth, re-engraved by Thomas Cook (1812)</em>
The "Money, Power and Print" group will hold its eighth biennial colloquium in Siegen, Germany, on June 7-9, 2018. The group began as an association of scholars interested in interdisciplinary studies of contemporary attitudes toward the "financial revolution" in early-modern Britain, specifically the rise of banks, paper money, joint-stock corporations, stock markets, and public debt. Over time, its focus has gradually evolved and the interest now is on how those practices developed across early modern Europe.
According to the organizers of the colloquium:
Papers will be distributed in advance and presented in two-hour sessions at which all colloquium participants are present. Presenters will have five minutes to summarize their paper. The remainder of each session will be given over to questions and discussion, in which the goal is to enrich our mutual understanding by eliciting insights from all of the disciplines represented at the table. Authors are therefore expected to write for a non-specialist audience, avoiding jargon, making concepts from their own discipline readily accessible to all those present, seeking to identify areas of general interest, and focusing on questions on which scholars of various disciplines will have something to contribute. Graduate students and emerging scholars are particularly encouraged to submit proposals.
Initial expressions of interest of 250 words or fewer are due no later than April 15, 2017. For more details, please consult the full call for papers.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

New Books in Business and Economic History: Pre-Meeting Edition

In the run-up to this week's BHC meeting, new March and April books, plus a few we missed:

Hannah Barker, Family and Business during the Industrial Revolution (Oxford University Press, March 2017)

Hartmut Berghoff and Adam Rome, eds., Green Capitalism: Business and the Environment in the Twentieth Century (University of Pennsylvania Press, April 2017)

Daina Ramey Berry, The Price for Their Pound of Flesh: The Value of the Enslaved from Womb to Grave in the Building of a Nation (Beacon Press, January 2017)

Fahad Ahmad Bishara, A Sea of Debt: Law and Economic Life in the Western Indian Ocean, 1780–1950 (Cambridge University Press, March 2017)

Paul Cheney, Cul de Sac: Patrimony, Capitalism, and Slavery in French Saint-Domingue (University of Chicago Press, February 2017)

Patrick Fridenson and Kikkawa Takeo, eds., Ethical Capitalism: Shibusawa Eiichi and Business Leadership in Global Perspective (University of Toronto Press, March 2017)

Peter James Hudson, Bankers and Empire: How Wall Street Colonized the Caribbean (University of Chicago Press, April 2017)

Harold A. Innis, Essays in Canadian Economic History, ed. Mary Q. Innis (University of Toronto Press, March 2017)

Sharon McConnell-Sidorick, Silk Stockings and Socialism: Philadelphia's Radical Hosiery Workers from the Jazz Age to the New Deal (University of North Carolina Press, April 2017)

Sharon Ann Murphy, Other People's Money: How Banking Worked in the Early American Republic
(Johns Hopkins University Press, February 2017)

Kim Phillips-Fein, Fear City: New York's Fiscal Crisis and the Rise of Austerity Politics (Macmillan, April 2017)

Steven Press, Rogue Empires: Contracts and Conmen in Europe’s Scramble for Africa (Harvard University Press, April 2017)

Benjamin C. Waterhouse, The Land of Enterprise: A Business History of the United States (Simon & Schuster, April 2017)

Monday, March 27, 2017

Conference Program: Maintainers II

The Maintainers is a global, interdisciplinary research network whose members share an interest in the concepts of maintenance, infrastructure, repair, and the myriad forms of labor and expertise that sustain the human-built world. The group is holding its second conference, “The Maintainers II: Labor, Technology, and Social Orders,” to be hosted at Stevens Institute of Technology on April 6-9, 2017. The program is now available.
    The group also runs an occasional blog and has a mailing list to which those interested can subscribe; they also have a Twitter account. Questions may be addressed to Lee Vinsel at

Friday, March 24, 2017

BHC 2017 Meets in Denver Next Week

The Business History Conference (BHC) is holding its 2017 meeting in Denver, Colorado, on March 30-April 1. The final version of the program is now available on the BHC website, including links to abstracts and a few full papers. Special sessions include an opening plenary on Thursday evening, on "The Cultures of a Business Civilization"; another on Friday afternoon, "Keywords in American Economic and Business History"; and the Krooss Dissertation plenary, on Saturday evening.
    In addition, the BHC hosts a number of pre-meeting activities, including two workshops, a paper development workshop sponsored by the Copenhagen Business School, and the Doctoral Colloquium.
    Advance on-line registration has closed, but attendees may register for the meeting itself in person.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

CFP: BHC 2018 Meeting

The Business History Conference will hold its 2018 meeting on April 5-7 in Baltimore, Maryland. The theme of the meeting will be "Money, Finance, and Capital." The program committee--comprising David Sicilia (chair), Christy Ford Chapin, Per Hansen, Naomi Lamoreaux, Rory Miller, Julia Ott, and Mary O’Sullivan (BHC president)--explains:
Historians who want to write compelling histories of capitalism must grapple with the manifold roles that money, finance, and capital have played in political, economic, social and cultural dynamics. Yet, for many years, the abstruse and elusive character of these phenomena encouraged many historians of economic life to maintain a safe distance from them. Of course, there have always been some historians willing to figure out where money, finance, and capital fit into broader histories of our societies. Still, much of what we know about currency and credit, investment and profit, bonds and futures results from highly specialized research whose technical quality reinforces the enigmatic character of these subjects. . . . The theme of the 2018 BHC conference is designed to encourage contributions from a variety of approaches to historical research on the themes of money, finance, and capital, covering a broad range of periods and geographies.
    While proposals on the theme are encouraged, papers addressing all other topics will receive equal consideration by the program committee in accordance with BHC policy. The program committee will consider both individual papers and entire panels. Individual paper proposals should include a one-page (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. To submit a proposal go to and click on the link Submit a Paper/Panel Proposal.
     The 2018 call for papers also includes information about applying for the K. Austin Kerr Prize and the Herman E. Krooss Prize. The deadline for all proposals is October 2, 2017.
    The BHC Doctoral Colloquium in Business History will be held in conjunction with the BHC annual meeting. Funded by Cambridge University Press, the 2018 colloquium 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. Applications, due by November 15, 2017 via email to, 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, All participants receive a stipend that partially defrays travel costs to the annual meeting. 
    For a fuller discussion of the meeting theme, suitable topics, and prize and colloquium guidelines, please see the full call for papers. General questions regarding the BHC’s 2018 annual meeting may be sent to Secretary-Treasurer Roger Horowitz,

Monday, March 20, 2017

Deadline Reminder: Special Issue CFP: “Indian Business in the Global World”

Business History has issued a call for papers for a special volume on "Indian Business in the Global World." According to guest editors Swapnesh Masrani, School of Management, University of Stirling, and Carlo Morelli, School of Social Sciences, University of Dundee:
Indian business history remains a largely unexplored area of research for a European and North American academic audience. Hitherto Indian business history has largely been addressed within a dichotomy of its relationship to the rise of the domestic economic industrialization or alternatively within a context of subordination to, and exploitation by, western multinationals. Thus the relationship between indigenous development and Indian firms’ integration and growth within a wider world economy has been paid little attention. This call . . . seeks to place the development of Indian business in its wider relationships to both the Indian domestic economy and the world economy.
For a fuller discussion of the aims of this special issue, please see the full call for papers.
     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 March 31, 2017. Submission instructions are available on the journal website. Questions may be directed to Swapnesh Masrani or Carlo Morelli.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Over the Counter: Issue No. 34

Items of interest from around the web:
The corporate archives of Woolworth's UK have been donated to the University of Reading Archives at the University's Museum of English Rural Life (MERL). Following preservation work and cataloguing, the collection will soon be accessible to researchers.

The 99% Invisible website recently featured an article on "Machines for Living In: How Technology Shaped a Century of Interior Design."

The Harvard Business Review has posted "When America Was Most Innovative and Why," by Ufuk Akcigit, John Grigsby, and Tom Nicholas.

In other HBS faculty news, there is an interesting interview in the Harvard Gazette with David Moss about his new book, Democracy: A Case Study (Harvard University Press), which uses the case method to chart the development of American democracy; many of the nineteen cases relate directly to business history.

And "Live Mint" has an interview with Geoffrey Jones of HBS on "a second wave of deglobalization."

Further on globalization, Jeremy Adelman of Princeton University has an extended essay on "Aeon" about the historiography and future of global history: "What is global history now?

Two posts of interest from "The Conversation": "Women were to blame for the south sea bubble--according to men," by Anne Murphy; and "No, the black death did not create more jobs for women," by Jane Humphreys.

The EHS blog, "The Long Run," has accumulated a number of interesting essays. 

Heidi Tworek, Richard John, Michael Stamm, and Jonathan Silberstein-Loeb were among the participants at the recent Joint Journalism and Communication History Conference held at New York University. Details of the closing panel, featuring Tworek, John, Stamm, and Silberstein-Loeb, are highlighted here; Stamm also presented the keynote speech.

Richard John also spoke recently to the Forbes staff about the history of American capitalism. He has posted the slides from that talk online. 

The American Institute of the History of Pharmacy has announced that Laura Phillips Sawyer of the Harvard Business School has been selected to receive the 2016 Glenn Sonnedecker Prize for her article, “California Fair Trade: Antitrust and the Politics of 'Fairness' in U.S. Competition Policy” (Business History Review, 2015). The Sonnedecker Prize is awarded annually for the best original article published on the history of some facet of pharmacy practice or pharmacy education in the United States.

Nancy Tomes, professor at Stony Brook University, is one of the winners of the Bancroft Prize for Remaking the American Patient: How Madison Avenue and Modern Medicine Turned Patients Into Consumers (University of North Carolina Press), which examines the origins of the notion that patients should “shop” for health care.

The University of Toronto Press Journals blog has published an interview with Nicole St-Onge about her essay " 'He was neither a soldier nor a slave: he was under the control of no man': Kahnawake Mohawks in the Northwest Fur Trade, 1790-1850," which appeared in the Canadian Journal of History/Annales Canadiennes D’Histoire in 2016; the article is available here ungated, for a very limited time.

Liz Daly's "Culture Digest" looks at the new exhibit at the Museum of American Finance, "For the Love of Money: Blacks on US Currency"; a brief online view of the exhibit is here.

Andrew Hartman of Illinois State University posted the reading list for his "History of Capitalism" course on the U.S. Intellectual History blog; see also the comments offering additions.

The Panorama, the blog for the Journal of the Early Republic, published for the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic (SHEAR), has two essays of particular interest: one by John Lauritz Larson, on "On Cat's Paws: Teaching the Emergence of Capitalism in American History," and another by Ellen Hartigan O'Connor, on "Teaching Gender's Value.":

An exhibition of interest at the Musee du Quai Branly Jacques Chirac in Paris: "L'Afrique des Routes," which offers a new approach to the role of the African continent in international trade and cultural exchanges through more than 350 objects (scroll down to see some illustrations). A brief overview in English is here; the accompanying exhibition catalog is here.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Program: Economic History Society 2017 Conference

The Economic History Society (EHS) will hold its annual meeting at Royal Holloway, University of London, on March 31-April 2, 2017. The program, which includes links to the full text of a number of the papers, is now available on the conference website. It . The conference features a plenary lecture, delivered by Professor Tim Hatton (University of Essex), "Heights and health since 1870: the long and the short of it"; and the Tawney Lecture, presented by Professor Bishnupriya Gupta (University of Warwick), "Falling behind and catching up: India’s transition from a colonial economy."
      Readers can also find a link to the conference booklet, which contains abstracts of the new researchers' and academic session papers.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

SI Exhibit on the Advertising Business Unveiled

The National Museum of American History at the Smithsonian has launched a new web exhibit on "The Advertising Business." According to the introduction,
The advertising business shaped the relationship between producers and consumers. Starting with newspapers, advertising financed media in the U.S., ensuring that it all became commercialized. Advertisers defined the benefits of consumption for Americans, linking products to personal improvement, convenience, and national progress. Admen and a few adwomen developed selling expertise that manufacturers and retailers came to rely on and that made consumption a central part of American life.
The well-illustrated exhibit is divided into five chronological segments, from the 1750s to the present day. Topics addressed include patent medicines, racial and gender barriers and stereotypes, the rise of branding, the uses of direct mail, and critiques of advertising.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Call for Applicants: EBHA Doctoral Summer School

Cathedral of S. Ciriaco, Ancona
The 9th edition of the EBHA (European Business History Association) Summer School will take place in Ancona (Italy) from Monday, September 4, to Saturday, September 9, 2017. It is organized jointly by the European Business History Association (EBHA), the Università Politecnica delle Marche, and the Italian Association for Business History (ASSI). Students will be accommodated in the beautiful town of Ancona to debate and discuss their research with leading international scholars.
       The theme for the school will be "Business History: Debates, Challenges and Opportunities." The school will focus on theoretical, methodological and practical issues which are of relevance for advanced research in business history. The main aim of the school is to provide students with a full understanding of the newest trends in research in the field and to provide a friendly atmosphere in which to discuss their preliminary findings with leading scholars as well as among their peers.
     The organizers will cover all local costs (accommodation in a double or triple room and food), but participants are expected to pay their own travel expenses. Participation will be limited to 15-20 Ph.D. students. Those interested in attending the summer school should send the following documents by e-mail to the academic organizer, Veronica Binda (
  1. a brief CV (not exceeding one page); 
  2. a summary of their dissertation project (not exceeding three pages); 
  3. (if possible) an example of their work in progress, e.g. a draft chapter or a working paper (in any language). 
The deadline for applications is May 14, 2017. A maximum of 20 participants will be selected from these applications. Please see the EBHA website for the complete call for applications.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Business History at "The Berks" 2017: Preliminary Program Available

"Native New Yorker," by Pura Cruz, 2006. Courtesy of Cliff Jernigan

The Business History Conference is sponsoring a panel at the 2017 Berkshire Conference on the History of Women, Genders, and Sexualities, to be held at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, on June 1-4, 2017. The BHC panel is session 1243, "Gendering and Re-gendering Market Actors, 1870-1950." Chaired by Pamela Walker Laird, the session features papers by Aiala Levy, Daniel Levinson Wilk, and Mark J. Crowley.
     Other sessions of interest include:
1182: "Black Women and Global Capitalism in the Post War Era"
1543: "Gender, Wealth, and Women's Economic Strategies in the Anglo-Atlantic World"
1509: "Pocketbook Power: Women's Consumption and Activism in the Late Twentieth Century"
1323: "Bodies under Capitalism"
1355: "Black Women and Their Property: Comparing 18th and 19th-Century Brazil and Africa"
1130: "Racialized and Gendered Experiences with Consumer Capitalism"
1803: "The Politics of Women's Businesses"
1414: "Gender and Capitalist Development in Mexico, 1840-1980"
1792: "Creating Pink Labor in Late 19th and 20th Century US"
1793: "Class, Family, and Capitalism in the Early 20th Century United States"
1339: "Governing Women in Capitalism on Three Continents"
In addition to these sessions, a number of other panels contain papers about enslaved women's work, women in technology, labor issues, and other relevant topics. The main program page has a keyword search function that will help users find papers of interest. The theme of the 2017 meeting is "Difficult Conversations: Thinking and Talking about Women, Genders, and Sexualities Inside and Outside the Academy."
    For information about the conference, please consult the 2017 Berkshire Conference website.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

CFP: African Economic History Network 2017 Meeting

The African Economic History Network (AEHN), in association with the Laboratory for the Economics of Africa’s Past (LEAP) at Stellenbosch University, Harvard University’s Center for African Studies, and Economic Research Southern Africa, announces a call for papers for the seventh annual meeting of the AEHN, which will be held on October 25-27, 2017, in Stellenbosch, South Africa. The conference theme is "Innovation and the African Past."
    Papers on all aspects of African economic history are welcome, but preference will be given to those that pertain to the conference theme. Abstracts of 500 words should be submitted to no later than May 15, 2017. Some funding will be available for graduate students and faculty from Africa. Those in need of such funds should so indicate in their proposal emails.

Monday, March 6, 2017

BHC Authors in the Media

A number of BHC members and their work have recently been featured in non-academic venues:
Edward Balleisen was interviewed on the Ralph Nader Radio Hour about his recent book, Fraud: An American History from Barnum to Madoff (Princeton University Press, January 2017). There is also a print interview with Balleisen on the Christian Science Monitor website.

A book by Wendy Gamber, The Notorious Mrs. Clem: Murder and Money in the Gilded Age (Johns Hopkins University Press, July 2016), was considered in a review essay in the Times Literary Supplement [gated]. The book was also mentioned in Marilyn Stasio's "New True-Crime Books for Fall" in the New York Times Book Review.

Sharon Ann Murphy wrote about her research on money in the early American economy for Time magazine. Her new book is Other People's Money: How Banking Worked in the Early Republic (Johns Hopkins University Press, February 2017).

Marc Levinson and his recent book, An Extraordinary Time: The End of the Postwar Boom and the Return of the Ordinary Economy (Basic Books, November 2016), were the topic of an interview by "The Politics Guys" for that podcast series.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Extended Business and Economic History at the OAH 2017

In December, we highlighted the sessions at the upcoming Organization of American Historians (OAH) meeting that were sponsored by the BHC. This post is a follow-up, listing sessions and papers of interest but not BHC-affiliated. [Note: OAH sessions are not numbered or linked, so references are to the page location on the program PDF.]
"Coming to the Table: Agribusiness and Food Systems in the Twentieth Century," p. 51
"State Formation, Capital, and Governance: Managing Urban Inequality, 1880–1980," p. 54
Assessing the Damages to 'Human Capital': Law, Labor, and Affective Bonds in Historical Perspective," p. 54
"Economic Circulations in the Early American Republic," p. 66
"Racism in American Political Economy: A Critical and Historical Assessment," p. 67
"Reconstruction and American Capitalism," p. 72
"Historians of Capitalism and Labor—A Conversation," p. 74
"Bodies, Agents, and Exchange: Legal and Economic Perspectives on the Domestic
Slave Trade," p. 80
"Corruption and the Circulation of Capital in American History," p. 83
In addition to the sessions above, and those listed in our earlier post, there are literally dozens of individual papers--on gender, labor, slavery, or government, for example--that bear a relation to the interests of business and economic historians. The full OAH program can be downloaded as a PDF. Readers might also consult the Speaker Index (pp. 86-91).