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 ( AND Elise A. Mitchell ( 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.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Preliminary SHOT 2017 Program Now Available

The Society for the History of Technology (SHOT) will hold its 2017 annual meeting on October 26-29 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The preliminary program is now available. In addition to the large number of sessions on the history of technology around the world, the BHC has a special round table (S11), "The BHC at SHOT: Beyond Firms and Machines"; organizers: Xaq Frohlich, Auburn University, Erik Rau, Hagley Museum and Library, and Jonathan Coopersmith, Texas A&M); participants: Hyungsub Choi, Seoul National University; Barbara Hahn, Texas Tech; Richard John, Columbia University; Philip Scranton, Rutgers University; Lee Vinsel, Virginia Tech; and JoAnne Yates, MIT.
     Another session of particular interest is S30, "Ideologies of Industrialization in the Early American Republic," with Merritt Roe Smith as chair and commentator. There will also be a presidential round table in honor of the late Ann Johnson (F12).
    For information about registration and other details, please consult the SHOT annual meeting website.

Monday, August 21, 2017


The 2018 Asia Pacific Economic and Business History (APEBH) Conference will be hosted by the School of History at the University of Tasmania in Hobart on February 15-17, 2018. The conference, under the topic "History from Below: Ordinary Lives in Historical and Comparative Perspective," will bring together researchers in business, economic, and social history and feature new and exciting research from a variety of perspectives covering historical developments in Australia and Asia, as well as in other regions of the world.
      Papers and proposals for sessions are welcome on any topic in economic, social, and business history, including proposals for complete sessions on particular themes. According to the call for papers,
The conference organisers are also particularly interested in attracting papers that examine topics in the context of the Asia-Pacific region and papers that provide an international comparative perspective, especially in relation to pre-contact and settler-economies such as Australia, New Zealand and the wider Pacific. The digital revolution has resulted in unprecedented access to archival records. . . . The digital revolution has also presented challenges. A lot of information does not necessarily equate to good data. New techniques for dealing with messy or fuzzy information or mining digital archives have also played a role in shaping the discipline. . . . There is ample scope for new interpretations, new findings, as well as syntheses of existing work.
All abstracts, proposals for sessions, or papers for refereeing should be emailed to by November 17, 2017 December  17, 2017. For a fuller discussion of the conference theme and additional details, please consult the call for papers.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Full Program Available: 150 Years of Canadian Business History

The Canadian Business History Association/Association canadienne pour l'histoire des affaires (CBHA/ACHA) will hold its next annual conference on September 11-12, 2017, at the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto. The full program for the meeting, whose theme is "150 Years of Canadian Business History," presented in conjunction with Canada’s sesquicentennial birthday celebrations, is now available on the CBHA/ACHA website. The conference is multi-disciplinary and open to participation by academics, business leaders, professional archivists, and the public. Among the many historians presenting are David Kirsch, Mira Wilkins, Joe Martin, Graham Taylor, Robert Wright, Laurence Mussio, Doug McCalla, and Andrew Smith. 
    For more information about the conference, please see the CBHA/ACHA website.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

CFP: “Revising the Geography of Modern World Histories”

The British Academy and the Department of History at the University of York invite submissions from early career researchers for a two-day workshop and public conference, “Revising the Geography of Modern World Histories,” to be held in York, UK, on February 9-10, 2018. This international event responds to the recent boom in global history, "providing a forum to discuss the challenges and possibilities of writing multi-sited modern histories that encompass fully situated lives and local contexts." For a list of possible topics, please see the full call for papers. The event organizers wish to draw early career scholars who are "stretching the boundaries of their national or disciplinary specializations."
     Proceedings will include small-group workshops to discuss shared challenges and strategies of conducting geographically heterodox historical scholarship, public presentations of works in progress, keynote lectures, and a plenary discussion with public Q&A.
    Applicants must include, along with a 250-word abstract, a list of five works currently most relevant to their research. These titles will be assembled into an actively managed, open-access bibliography on the conference website. All abstracts are due by September 1, 2017, and should be sent in pdf or MS Word format to This conference is a collaboration between scholars at the Universities of Nottingham, Sheffield, and York in the UK, and Fordham, Harvard, the New School for Social Research, Northwestern, and Ohio State in the United States.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Digital Exhibits of Interest

A brief round-up of some interesting digitized materials from around the web:
From Harvard University Libraries, a broadside on “Comparison of Products, Population and Resources of the Free and Slave States” (1861).

From the New York Public Library, a collection of cigarette trade cards; nearly 50,000 images, searchable by topic

The John Johnson Collection of Printed Ephemera at the Bodleian Library is a large and varied source of images, with nearly 74,000 digitized to date.

From the New York Academy of Medicine, a well-illustrated discussion of Pabst Brewing Company's marketing campaign to persuade consumers that its malt extract could cure a range of ailments.

The Framingham History Center has posted an informative and well-illustrated timeline for the now-shuttered Dennison Manufacturing Company.

From the Digital Public Library of America and the University of Denver, "Staking Claims: The Gold Rush in Nineteenth Century America." Other DPLA Exhibits may be found here.
For a vast collection of links to online materials, readers might visit the Internet Archive, a meta-collection of links to digital holdings around the world (though primarily US, UK, and Western Europe). Try, for example, a search of "business directory" in the metadata category.

Friday, August 11, 2017

BHC 2017 Meeting Presenters: Reminder about BEH Online Submissions

Business and Economic History-Online is still accepting papers that were presented at the 2017 Denver meeting for its annual online edition. Papers should be no more than 15 pages in length, single-spaced, and should be submitted as Word files. Any accompanying images or charts should be embedded in the text. Papers should be submitted to by October 15 for consideration. Questions may be directed to BEH Editor Benjamin Schwantes ( or Assistant Editor William J. Hausman (
    The full run of BEH Online papers can be found on the BHC website. The entire run of the printed Business and Economic History, 1962-1999, is available as well.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

EBHA 2017: Full Program with Papers

The next annual congress of the European Business History Association (EBHA) begins in two weeks (August 24-26) in Vienna, Austria, hosted by the Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU). The final program for the meeting, whose theme is "Transformation in Business and Society: An Historical Approach," is available online, accompanied by links to the full texts of many of the papers.
    The opening speaker for the congress will be Philipp Blom; his topic is "Freezing Meteors and Congealed Cold: How the Little Ice Age Ushered in Capitalism."
    More details, including information about registration, lodging, and travel, can be found on the congress website.

Monday, August 7, 2017

CFP: New Orleans, John Law, and the Mississippi Company

Detail from Van Keulen, "Carte de la Nouvelle France . . . ," 1720
The inaugural conference of the 18th- and 19th-Century Studies Network will be held on April 26-28, 2018, at the University of Colorado Boulder. The theme will be "New Orleans, Global City (1718 – 2018): The Long Shadow of John Law and the Mississippi Company." According to the call for papers:
It has been almost three hundred years since the first international stock market crash took place in France, Britain, and the Netherlands. A spate of cross-disciplinary conferences and publications have added greatly to our understanding of the impact of the Mississippi and South Sea Bubbles and the Dutch windhandel (trade in wind) on European economies and cultures. The colonial, global, and oceanic dimensions of these events have not been studied as closely. Meant to coincide with the foundation of New Orleans in 1718 by the Compagnie des Indes (aka the Mississippi Company), this interdisciplinary conference will focus on the immediate to long-term impact of Law’s System and the Mississippi Company on the cultures, economies, and environments of New Orleans and surrounding areas. The focus will be on the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, but we shall also consider proposals that deal with earlier or later developments so long as they take into account their broader historical context.
The deadline for the submission of individual paper proposals is September 17, 2017. Please send an abstract (300 – 600 words) along with a brief (2 – 3 pages) curriculum vitae to catherine.labio@ For additional information, please see the full call for papers.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Post-Doc: Global History of Capitalism at Oxford

The Global History of Capitalism project at the University of Oxford is seeking a dedicated Career Development Fellow to join their team to conduct rigorous academic research and to inform debates on the history of capitalism. The program's co-directors (and co-founders) are Christopher McKenna and Rowena Olegario. According to the job posting,
The successful applicant will have an active research interest in the global history of capitalism and be able to work individually and collaboratively with researchers across disciplines. You will conduct relevant archival research as well as field-based research where relevant. You will manage your own academic research and administrative duties, contribute ideas for new projects and collaborate in the presentation of publications. You will also provide teaching relief to one of the Co-Directors and co-design a new undergraduate course in business history. You will hold a relevant doctorate (or show evidence that a doctorate is imminent) and have an excellent knowledge of the languages relating to your specialism. You will be able to demonstrate a strong research record and excellent communication skills along with the ability to teach. An ability to work independently as well as collaboratively within a team is essential.
The post is full-time and fixed term for 3 years; the start date is negotiable but must be no later than January 2018. Applicants are required to submit a research proposal as part of their application. The deadline for applications is noon on September 13, 2017.
    For additional information, please see the job posting on  the Oxford website.
    Questions can be directed to Chris McKenna, and/or Rowena Olegario,

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

CFP: Special Journal Issue on “History of Corporate Finance”

Abe de Jong and Marc Deloof, editors of a special issue of the Journal of Risk and Financial Management (JRFM), have issued a call for papers on the history of corporate finance. They write:
Twenty years ago, the book A History of Corporate Finance by Paul Miranti and the late Jonathan Baskin was published. This book aims to create a synthesis between modern finance theory and historical investigations of corporate finance decisions. In the past two decades, several studies have been published about the history of financial markets, as well as about accounting and banking history. Unfortunately, historical research into corporate finance decisions seems to be limited. The aim of this special issue is to publish new research on the history of corporate finance. 
A workshop to discuss the submissions will be held in Rotterdam in February 2018; it is expected the special journal issue will appear in June 2018.
     Papers must be submitted for the workshop by November 15, 2017. Completed papers are preferred, but early drafts and proposals may be accepted. Submission implies that the paper will be considered for the special issue of JRFM. Please email the text to and After the workshop, selected papers will be submitted to JRFM for review. Preference will be given to papers presented and discussed in the workshop, but other papers may also be considered.
    For further information, please see the call for papers on the JRFM website.