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.