Friday, August 17, 2018

Introducing the New Editor of "The Exchange"

The Trustees of the Business History Conference are happy to announce that Dr. Paula de la Cruz Fernández has been selected from a field of candidates to become the new editor of "The Exchange."
     Dr. de la Cruz-Fernández received her BA in History and MA in Anthropology from the Universidad de Granada (Spain) and received her doctorate in History at Florida International University in Miami, Florida (United States). She is a historian and researcher of gender, culture, and multinationals, and she has published in Enterprise and Society and Business History Review. Her Enterprise and Society article on the Singer Sewing Machine Company was awarded the 2015 Mira Wilkins Prize for the best article published annually in the journal pertaining to international and comparative business history. She currently works as a digital archivist at the George A. Smathers Libraries at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida. Dr. de la Cruz-Fernández is also a digital information management expert, an editor, and a translator.
     Dr. de la Cruz Fernández has already begun familiarizing herself with the blog and will take over from Pat Denault officially in early 2019.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Laura Phillips Sawyer Is Guest Contributor for the Legal History Blog

The Legal History Blog has announced that the site's guest blogger in August will be Laura Phillips Sawyer, assistant professor at the Harvard Business School, where she was previously a Newcomen Fellow. Sawyer is also a member of the BHC's Board of Trustees.
      Her research focuses on U.S. political economy in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, particularly on competition law and policy and its administration. She is the author of the recently released American Fair Trade: Proprietary Capitalism, Corporatism, and the "New Competition," 1880-1940 (Cambridge University Press). Her first post of the month concerns "Blending Business History and Legal History."

Monday, August 13, 2018

Program Available: Business History Society of Japan, 2018

The 54th Congress of the Business History Society of Japan (BHSJ) will meet in Kyoto, Japan, on September 29-30, 2018. The preliminary program is now available on the meeting website. As in the recent past, there will be several sessions in English, as well as an English-language plenary session. The latter, titled "Situating Business History: Going Beyond National, Disciplinary and Methodological Boundaries," will be chaired by Takafumi Kurosawa and Junko Watanabe, with discussion by Takafumi Kurosawa, Pierre-Yves Donzé, Teresa da Silva Lopes, Matthias Kipping, and Andrea Lluch.
    In addition, the BHSJ Congress will include the 32d meeting of the Fuji Conference, which will take place on September 30 and have as a theme "Toward Global Business History: A Focus on the Electrical and Electronic Equipment Industry." Fuji Conference sessions are conducted in English.
    Note that "early bird" registration closes on August 15; thereafter, on-line regular registration is available through September 24. For additional information, please consult the BHSJ Congress website.

Friday, August 10, 2018


The 2019 annual meeting of the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic (SHEAR) will be held in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on July 18-21. The call for papers has just been posted:
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. We particularly encourage 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. 
The submission deadline is December 1, 2018. For more information, please see the complete call for papers and the SHEAR annual meeting website.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Two Folger Programs of Interest, 2018-2019

Two of the 2018-2019 programs at the Folger Shakespeare Institute in Washington, D.C. will be of particular interest to readers (note that each seminar has its own application deadline):

Jennifer L. Morgan of New York University will head a colloquium entitled "Finance, Race, and Gender in the Early Modern Atlantic World."  From the website description:
In recent years, a host of new scholarship exploring the relationship between slavery and capitalism has emerged. How might this new canon be reconfigured by a thorough consideration of race and gender in tandem with histories of fungibility and value? . . .  Interrogating early modern notions of finance by asking how they intersected with, shaped, and were shaped by categories of race and gender will garner new understandings of these interrelated processes. This year-long colloquium will explore those intersections between histories of race, gender, and finance that culminate in early modern Atlantic slavery.
The deadline for this program is September 4, 2018. It will meet on selected Friday afternoons throughout the academic year.

Philip Stern of Duke University will lead a spring term seminar on "The Corporation in Early Modern Political Thought." From the website description:
This seminar will trace the evolution of the corporation as an idea and an institution, particularly in relation to European commerce and empire in Asia, Africa, the Atlantic, and Mediterranean worlds. It will engage with questions about legal and institutional pluralism and the composite nature of imperial sovereignty, the intimate relationship between political economy and political thought, the development of ideas about the distinctions between “public” good and “private” interest, and the ways in which encounters with other Europeans as well as indigenous peoples outside Europe influenced European political and economic thought.
The application deadline for this program is January 7, 2019 (but grant-in-aid application are due September 4, 2018). The seminar will meet most Friday afternoons, February 1-April 12, 2019.

For application procedures, please consult the Folger Scholarly Programs website.

Monday, August 6, 2018

CFP Deadline Reminder: BHC 2019

As the summer flies by, a reminder that the deadline for all paper and panel proposals for the 2019 annual meeting of the Business History Conference is October 1, 2018. The theme of the meeting, which will be held in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia, on March 14–16, 2019, is “Globalization and De-Globalization: Shifts of Power and Wealth.” According to the organizers, the conference "aims to concentrate on business history research agendas that enable a nuanced understanding of the phenomena of globalization and de-globalization. The conference theme encourages contributions from a variety of approaches to business history research, covering a broad range of geographies and periods."
    For much more, including suggested topics, submission procedures, and information about the Kerr and Krooss prizes and the Doctoral Colloquium, please see the full call for papers.

Friday, August 3, 2018

CFP: Asia Pacific Economic Business History Conference 2019

The Economic History Society of Australia and New Zealand (EHSANZ) and the All-UC Group in Economic History invite papers and proposals for sessions for the joint Asia Pacific Economic and Business History (APEBH) and All-UC Group conference to be held at the California Institute of Technology on February 8-9, 2019. The organizers welcome proposals for contributions on the conference theme, “Decline and Rise: Asia since the Industrial Revolution,” from any aspect in economic history. While submissions for papers or panels on the conference topic will be given preference, submissions on all topics in economic history are welcome.
    The conference keynote, the Noel Butlin Lecture, will be given by Philip Hoffman from the California Institute of Technology. Researchers across a broad range of related disciplines, including business and social history, are warmly welcomed; early career researchers and especially graduate students are particularly encouraged to attend. Limited financial support may be available, so please note graduate student status with submission. For the complete call for papers, please see the  EHSANZ website.
     All abstracts, papers, and proposals for sessions should be emailed by October 31, 2018, to: Florian Ploeckl ( and Greg Clark (

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Over the Counter, No. 42

News of interest from around the web:
The program for the Society of Historians of American Foreign Relations (SHAFR) annual meeting, held in June, remains available online; several panels address topics relating business, economics, and foreign relations.

George Robb can be viewed discussing his book Ladies of the Ticker at the Museum of American Finance on YouTube.

Two bits of news from MIT:
  • an interview with Anne McCants, vice-president of the International Economic History Association and chair of the World Congress, which opens in Boston this week.
  • an interview with MIT faculty member Caley Horan about her book manuscript, "Actuarial Age," which explores the cultural life of insurance and the role of risk-based thinking in shaping American institutions and daily life during the second half of the 20th century.
The program for the recent meeting of the Society for the Study of French History, held at the University of Warwick, UK, is available online. With a theme of "Political Economy and Cultures of Inequality," the meeting had several sessions of interest, including a keynote by Michael Kwass on "Capitalism and Inequality in Eighteenth-Century France: Writing History after the Great Recession."

For the blog "The Conversation," Jon Stobart reflects on "The Forgotten Grandeur of Britain's Department Stores."

From the 2018 meeting of the Economic History Society, the video of Sevket Pamuk delivering the Tawney Lecture is now available; his topic: "Uneven Development: The Economic Development of Turkey since 1820."

Saddened to report two deaths, both on July 5, 2018: Morton "Mickey" Keller, long-time faculty member at Brandeis University, is probably best known to business historians for his work Regulating a New Economy: Public Policy and Economic Change in America, 1900-1933 (1990). The departmental obituary is here.
    Ira Berlin, of the University of Maryland, was the Bancroft Prize-winning author of  Many Thousands Gone and many other notable works on the history of slavery and the slave trade. The Nation published a remembrance by Eric Foner.

The Canadian Business History Association has put video of sessions of its recent meeting, which coincided with Canada's sesquicentennial, online.

The Hagley Library and Museum has announced the acquisition of the James W. Cortada Collection of Information Technology Publications, an estimated 5,000 titles on the general subject of computers, information technology, society, the internet, and the economic and business issues involving computers from the 1940s through 2017. Processing is underway so materials can be made open to researchers as quickly as possible.

From the "Artsy" blog comes an interesting discussion by Lucy Hunter on "The Untold History of Corporations Recruiting Artists to Inspire Their Employees."

The "Knowledge@Wharton" blog recently interviewed Adam Winkler about his book We, the Corporations; both transcript and audio are available. And over at Harvard Business School, the "Working Knowledge" website featured Ai Hisano's research on "How Cellophane Changed the Way We Shop for Food."

On his "Mostly IP History" blog, Zvi Rosen resurrects Robert Fulton's 1811 steamboat patent, thought to have been lost; images (of copies) of the patent specification pages are here.

"The Junto" blog published a multi-part roundtable on Francis Spufford's 2017 novel Golden Hill, set in colonial New York City. The essays are
" 'Commerce is Trust'," by Tom Cutterham
"Golden Hill as Historical Fiction," by Jordan E. Taylor
"Courage and Cowardice?" by Hannah Farber
"Retracing Mr. Smith's Steps through Eighteenth-Century Manhattan," by Katy Lasdow
"Q&A with Francis Spufford"
For "Food + City," Jonathan Rees, author of Refrigeration Nation, writes at length about the inception of the "cold chain"--the distribution of refrigerated foods--and how it changed our diets: "Transcending Seasons: Following the Global Cold Chain."

The EBHS has made available the video of Deirdre McCloskey's keynote address at the organization's recent annual meeting in Finland; her topic was "What We Need to Know in Business and Economic History: The Conditions for Exchange-Tested Betterment."