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Showing posts from April, 2016

Over the Counter: Issue No. 24

A round-up of recent material of interest from around the web: Jane Humphries of the University of Oxford presented the Ellen McArthur Lectures at Cambridge this year. Her topic for the four-lecture series was "Eve Also Delved: Gendering Economic History"; synopses of the talks are available on the website. A recent Paris Review posted an essay on "The Entrepreneurial Kafka," detailing a plan to make money by publishing "On the Cheap" travel guides. Digital Commonwealth: Massachusetts Collections Online recently featured its collection of colorful circus posters . Many other curated collections can be accessed on the Digital Commonwealth website. Cornell University has announced a major project, "Freedom on the Move," which will create "a database that digitizes, preserves, organizes, and enables analysis of all surviving runaway ads from the historical period of North American slavery. The Yale Center for the Study of Repr

Digital Resource: Voyageur Database

Those researching the economic history of early Canada may find useful the Voyageur Database , which includes data from approximately 35,900 fur trade contracts signed in front of Montreal notaries between 1714 and 1830. It is currently the single largest collection of data regarding the contracts signed by participants in the Montreal fur trade. The information collected from the contracts includes: family names, parishes of origin, hiring company, length of contract, destination(s), advances and wages, supplies, conditions of hire, the name of the notary, date of signing, and miscellaneous notes. As the website explains, "The database provides information on a group that was mostly illiterate and thus previously difficult to document and write about. The Voyageur Database documents the expansion of a continental system of trade that had a profound effect on peoples and communities, throughout the continent."      The project director is Nicole St-Onge of the University

CHORD Workshop: “Retailing, Distribution, and the Family”

The next CHORD (Centre for the History of Retailing and Distribution) Workshop will take place on May 24, 2016, at the University of Wolverhampton. The theme is "Retailing, Distribution, and the Family." The program, including abstracts of the presentations, is available on the Workshop website . Readers will also find registration and other useful information there.      Questions may be addressed to Laura Ugolini at .

CFP: “Making Modern Disability” at Hagley

"Making Modern Disability: Histories of Disability, Design, and Technology " will meet at the Hagley Museum and Library on October 28, 2016, to explore the history of modern design and technology with regard to disability. According to the call for papers, While devices adapted to the needs of people with disabilities can be found throughout human history, industrialization created distinctive circumstances for the material lives of the disabled. On one hand, people with sensory, cognitive, and physical disabilities were often those who struggled most to adapt to modern material life with its rationalized work routines, standardized products, and inaccessible architecture. On the other hand, modern design culture was one of improvement. Designers, architects, and engineers proposed ways to adapt products and sites for users of varying abilities, while people with disabilities and their families found creative ways to improve access for themselves. Legal and policy effor

BHC 2016 Book Prizes Announced

At its recent annual meeting in Portland, Oregon, the Business History Conference announced the recipients of its two major book prizes for 2016. The Hagley Book Prize, awarded jointly by the Hagley Museum and Library and the Business History Conference to the best book in business history (broadly defined) written in English and published during the two years prior to the award, was conferred jointly on Faxed: The Rise and Fall of the Fax Machine (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2015) by Jonathan Coopersmith of Texas A&M University, and on From Main Street to Mall: The Rise and Fall of the American Department Store (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2015), by Vicki Howard of Hartwick College. The Ralph Gomory Prize, made possible by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, "recognizes historical work on the effects of business enterprises on the economic conditions of the countries in which they operate." The 2016 recipient is Ensuring America’s Health: The Public Creatio

BHC Doctoral Colloquium Call for Applicants, 2017

The 2017 Business History Conference (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 Denver, Colorado, on Wednesday, March 29 and Thursday, March 30, 2017. 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. Topics ( see past examples ) 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 are due by November 15, 2016 , via email to and should include: a statement of interest; CV; preliminary or final dissertat

CFP: Business History Conference 2017

The 2017 annual meeting of the Business History Conference will be held in Denver, Colorado, on March 30-April 1. The theme of the meeting is "Civilizations." In the words of the program committee--Susie Pak (chair), Eric Hilt, Caitlin Rosenthal, Lars Heide, Jessica Burch, and Walter Friedman (BHC president): From the House of Medici to Japan, Inc., business and commerce have shaped society and public life. Eighteenth-century social theorists such as Montesquieu and Smith described the “civilizing” process of long-distance trade networks in agricultural staples and luxury goods in the transition from feudalism to commercialism. In the early 20th century, the U.S. was often seen as a nation where businesspeople, with their ambitions and innovations, had even come to define society. In 1931 James Truslow Adams characterized the United States as a “business civilization,” in which “most of the energy, ability, and ambition of the country has found its outlet, if not its sa

Appalachian Spring Conference Program Available

The 11th annual Appalachian Spring Conference in World History and Economics will take place this coming weekend, April 16-17, at Appalachian State University, Boone, NC, with opening sessions on Friday afternoon. The theme of the meeting is "Institutions and Development." Those unable to attend will find the program available on the meeting's website, with links to many of the papers being presented.     The keynote address will be given this year by James Robinson of the University of Chicago; his topic is "Living with Leviathan."     Readers can also follow the conference, which is organized by Jari Eloranta of Appalachian State, on Facebook .

Conference: “Rethinking Textiles: Yorkshire Edition”

Taking place at Leeds City Museum on April 21, 2016, Rethinking Textiles: Yorkshire Edition will present new approaches to the history of textiles and the Industrial Revolution among different interpreters.     Speakers from academia, museums, archives and public organizations will address a wide range of topics, all themed around Yorkshire’s rich textile heritage. The event will include an opportunity for a selection of attendees to share current work in a short set of lightening talks, plus time for delegates to explore Leeds City Museum. The program is available here .     The meeting is open to anyone with an interest in textile history. There is no fee to attend but registration is required, as places are limited. Check here for registration, and email if additional information is needed.     This workshop is a collaboration between two major research projects at the University of Leeds: Rethinking Textiles and The Enterprise of Culture . &

Research Position: University of Michigan

The Population Studies Center (PSC) at the Institute of Social Research (ISR) at the University of Michigan is searching for a full-time Research Manager to assist with a variety of projects in economic history, economic demography, labor economics, and economic policy. The Research Manager will work with the PI on the LIFE-M project (a large-scale, NSF-funded project to describe the evolution of birth rates, marriage patterns, and longevity over the 20th century), an NIH -funded project on community health centers ( chc-project ), and other projects relating to the War on Poverty and Great Society.      The primary responsibility of the Research Manager will be to assist the PI with managing a large project team, submitting research proposals, creating and maintaining IRBs, overseeing the use of restricted data, planning board meetings, maintaining organized and updated records for the project team’s multiple administrative and research processes, an

Papers Available for “The Maintainers” Conference

"The Maintainers: A Conference" will take place at the Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey, on April 7-9, 2016. Even those not attending can enjoy the fruits of the meeting, as the papers are freely available online. Most of them have now been posted, linked from the conference program . According to the introductory website, "All [participants] share an interest in the concepts of maintenance, infrastructure, repair, and the myriad forms of labor and expertise that sustain our human-built world. Presentations will cover a wide variety of technologies and practices, including software, spaceflight, trolleys, meteorology, digital archives, and the politics of funding for infrastructure." More information is available on the conference website .

Program: Columbia Conference in Honor of Alan Brinkley

On April 15-16, 2016, Columbia University is holding a conference, " Protest, Politics, and Ideas in the American Century," in honor of Alan Brinkley. The conference schedule, which is available here , features many prominent historians, including Eric Foner, Elizabeth Blackmar, Mae Ngai, Gary Gerstle, Alice Kessler-Harris, Kenneth T. Jackson, and Lizabeth Cohen. For more information, please contact the conference organizers, Mason Williams of Williams College ( ), David Greenberg of Rutgers University ( ), or Moshik Temkin of Harvard's Kennedy School ( ). Update : 4/17: Presentations are available on the History Department's Facebook page .

Enterprise & Society: ToC for March Issue

The March 2016 issue of Enterprise & Society , the journal of the Business History Conference, contains the following articles: Juha Kansikas , "Career Paths in Institutional Business Elites: Finnish Family Firms from 1762–2010" Mike French , " 'Slowly Becoming Sales Promotion Men?': Negotiating the Career of the Sales Representative in Britain, 1920s–1970s" Leslie Hannah and Mokoto Kasuya , "Twentieth-Century Enterprise Forms: Japan in Comparative Perspective" Melih Yeşilbağ , "Changing Hegemonic Strategies of Business in Turkey before and after the Neo-Liberal Turn: From Defense to Counter-Attack" Paul Mokrzycki Renfro , "Keeping Children Safe Is Good Business: The Enterprise of Child Safety in the Age of Reagan" Full access requires a BHC membership , but abstracts are freely available on the Cambridge University Press website .