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Showing posts from October, 2018

Business Historians in the News, October Edition

Recent forays of business historians into the public discourse: On the "Public Books" blog, Kim Phillips-Fein writes about philanthropy and inequality in "Philanthropists Will Not Save Us." In the wake of the U.S. decision to withdraw from the Universal Postal Union, Richard John was quoted in a Vox article; he is the author of a 2015 essay  in the Journal of Policy History , "Projecting Power Overseas: U.S. Postal Policy and International Standard-Setting at the 1863 Paris Postal Conference." For the Commission on Democracy and Technology, Heidi Tworek writes about "What the History of Radio Tells Us about Technology and Democracy." Ellen Hartigan-O’Connor and Lisa G. Materson wrote an essay for the History News Network on "What Historians Could Teach Senators on the Judiciary Committee"; they focus on historians' work in finding the harder to hear voices of women in the archives. For "On the Media," Per H

Journal Special Issues of Interest

Two journals have recently published special issues of interest to business and economic historians. Frontiers of Economics in China (Sept. 2018, volume 13, no. 3), has just released a special issue on Chinese Economic History, guest-edited by Debin Ma of the London School of Economics. The special issue has free online access at: . The seven articles discuss urban and rural economy, the monetary system, as well as the organization of financial institutions in pre-modern China. Acording to the editor, the articles reflect three distinctive features: "the emphasis on the primary importance of institutions and ideology, the employment of comparative (mostly with Europe) perspective, and the systematic application of quantitative analyses based on new archives and data." The current issue of Entreprises et Histoire  (volume 91, no. 2) focuses on "Emotions and Family Businesses." The introduction (in English,

Last Call: BHC 2019 Doctoral Colloquium

The BHC Doctoral Colloquium in Business History will be held once again in conjunction with the 2019 BHC annual meeting. This prestigious workshop, funded by Cambridge University Press, will take place in Cartagena, Colombia, on Wednesday March 13 and Thursday March 14. Typically limited to ten students, the Colloquium is open to doctoral candidates who are pursuing dissertation research within the broad field of business history, from any relevant discipline (e.g., from economic sociology, political science, cultural anthropology, or management, as well as history). Most participants are in year 3 or 4 or their degree program, though in some instances applicants at a later stage make a compelling case that their thesis research had evolved in ways that led them to see the advantages of an intensive engagement with business history.       Topics (see link for past examples) may range from the early modern era to the present, and explore societies across the globe. Participants w

Program Available: ESHSI Conference

The annual conference of the Economic and Social History Society of Ireland (ESHSI) will take place in Belfast on November 30-December 1, 2018, at Queen's University Belfast.  The preliminary program has now been posted. In addition to regular sessions, the Ken Connell Lecture will be presented by John Turner of Queen's University Belfast; his topic will be "Wildcat Bankers or Political Failure? The Irish Financial Pantomime, 1797-1826." For more details, please see the ESHSI website.

Deadline Approaching: PEAES Postdoctoral Fellowships

Program in Early American Economy and Society (PEAES) Postdoctoral Fellowships support research in the collections of the Library Company and other nearby institutions into the origins and development of the early American economy, broadly conceived, to roughly 1850. The fellowships provide scholars the opportunity to investigate the history of commerce, finance, technology, manufacturing, agriculture, internal improvements, economic policy making and other topics.     Applicants may be citizens of any country, and they must hold a Ph.D. by September 1, 2019. The stipend is $40,000 for the academic year, or if the award is divided between two scholars, $20,000 per semester. Senior scholars are particularly encouraged to apply. All postdoctoral fellowships are tenable from September 1, 2019 through May 31, 2020, and fellows must be continuously in residence in the Philadelphia area for the duration of their fellowships.     The deadline for receipt of applications is November 1, 201

Business Historians in the News: Sears Bankruptcy Edition

In the wake of the Sears bankruptcy announcement, Louis Hyman took to Twitter to write about the importance of the Sears catalog in the days of Jim Crow. The thread generated a lot of response, and it was picked up by numerous major news outlets, including, for example, the Chicago Tribune and the Washington Post . Hyman was then interviewed on the subject by NPR's "All Things Considered," and by the on-line site Jezebel .     On WBUR's "On Point,"  Vicki Howard (author of From Main Street to Mall: The Rise and Fall of the American Department Store ) joined Hyman to discuss the fate of Sears. Howard also appeared in an "All Things Considered" broadcast about the bankruptcy news. And in an Associated Press story, both Howard and Marc Levinson (author of author of The Great A&P and the Struggle for Small Business in America ) are quoted about the former retailing giant.

EABH Program and Registration Available: “Institutional Investors”

The European Association for Banking and Financial History (EABH), in cooperation with Schroders and Banque Lombard Odier, is holding a conference on "Institutional Investors: The History of Professional Fund Management" on October 26, 2018, at Schroders in London. As the organizers explain, Up to the beginning of the 20th century stocks were primarily owned by wealthy private individuals. Now, 100 years later, institutional investors hold almost twice the amount. . . . The ascent of institutional investors as one of the most powerful players on global financial markets today is a highly relevant yet under researched topic. This conference will ask the question of when, how and why this massive structural shift happened? And which are the consequences for our societies? The program has been posted, and registration is available on-line. The registration site also includes lodging information and other details.

WEHC 2021, Paris: First Call for Sessions

The next World Economic History Congress (WEHC) will be held in Paris, on July 25-30, 2021, at the new Campus Condorcet currently under construction. The theme for the meeting will be "Resources." The meeting website states . . . the finding, supply and circulation of resources has been an incentive for construction of spaces, occupation of territories, imperialism and emerging of new patterns of development and organizations. The challenges of our modern world require a common reflection on the political economy of resources. While seeking proposals for sessions that explore aspects of this broad theme, we also welcome submissions on the economic and social histories of all places and periods, on the exploration of varied sources and methods, and on the theory and the uses of economic history itself. We also invite members to employ and analyze diverse strategies for representing the past. The "first call for sessions" has been posted. It closes June 30, 201

Approaching Deadline: Nominations for 2019 BHC Book Prizes

The Hagley Prize in Business History is awarded annually to the best book in business history, broadly defined. The prize committee encourages the submission of books from all methodological perspectives. It is particularly interested in innovative studies that have the potential to expand the boundaries of the discipline. Scholars, publishers, and other interested parties may submit nominations. Eligible books can have either an American or an international focus. They must be written in English and be published during the two years (2017 or 2018 copyright) prior to the award.     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. A prize of $5,000 is awarded annually for a book published in the two years prior to the year of the award (2017 and 2018). Book nominations are accepted from publishers.      For either award,

CFP: Economic and Business History Society 2019

The 44th Economic and Business History Society (EBHS) Annual Conference will be held on June 5-8, 2019, at the Fort Shelby Hotel in Detroit, Michigan. The general theme is "Manufacturing and the City"; however, individual proposals for presentations on any aspect of economic, social, or business history are welcome, as are proposals for whole panels. Submissions from graduate students and non-academic affiliates are also welcome. Proposals should include an abstract of no more than 500 words and contact details. The deadline for submission of proposals is February 15, 2019 . Proposals may be submitted through the EBHS website at , or by email to .       Questions about the meeting or organization can be directed to program chair Jeremy Land ( or EBHS 2019 President John Moore ( . Please consult the complete call for papers for more details. 

Digital Resources: The BHC Website

For those of you not familiar with the BHC website , or who check it only for annual meeting updates, we'd like to remind you of some of the content available. Since taking over in 2015 as editor for teaching and research resources on the website, Michael Aldous has produced several valuable conversations with business historians, from Geoff Jones on business history and emerging markets, to Sharon Murphy on the case method, to technology in the classroom with Chinmay Tumbe. The book bibliographies published here at seasonal intervals are collected on the BHC website under "Books of Interest." The full text of nearly all articles (1962-1999) published in the print editions of Business and Economic History is available on the site, as is the text of articles in the natively online version, BEH On-Line . Detailed information about past annual meetings can be found linked from our main Annual Meetings pag e. Previous programs, including a complete set, 2000-2018, a

Digital Resource: Irish Immigration Project

"Moving Beyond 'Rags to Riches' " is a website that aims to "use digital history to uncover the lost stories of New York's Irish Famine immigrants." The project was initiated by Tyler Anbinder, who enlisted Simone Wegge and Cormac Ó Gráda for their expertise. According to the site creators, We created this site to give students, scholars, and anyone interested in history access to more than 1,000 original documents chronicling the lives of New York’s pre-Civil War immigrant community. Our work focuses in particular on the “Famine Irish” who came to New York by the tens of thousands annually in the late 1840s and early 1850s. . . . We’ve chosen about 400 of these immigrants—representing a cross-section of the Irish immigrant experience—and gathered documents (including census records, ship manifests, news accounts, and even their bank records) to allow you to understand how they survived and, in many cases, ultimately thrived in America. In addition

CFP: EBHA 2019

The European Business History Association (EBHA) will hold its 2019 annual congress at Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands, on August 29-31.The theme will be "The Business History of Creativity." According to the call for papers, This congress focusses on creativity in business history and aims to analyse the evolution of the creative industries, including art markets, film, fashion, radio, television, music, design, theatre, tourism and video games. Not only does creativity matter to its namesake industries, but also to most other sectors of national and international economies. It forms the basis of innovation and firm competitiveness. The creative industries are based on creativity, skills, and talent, and the potential for wealth and job creation through the development of intellectual property. Nevertheless, these industries, their firms and their entrepreneurs are under-researched topics in business history. For an extended discussion of the conference

Digital Resource: Directory of Business Archives in German-Speaking Countries

The Wirtschaftsarchiv-portal  (WAP) is an online directory of business archives in German-speaking countries, thus presenting German, Austrian, and Swiss business archives together. The portal provides contact details for company and business archives and an overview of their historical sources. Although the site is in German, searches are easy with a basic vocabulary. And if one knows the name of the archives, the directory provides a quick way to find a basic description of the institution's holdings and contact information.      The WAP is supported by the Society for Business History (Gesellschaft für Unternehmensgeschichte), the Association of German Business Archivists (Vereinigung deutscher Wirtschaftsarchivare), and the Institute for Bank-Historical Research (Institut für bankhistorische Forschung).