2023 Business History Conference
Call For Papers
March 9th – March 11th, 2023
Reinvention has long been a central theme in our field. Business historians have examined how entrepreneurs introduce new products and services that replace old ones, considered how businesses recreate themselves, and explored how markets are transformed over time.
But this coming year – as we prepare for Detroit and forge plans for what an association like ours should look like in an era marked by pandemic, war, and climate change – the theme of reinvention takes on a variety of new and pressing meanings. How do places and people reinvent themselves? What should a scholarly association look like in the twenty-first century? What questions, methods, and forms should a field like business history embrace in order to grapple with the big questions we face today?
Reinvention, as these questions suggest, may be understood as very different from invention. Whereas invention focuses on the new, reinvention demands that we take into account the past to understand the future. It suggests that rethinking historiography is essential to effectively raising new questions and new methods. It insists on the capacity of history to be creative as well as analytical. Reinvention, one might say, raises fundamental questions about how we know something historically.
Informed by the theme of reinvention, the BHC Program Committee invites sessions and papers that consider reinvention from a variety of different perspectives. Reflecting the ongoing evolution of the BHC itself, we are especially interested in submissions that address diverse geographic locales and time periods; analyze the different ways that race, class, and gender have affected the ability of entrepreneurs, firms, and communities to reinvent themselves in times of uncertainty and change; address the role of governments, politics, and power in in the process of reinvention; and any number of similar subjects. Finally, the organizers welcome proposals with innovative formats that promote discussion on how to conduct research and teach business history in the so-called post-pandemic era.
Proposals and Submissions
While we encourage submissions to take up these themes, papers addressing all other topics will receive equal consideration by the program committee in accordance with BHC policy. Graduate students and emerging scholars in the field are particularly encouraged to attend. Graduate students and recent PhDs whose papers are accepted for the meeting may apply for funds to partially defray their travel costs; information will be sent out once the program has been set.
Proposals may be submitted for individual papers or entire sessions. Each presentation proposal should include a one-page (300 words) abstract and one-page curriculum vitae (CV) for each participant. Individual paper submissions will be combined into new sessions defined by themes chosen at the Program Committee’s discretion.
Session proposals (unless a roundtable) should include a maximum of four individual presentations. All session proposals should have a cover letter containing a title, a one-paragraph session description, and the names and affiliations of a recruited chair, as well as the contact information for the session organizer.
To submit a proposal, go to https://thebhc.org/proposal-instructions
The deadline for receipt of all paper and session proposals is November 1, 2022. Notification of acceptance will be given by December 1st, 2022. Information on registration and fees for participation and the provisional program will be announced at the beginning of February 2023. Everyone appearing on the program must register for the meeting.
The Program Committee
The Program Committee includes Christina Lubinski (Copenhagen Business School) (chair); Heidi Tworek (University of British Columbia); John Wong (The University of Hong Kong); Marcelo Bucheli (University of (Illinois-Champaign); Amanda Gibson (Kenyon College); along with BHC President Dan Wadhwani (University of Southern California).
The 2023 Business History Conference will take place at
The Westin Book Cadillac Detroit, March 9th – March 11th
The room rate is $174 (USD) plus tax. The cut-off date for hotel reservations at this conference rate is February 16, 2023.
General questions regarding meeting logistics, regarding the hotel for example, may be sent to conference coordinator and BHC Treasurer, Dr. Roger Horowitz, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Questions involving the conference program should go to the program committee chair, Professor Christina Lubinski, at email@example.com. Other questions might be directed to the BHC Secretary, Dr. Vicki Howard at firstname.lastname@example.org.