Call for Papers
Enterprising York: Histories of Business, Management and Society in a City of Heritage
15-16 September 2023
Deadline for submission: 30 November 2022
More than eight million tourists flock to the city of York each year to celebrate its heritage, gaining brief glimpses into the city’s long history as an important centre of private trade and public enterprise. From bustling mediaeval markets to industrial railways, chocolate manufacturers, and luxurious teahouses, the history of enterprise in the city of York is widely recognized as a valuable resource of particular significance to small businesses and public organisations. Yet unlike larger cities in northern England, York’s business and management history has received very little scholarly attention. Despite being recognized since the Roman conquest of Britain as an important and well-connected commercial city and site of public administration, an important mediaeval and early-modern trading centre, and a pioneering hub at the forefront of 19th-century industrialisation in transport and manufacturing, the city of York is now largely overlooked as a site critical to the development of the British economy. This conference seeks to address the apparent paradox of a city that, economically, always seems simultaneously behind and ahead of its times.
As the institutional home to one of the largest concentrations of business and management historians in the UK, the University of York’s School for Business and Society invites proposals for original research presentations that reconsider the history of York’s private and public enterprise. Possible topics include, but are not limited to:
- The conflicted legacies of colonialism, slavery and philanthropy in York’s chocolate industries
- Papers drawing on the rich archival materials of the Borthwick Institute for Archives at the University of York
- York’s pioneering role in public administration of government, religious, military, and nonprofit enterprises
- Histories of retailing, hospitality, tourism and consumer culture in York
- Transportation and trade from the Roman and Viking eras through mediaeval and early-modern commerce, industrialization and to the post-industrial present
- Gender, race, diversity and inequality in work and employment, labour-management relations, and corporate governance
- Entrepreneurship in a local context, including the successes and challenges faced by women, ethnic and religious minorities, and LGBT+ communities
- The role of rural enterprise and rural development in the North Yorkshire economy
- The historical relationship between the University of York and local and regional private and public enterprises
Please submit proposals of no more than 500 words and a one-page C.V. to Shane Hamilton (email@example.com) by 30 November 2022. Conference presenters will be asked to submit complete versions of their papers by 15 August 2023. Presenters will receive accommodation, meals, and compensation for their travel costs. The conference organisers are planning an edited publication based on a selection of revised conference papers. The program committee is composed of Shane Hamilton, Matthew Hollow, Stephen Linstead, Simon Mollan, and Kevin Tennent.