CfP Archives of Economic Life

Archives of Economic Life

A Researching Event for Historians of Capitalism and Corporate Archivists

The Centre for Economic Cultures at the University of Manchester invites submissions for a two-day networking workshop for historians of economic life in the UK, to be held on June 8 and 9, 2023. The workshop will bring together early- and mid-career researchers in the history of capitalism, business, and economic life to discuss research interests and reflect on the history of capitalism in the UK. Scholars will not only engage with each other but will also work with archivists from some of the leading corporate collections in the UK, exploring opportunities for collaboration and research development.

The organizers are keen to identify scholars in the UK pursuing the history of global capitalism and interested in the possibilities that corporate archives might provide in terms of knowledge mobilization and impact agendas. The history of capitalism is understood capaciously – including the history of economic life, business, political economy, consumption, labour, and economic thought – as well as transnationally, and a variety of methodological approaches are welcome. Proceedings will include small-group workshops to discuss shared challenges, presentations of research agendas/works in progress, and panel discussions. The emphasis will be on meeting and discussing rather than formal presentations, but participants should expect to speak about their research agendas and works-in-progress.

Please send an email to the organizer, Dr. Alexia Yates ( outlining your interest in the workshop, along with a short CV (2 pages) and a 300-word description of a relevant work-in-progress by May 12, 2023. Funding from the AHRC is available to support travel and accommodation expenses.

Call for Research Proposals – The 19th Accounting History Symposium  

Saturday 1st July 2023 

Format: Face-to-face 

Time: 9.00 am -1.00 pm 

Venue: The Star on the Gold Coast, Australia 

Following the great success of the 18th Accounting History Symposium, held on Wednesday 7th December 2022, the Accounting History Special Interest Group (AHSIG) is pleased to announce the first event of 2023. The 19th Accounting History Symposium will be held on 1st July 2023 at the Star on Gold Coast, Australia. Associate Professor Carolyn Fowler of Victoria University of Wellington will be the guest speaker for the symposium. Carolyn is the joint editor of the Accounting History Journal and will give a talk about writing for and publishing in the Accounting History Journal. She will provide valuable insights and a behind-the-scenes overview of the process, the timing, and key points to enhance the quality of manuscripts. We are delighted to have Carolyn as the 19th Accounting History Symposium guest speaker in 2023.

In addition to the guest speaker, individuals interested in making a presentation about a planned or existing research project are invited to submit a research proposal (of no more than three pages, single-spaced) containing the following information: 

1. Project (working) title 

2. Background (or scenario for investigation) 

3. Main research objective in one sentence 

4. Concise key research question(s) 

5. Research methodology 

6. Period selection 

7. Limitations of the study 

8. Expected (original) contribution.

The due date for submission of research proposals is Friday, 19 May 2023, and should be sent to (please also copy in and

In addition to the presentations of research proposals relating to accounting history, a panel of scholars will be in attendance, discussing and/or providing feedback on the presentations of the participants. 

The following registration fee will be applicable for the participants via the AFAANZ website: 

  • AHSIG members: $65 
  • AHSIG non-members: $90 

The registration fee will cover the catering including morning tea and lunch. 

We look forward to your participation at the 19th Accounting History Symposium

Giulia Leoni and Maryam Safari 

AHSIG Convenor and Deputy Convenor 

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CfP Social History of Migration

Call for Papers 

Migration in Modern Times: Systems – Routes – Experiences – Conflicts 

Archiv für Sozialgeschichte 64 (2024) 

The next issue of Archiv of Sozialgeschichte invites contributions in a research field that has fundamentally changed during the last years. Migration history stands at the intersection of different methodological debates and epochal approaches. It has moved away from the struggle for recognition that was initially marked by the need to emphasise the potential ‘achievements’ of migrant-receiving countries or migrants. The issue aims to consider current research trends and invites contributors from different (social-) historical disciplines to reflect on the future of the history of migration, both empirically and theoretically. The issue focuses on the time from the 18th century onwards, without excluding contributions on earlier periods. 

Migration systems 

The term migration system, which in our understanding only refers to stable connections between (world) regions through mobility over the course of long periods of time, has long been established in research. Since the 15th century, the movement of Europeans to the Americas and to colonies in other regions of the world has formed a pattern well into the 1950s. Likewise, the centuries-long deportation of Africans to Latin America and the South of the (later) USA until the second half of the 19th century referred to as the ‘Black Atlantic’ describes a similar process. Systems of migration do not only apply to the voluntary movement of migrants. Rather, it would be desirable to include debt-labour relationships, which have been the focus of much recent research and which affect numerous migrants from Asia. Bonded labour relations which are temporary de jure but not always de facto, allude to the temporary dimension of migration, which is not necessarily permanent. We are interested in return migration movements as well as seasonal patterns, regardless of whether they were controlled by harvest cycles of residence regulations, the importance of which is obvious, for example, for nurses from Eastern Europe working in Germany. On the one hand, the search for patterns requires the inclusion of the demo-economic situation in the regions of origin and the differently organised labour market in the target regions. This puts emphasis on the state as an important steering body that must be taken into account, without migration policy being the primary interest of the volume. On the other hand, it is important to take into account the actors who organise the movement between the region of origin and the target region, formally or informally, legally, semi-legally or illegally. Only by bringing both sides together will we be able to understand, for example, the long-term and stable recruitment of care workers from the South East Asian island countries to work in Europe and North America. 

Routes, means of transportation, networks 

The actors mentioned above consequently raise questions about the means of transportation available to migrants, the routes they used and the networks they were supported by or remained trapped in. Footpaths are still important today (and the knowledge about them is a key to illegal border crossing), but shipping, rail and air links have fundamentally changed the infrastructure of migration. Ports, railway stations and airports have become central relay stations that not only serve as interfaces between different sections of migration but also often block the latter because epidemic regulations enforce quarantines or entail forced accommodation in sometimes extraterritorial shelters under asylum law. The volume particularly addresses this tension between mobility and immobility, emphasising that regions of origin and target regions are not clear-cut starting and ending points of migration, which in some cases– such as migrant labour – remained closely linked. 

Experiences, knowledge and conflicts 

Above all, on arrival, it is often uncertain whether a place – usually a city – will or even should become the final destination. Timeframes, largely determined by the potential wish to return, also shape migrants’ strategies. It is no coincidence that they often try to find employment in trade and gastronomy. Such strategies need to be examined more systematically, also taking the importance of ethnic or religious networks into account. Last but not least, we are interested in whether these participation rights, including the right to vote, are claimed and when, and what reactions can be observed in the majority society. Local workers have often denied migrants participation in the labour market – a constant challenge for trade union organisations, especially as employers have often used ethnically or racially discriminated groups as strikebreakers. In addition to the labour market, the housing market is particularly prone to conflict, showing that migration does not invariably equate to poverty. The Russians who have fled to Georgia are sometimes viewed with suspicion because their above-average professional qualifications enable them to pay very high rents. While the volume will not be able to systematically analyse all of these fields of conflict, we do hope for conceptual and empirically rich contributions. 

The Friedrich Ebert Foundation will host a conference, expected to take place in October 2023, to discuss ideas, themes and questions for contributions on the subject of AfS 64 as outlined above. We invite scholars to submit proposals of no more than 3,000 characters by 5 June 2023. Abstracts, conference papers and subsequent contributions may be submitted in German or English. Subsequently, the editors of the Archiv für Sozialgeschichte will select contributions, which should be approximately 60,000 characters (including footnotes). The submission deadline for contributions is 31 January 2024. 

The Archiv für Sozialgeschichte is edited by Claudia Gatzka, Kirsten Heinsohn, Thomas Kroll, Anja Kruke, Philipp Kufferath (managing director), Friedrich Lenger, Ute Planert, Dietmar Süß and Meik Woyke. 

For further information and all articles in open access up to 2021, see: 


Archiv für Sozialgeschichte 
Email: afs[at] 
Tel.: +49 228/883-8057 

Reminder – Deadline for Tony Slaven Doctoral Workshop approaching

Call for Papers: Tony Slaven Doctoral Workshop in Business History, 29 June 2022 

Newcastle Business School, Northumbria University Newcastle. 

The ABH will hold its tenth annual Tony Slaven Doctoral Workshop on 29 June 2023. This event immediately precedes the 2023 ABH Annual Conference at Newcastle Business School, Northumbria University. The full call for papers can be found here: Participants in the Workshop are encouraged to attend the main ABH Annual Conference following the Workshop. They will also have an opportunity to participate in the Poster Competition (explained in the main call for papers). The Workshop is an excellent opportunity for doctoral students to discuss their work with other research students and established academics in business history in an informal and supportive environment. It is important to note that this will not be a hybrid event and all participants need to attend the workshop in person. Students at any stage of their doctoral studies, whether in their first year or very close to submitting, are urged to apply. In addition to providing new researchers with an opportunity to discuss their work with experienced researchers in the discipline, the Workshop will also include at least one skill-related session. The Workshop interprets the term ‘business history’ broadly, and it is intended that students in areas such as (but not confined to) the history of management and organizations, international trade and investment, financial or economic history, agricultural history, the history of not-for- profit organisations, government-industry relations, accounting history, social studies of technology, and historians or management or labour will find it useful. Students undertaking topics with a significant business history element but in disciplines other than economic or business history are also welcome. We embrace students researching any era or region of history. Skills sessions are typically led by regular ABH members; in the past these have included ‘getting published’, ‘using historical sources’, and ‘preparing for your viva examination’ sessions. There will be ample time for discussion of each student’s work and the opportunity to gain feedback from active researchers in the field. 

How to Apply for the Tony Slaven Workshop 

Your application should be no more than 4 pages sent together in a single computer file: 1) a one-page CV; 2) one page stating the name(s) of the student’s supervisor(s), the title of the theses (a proposed title is fine), the university and department where the student is registered and the date of commencement of thesis registration; 3) an abstract of the work to be presented. 

If selected for the workshop, you will be asked to prepare a 15-minute presentation that is either a summary of your PhD project (giving an overview of the overarching themes, research questions, and methodologies) or a chapter/paper. 

You may apply via email to Dr Michael Aldous at Please use the subject line “Tony Slaven Workshop” and submit by 24 March 2023

CfP: Industriousness in the History of Capitalism

Call for Papers Hybrid/IRL Symposium: 

Working five to nine: Industriousness in the History of Capitalism

7 July 2023, Australian Catholic University

Victoria Parade, Fitzroy (Melbourne). Room TBA. Hybrid Format.

Convenors: Hannah Forsyth and Elizabeth Tandy Shermer

Twentieth century capitalism has relied to a considerable degree on industriousness at work and school. Such industriousness became key to accessing the elite. Yale law scholar Daniel Markovits describes a college application essay in which a student boasted that their dedication to study led them to pee their pants rather than interrupt an intellectual discussion. Such commitment became quite widespread. Musical icon Dolly Parton recently rewrote her iconic song, “9 to 5,” into “5 to 9” for an app commercial, which praised the many striving to get ahead, or just break even, in the Gig Economy. Productivity increases in service sector occupations have arguably driven a great deal of profitability since the late twentieth century. Longer working hours, fewer and shorter vacations, helicopter parenting  and other forms of investment in our own human capital have acted as a bulwark against falling into workforce precarity or losing class status, though it may be destabilized by the ‘Great Resignation’ succeeding COVID lockdowns. This symposium seeks to understand the origins and unfolding of this twentieth century work ethic, considering New Deal and welfare state preoccupations with full employment, the massive increase in years of schooling globally and the expansion of working hours, particularly among university students and in white-collar occupations.

We welcome proposals from history, sociology, education, political economy or other fields that consider industriousness in the twentieth century, whether in the USA, UK, Australia or elsewhere. Priority will be given to papers that may cohere into a published collection.

Please send short abstract proposals to Hannah by 1 May 2023:

For enquiries, feel free to contact either Hannah or Ellie

Call for Papers: Slavery, Institutions, and Empire – Moving Beyond Microhistory

Slavery, Institutions, and Empire: Moving Beyond Microhistory

The past few years have witnessed a wave of new studies that explore the relationships between specific institutions and the colonial past. The institutions encompassed within this burgeoning field include higher education establishments, hospitals, museums, corporations, and country houses.

This new generation of studies has produced a great deal of knowledge regarding the specific institutions in question. Yet, because of the way in which these projects have been conceived and funded, they rarely offer the opportunity to reflect on what these institutional histories might mean in the wider context of British domestic and imperial history.

This conference seeks to move beyond those individual microhistories, using them to shed light on bigger questions. What is the significance of individual research projects beyond that for the institution in question? How can these histories be integrated into the wider field? What can they tell us about the development of empire, Britain, colonialism, etc.?

We invite proposals for individual papers or panels that address larger issues raised by recent and current projects on British institutions and slavery, as well as other colonial connections. Papers may be centred on research projects about a particular institution, but may also range more widely. The issues we seek to explore include, but are not limited to, the following topics:

  • Methodological and theoretical approaches: what can we take from institutional microhistories and apply elsewhere?
  • Comparative histories: does putting individual histories alongside each other tell us something new about institutional development, patterns in imperial expansion, etc.?
  • Histories and Historiographies of Empire: can these new histories shed light, question, or refine ideas about established historiographical concepts like the imperialism of free trade, gentlemanly capitalism, or the new imperial history?
  • Core-and-periphery dynamics and the relationship between colonies and colonizers: did institutions and individuals located at certain places in the core-periphery axis experience empire differently? Were there particular dynamics or relationships that apply to places like Scotland, Wales, or Ireland that do not apply to England?
  • Business and economic history; histories of capitalism; histories of labour
  • Imperial networking and networks
  • Institutions and the construction of knowledge
  • Social and geographic mobility
  • Regional patterns of imperial participation
  • Histories of philanthropy

This day and a half-day conference will allow participants to engage with these issues, new research in the field, and with other researchers. It will conclude with a roundtable discussion.

We will meet on 7 and 8 September 2023 at Brasenose College, Oxford for an in-person conference. Participants should be committed to attend all panels.

We particularly welcome proposals from post-graduate research students and ECRs.

Funding will be available for travel and accommodation costs for speakers. Meals will be provided.

To propose a paper, please send an abstract of up to 250 words and a one-page CV by April 15, 2023, to

To propose a panel, please send to the same address a single document, labelled with the first initial and surname of the contact person (e.g., “SmithJ2023”), by April 15, 2023. The document should contain:

  • Panel title and one-paragraph description of panel topic, including a brief rationale that connects the papers
  • Title and 200-word abstracts for 3-4 papers
  • Email addresses and institutional affiliations (if applicable) for all participants
  • One-page CVfor each participant
  • Panel submissions may include a chair/commenter but do not need to do so

Questions about the conference may be directed to Hunter Harris (

CfP – Workshop on British commercial entertainment industries

New approaches to British commercial entertainment industries during the 20th century

Call for papers for this one-day workshop

Centre for Economic Institutions and Business History (CEIBH)

Henley Business School, University of Reading, UK

Submission date: 31 March 2023

This one-day workshop, scheduled for September 2023, will explore new approaches to the economic, business, and social history of the British commercial entertainment sectors over the 20th century, focusing on new approaches (especially regarding sources). Commercial entertainment was one of the most closely-monitored industries by government – especially from 1915-1960, owing to the importance of “entertainment duty,” a tax on admissions, which led HM Customs & Excise to compile extensive quantitative and qualitative data on the health of the main commercial entertainments (including spectator sports). This included commissioning the Government Social Survey to monitor both the frequency, cost, and age composition of customers for venue-based entertainments. Other under-used data include the Family Expenditure Survey (and its predecessors) and data compiled by commercial surveying companies.

We would welcome paper proposals on all mainstream commercial entertainments, including theatres, cinema, commercial sports, dancing, venue-based gambling (such as bingo), exhibitions and festivals. We would also welcome papers examining the impacts of new entertainments on incumbent commercial entertainment formats. Ideally, proposals should be “work-in progress” papers, rather than finished work, so that the workshop can contribute to improving the papers. There is no registration fee and we hope to be able to reimburse the admission costs for the presenters. For further information, please contact Peter Scott (IBS, Henley Business School at the University of Reading): For full consideration, papers should be submitted prior to 31st March 2023.

MOH SI on Microhistory

Management & Organizational History 

Special Issue Call for Papers 

Microhistory in Management History and Organization Theory 

Guest Editors 

  • Liv Egholm, Copenhagen Business School, 
  • Michael Heller, Brunel Business School, 
  • Michael Rowlinson, University of Exeter Business School, 

Submission September 1st, 2023 

There has been a resurgence of interest in microhistory. The classic texts associated with the subject remain immensely popular: The Cheese and the Worms (Ginzburg, 1992[1976]); The Return of Martin Guerre (Zemon Davis, 1983); and The Great Cat Massacre (Darnton, 1984). These provide a reference point, which has provided the basis for increasing reflection on the theoretical significance and methodological distinctiveness of microhistory (Magnússon & Szijártó, 2013), such as the special issue of Past and Present on ‘Global History and Microhistory’ (Ghobrial, 2019). Attention has also been paid to microhistory from management and business history as well as organization studies (Bourguignon & Floquet, 2019; Decker, 2015). Lately a recent article in Academy of Management Review has suggested that microhistory can help management and organization scholars paying attention to events and actions whose consequences unfold over years, challenging existing “macro” theories of continuity and change (Hargadon & Wadhwani, 2022). 2 

Microhistory offers an opportunity to reconceptualise relationships which lie at the heart of historical research and historiography: the historical nexus between the particular and the general, agency and structure, the micro and the macro. Microhistorians are known for their methodological habit of reading sources forensically in their search for historical clues. It implies reading historical sources ‘against the grain’ (Decker & McKinlay, 2020, pp. 26-27), or as Levi (2019: 41) puts it, ‘beyond the edge of the page’, carefully looking for what Ginzburg refers to as “unintended evidence” (Ginzburg, 2016). The use of microhistory as a magnifying glass can be seen as the equivalent of a detective’s tool. Sherlock Holmes´ working methods are often used as a metaphor for microhistory’s careful readings and detection of clues (Ginzburg, 2013 (1979)), often within “exceptional normal” cases (Grendi, 1977). 

For this reason, the trademark of microhistorical methodology is to trace sources and clues throughout and across archives (Ginzburg, 2013). The names of actors, places, concepts, events, or objects are used as concrete entry points to show how previously unrelated spaces, temporalities, and fields are woven together in practice. This mapping demonstrates great potential in revealing unnoticed relations between, for example, family life and entrepreneurship (Popp & Holt, 2013), religious practices and trade (Trivellato, 2019), or philanthropic gift giving and the establishment of the welfare state (Egholm, 2021). 

The purpose is not to argue for the universal value of the exceptional; it is to show, rather, how discrete historical events challenge our conceptualisations of the universal, and provide essential clues to what can be considered as normal (Ginzburg, 1979; Peltonen, 2001). Accordingly, the reduction of scale is not the study of the “microness” of a phenomenon (Levi, 2019, p. 38). The reduction of scale, rather, provides the historian with a heuristic tool to craft new theories by distorting or amending metanarratives and reformulating historical concepts and relations (see also Hargadon & Wadhwani, 2022). Without explicitly mentioning microhistory, a series of organizational phenomena have been reconceptualized 3 

from a close reading of sources, with notable examples being the career (McKinlay, 2002), and entrepreneurship (Popp & Holt, 2013. Thus, microhistory shows how, “history is a discipline of general questions and ‘local’ answers” (Levi, 2019, p. 45). 

The historic turn (Rowlinson, Hassard, & Decker, 2014) has pushed for a revised understanding of past context as offering more than simply temporal variables for universal theorising (Van Lent & Durepos, 2019). Historical phenomena often remain, however, reduced to consequences or affectations of particular contexts. In contrast, microhistory calls out for a grounding and explanation of the past through analyses of how actors, places, concepts, events or objects interact and are woven together in contradictory and often different fields and interests. In so doing, microhistory exposes how both individuals and social structures of all kinds are produced simultaneously through relationships and processes. It offers the possibility to situate studies of the dual temporality of individual and collective action within a longitudinal study of continuity and change over time (Hargadon & Wadhwani, 2022, p.). 

This special issue´s scope is to explore the methodological, ontological, and empirical strengths of microhistory to advance management history and organization studies. Therefore, we invite both theoretical, and theoretically informed empirical submissions that will further the contribution of microhistory in business history, management, and organizational history, as well as management and organization theory. 

Questions and topics of interest for the special issue may include: 

1. How does the use of microhistory question, elaborate, or develop macro theories or broader conceptualisations from within the confines of discrete and particular historical studies? 

2. How do microhistorical methodologies of reading “beyond the edges of the paper” contradict and undermine broader historical narratives in business and management and organizational history such as Marxism, functionalism, institutionalism, neo-liberalism, the resource-based view of the firm, and economic path dependency? 

3. What are the advantages and concerns for the use of historical archival research, source criticism, triangulation, and historical interpretivism when innovative microhistorical methodologies work with “dissonant sources” and “unintended evidence”? 

4. What is the impact of microhistory in relation to archival ethnography and the employment of micro historical sources (e.g., letters, diaries, postcards, travel accounts, scrapbooks, and memoirs)? 

5. What is the way in which local knowledge and local environment historically create organizational, business, and entrepreneurial opportunities? 

6. How does a microhistorical approach reconceptualise the relationship between agency and structure in business and management and organizational history? 

7. What is the relationship between the different scales of history? In particular, to what extent do microhistories develop historical accounts that reflect on a granular scale broader organizational and business historical environments and trends? 

8. How can we account for generalisation by using a microhistorical approach? How can local answers reply to general questions by showing complex and often ambiguous connections in historical archives? 


Bourguignon, R., & Floquet, M. (2019). When union strategy meets business strategy: The union voucher at Axa. Business History, 61(2), 260-280. 5 

Darnton, R. (1984). The great cat massacre and other episodes in French cultural history. New York: Basic Books. 

Decker, S. (2015). Mothership reconnection. In P. G. McLaren, A. J. Mills, & T. G. Weatherbee (Eds.), The Routledge Companion to Management and Organizational History (pp. 222-237): Routledge. 

Decker, S., & McKinlay, A. (2020). Archival Ethnography. In R. Mir & A.-L. Fayard (Eds.), Routledge Companion to Anthropology and Business New York and London: Routledge. 

Egholm, L. (2021). Practising the Common Good: Philanthropic Practices in Twentieth-Century Denmark. International Journal of Politics, Culture, and Society

Ghobrial, J.-P. A. (2019). Introduction: Seeing the World like a Microhistorian*. Past & Present, 242(Supplement_14), 1-22. doi:10.1093/pastj/gtz046 

Ginzburg, C. (1979). Clues. Renewal and Critique in Social Theory, 7(3), 273-288. 

Ginzburg, C. (1992[1976]). The Cheese and the Worms: The Cosmos of a Sixteeenth-Century Miller (J. Tedeschi & A. Tedeschi, Trans.). Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press. 

Ginzburg, C. (2013 (1979)). Clues: roots of an evidential paradigm. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press. 

Grendi, E. (1977). Microanalisi e storia sociale. Quaderni storici, 35(maj- august). 

Hargadon, A.B. & Wadhwani, R.D. 0: Theorizing with Microhistory. Academy of Management Review, online first 0, 

Levi, G. (2019). Frail Frontiers?*. Past & Present, 242(Supplement_14), 37-49. 

Magnússon, S. G., & Szijártó, I. M. (2013). What is Microhistory. London and New York: Routledge. 6 

McKinlay, A. (2002). Dead Selves’: The Birth of the Modern Career. Organization (London, England), 9(4), 595-614. 

Peltonen, M. (2001). Clues, Margins, and Monads: The Micro–Macro Link in Historical Research. History and Theory, 40(3), 347-359. 

Popp, A., & Holt, R. (2013). The presence of entrepreneurial opportunity. Business History, 55(1), 9-28. 

Rowlinson, M., Hassard, J., & Decker, S. (2014). Research strategies for organizational history: A dialogue between historical theory and organization theory. 39, 250-274. 

Trivellato, F. (2019). The Promise and Peril of Credit: What a Forgotten Legend about Jews and Finance Tells Us about the Making of European Commercial Society: Princeton: Princeton University Press. 

Van Lent, W., & Durepos, G. (2019). Nurturing the historic turn: “history as theory” versus “history as method”. Journal of Management History, 25(4), 429-443. 

Zemon Davis, N. (1983). The Return of Martin Guerre. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press. 

If you have any questions or would like feed-back on an abstract/article, please reach out to one of us (see emails above), we would be happy to look at it and provide some feed-back for finalizing the article for submission. 

Seminar at the German Studies Association annual conference, Montreal, Canada

CfA: GSA Seminar “Made in Germany: Myths and Materiality of an Exporting Nation

Date: 5-8 October 2023

Deadline: 3 March 2023, 11:59 PST

How to apply:

Convenors: William Glenn Gray (Purdue) and Katrin Schreiter (King’s College London)

This seminar will take place at the German Studies Association annual conference in Montreal, 5-8 October 2023. It invites participants to consider the centrality of export activity to society, culture, and politics in the German-speaking lands. Long before the “Made in Germany” label was affixed to products, trade fairs were a feature of German economic life; and the 19th and 20th centuries brought an even greater concentration on production for export. How did orientation toward distant markets inflect business innovation, product design, foreign relations, and political priorities? How did concerns about market share shape currency alignments, labor practices, and the domestic economy? What histories can be told about the lives of German commercial agents abroad, and what narratives did Germans craft about their most iconic exports? And how did German products impact societies abroad? The conveners welcome contributions from design history, material culture, business history, labor history, and beyond. Our goals are to reinvigorate the salience of economic themes within the GSA and to publish proceedings.

Participants will prepare brief research-based contributions (ca. 10 double-spaced pages) in response to the seminar’s guiding themes and prescribed readings. Each morning the seminar will discuss a selection of their pre-circulated contributions in a roundtable format. Completed seminar contributions are due September 5. The prospects for the publication of expanded seminar papers, whether as an edited volume or a journal special issue, will feature in the seminar’s closing discussion.

See also:

If you have any questions about the seminar theme or the fit of your potential contribution, please contact Katrin Schreiter (

Journal of Transport History Special Issue

Roads to Exclusion: Socio-Spatial Dynamics of Mobility Infrastructures since the 19th century

Roads to Exclusion: Socio-Spatial Dynamics of Mobility Infrastructures since the 19th century


  • Andreas Greiner (
  • Carolin Liebisch-Gümüş (
  • Mario Peters (
  • Roland Wenzlhuemer (

Deadline: 28.02.2023

The envisaged special issue (Journal of Transport History) explores the intended or unintended dynamics of inclusion and exclusion entailed in mobility infrastructures, ranging from the nineteenth century to the present. We invite scholars from different regional and disciplinary backgrounds to study the exclusionary effects in infrastructure planning, its spatial and social practices, its effects on marginalized groups, as well as the resilience and resistance of these groups.

Roads to Exclusion: Socio-Spatial Dynamics of Mobility Infrastructures since the 19th century

New transportation arteries, mechanized vehicles, and transit hubs are often described as engines of spatial and cultural integration. Mobility infrastructures that have been developed since the nineteenth century up to the present have been at the heart of state-led modernization projects. On both the global and local level, the extension of infrastructures embodies the promises of speed, freedom, and prosperity. Despite the integrative visions of experts, politicians, and corporations, however, the “promise of infrastructure” (Nikhil Anand, Akhil Gupta & Hannah Appel 2018) is never universal. For one thing, infrastructure planning and building reflect uneven power relations and deliberately ignore specific people and places; for another, once built, infrastructural networks often also reinforce these hierarchies, acting as tools of exclusion. Such infrastructural exclusion is the theme of a special issue that we propose to The Journal of Transport History.

Over the past two centuries, transportation infrastructures and the dynamics of exclusion have been entangled in many ways. First, exclusion has occurred whenever new modes of transportation have come to compete with existing infrastructure systems, such as in the conflicts between cars and pedestrians. Second, contrary to promises that remoter and supposedly uninhabited areas could become integrated, new transportation corridors have often facilitated the dispossession of land and removal of minorities and colonized people. At the same time, specific places and people have ended up being marginal and immobile when infrastructures were not built.

Most importantly, means of transportation and their manifestation in space, such as bus stations and airports, have become sites of exclusion and boundary-drawing. Their regulated access and the usage practices have reinforced categories of race, class, and gender, rendering them more visible in everyday life. The dynamics of exclusion, however, have seldom been all-encompassing. The individuals and collectives affected by infrastructural exclusion or violence have often resisted and/or manipulated the extension and operation of these systems. Likewise, in different places and at different times, people have developed creative everyday practices of subverting the regulated access to mobility infrastructure. Vagrants, undocumented migrants, and other non-licensed users have appropriated the exclusionary systems, turning them to their own ends.

This envisaged special issue explores the (intended or unintended) dynamics of inclusion and exclusion entailed in mobility infrastructures, ranging from the nineteenth century to the present. We invite scholars from different regional and disciplinary backgrounds to study the exclusionary effects in infrastructure planning, its spatial and social practices, its effects on marginalized groups, as well as the resilience and resistance of these groups. The thematic range includes, but is not limited to, the following potential topics:

– Promises and failures of mobility infrastructures and their discursive representation
– Power, planning, and intentional exclusion
– Barriers, class separation, and other material and spatial practices of exclusion
– Group-specific discrimination and infrastructural violence
– Resistance, subversion, and appropriation of mobility infrastructures by marginalized actors

The planned special issue will be guest edited by Andreas Greiner, Carolin Liebisch-Gümüş, Mario Peters (all German Historical Institute Washington), and Roland Wenzlhuemer (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich).

Your abstract should include the following items:

1. Name, affiliation, and email address
2. Short biography (150 words)
3. Abstract of 500 words including article title, exposition of case study/research question/outline, relevant theme addressed, and article type.

Please send the above components (in ONE collated word document) to the editors ( Submission deadline: 28 February 2023

In case the proposal gets accepted by the Journal, the deadline for full articles will be 30 September 2023. The guest editors will afterwards work with the authors towards revising their articles. Papers will be subject to a double-anonymized review process. About Journal of Transport History and submissions:

Queries before the abstract submission date can be directed to