Book review: Empire of Cotton

Cross-posted from the Imperial and Global Forum:

Empire of Cotton: A Global History, by Sven Beckert (2015)

 Edward Watson
University of Texas at Austin

Cross-posted from Not Even Past

Sven Beckert places cotton at the center of his colossal history of modern capitalism, arguing that the growth of the industry was the “launching pad for the broader Industrial Revolution.” Beckert follows cotton through a staggering spatial and chronological scope. Spanning five thousand years of cotton’s history, with a particular focus on the seventeenth to twentieth centuries, Empire of Cotton is a tale of the spread of industrialization and the rise of modern global capitalism. Through emphasizing the international nature of the cotton industry, Beckert exemplifies how history of the commodity and global history are ideally suited to each other. Produced over the course of ten years and with a transnational breadth of archive material, Empire of Cotton is a bold, ambitious work that confronts challenges that many historians could only dream of attempting.  The result is a popular history that is largely successful in attaining the desirable combination of being both rigorous and entertaining.

To read more go here.

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Change of BH referencing style

On behalf of the Business History editorial team, I am happy to announce that for submissions from January 2018 onwards, Business History has changed the referencing style to Taylor & Francis’ version of APA – i.e. in-text author-date citations. The aim is to bring our referencing practice in line with the social science community after analysing the institutional background of our authors in the last few years. This means that from 2019, all articles will be published in author-date format.

To read the editorial explaining our decision, please go here: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00076791.2017.1386762

Princess Leia has a PhD

OK, not technically organizational history, but I could not resist 😉

It makes perfect sense that Princess Leia should have a PhD – but we need more female academics

When Princess Leia – older, wiser and tougher than ever – returned to the big screen two years ago in the latest Star Wars instalment, The Force Awakens, fans around the globe cheered.

Played with great wit and charisma by the late Carrie Fisher, the fictional Leia – known variously as princess, senator and general – is leader of first the Rebel Alliance, then the Resistance, fighting the monolithic forces of oppression that threaten her galaxy.

But when fans learned that Leia might have a PhD, thanks to a throwaway remark made by creator George Lucas on a 2004 DVD commentary that resurfaced when I tweeted about it recently, adoration for the Women’s March poster girl exploded online and in the press.

The Hollywood Reporter said fans were “shocked, but delighted” at the news, and Teen Vogue celebrated Leia as “a genius who somehow managed to get a PhD at age 19”. Even Mark Hamill, Fisher’s onscreen twin, Luke Skywalker, was “freaking out” about the story.

To read the full story, go to The Conversation.

A New History of Management

We are very pleased to announce that a new publication on the history of management is out now:

A New History of Management

 

Existing narratives about how we should organize are built upon, and reinforce, a concept of ‘good management’ derived from what is assumed to be a fundamental need to increase efficiency. But this assumption is based on a presentist, monocultural, and generally limited view of management’s past. A New History of Management disputes these foundations. By reassessing conventional perspectives on past management theories and providing a new critical outline of present-day management, it highlights alternative conceptions of ‘good management’ focused on ethical aims, sustainability, and alternative views of good practice. From this new historical perspective, existing assumptions can be countered and simplistic views disputed, offering a platform from which graduate students, researchers and reflective practitioners can develop alternative approaches for managing and organizing in the twenty-first century.

GoogleBooks

ResearchGate

Born digital sources & historical research

Political History in the Digital Age: The challenges of archiving and analysing born digital sources.

Helen+McCarthy+5bcredit+Jonathan+Ring5dThe vast bulk of source material for historical research is still paper-based. But this is bound to change. Dr Helen McCarthy considers the lessons from the Mile End Institute’s conference on Contemporary Political History in the Digital Age. The specific challenges of using a ‘born digital source’ is an area that requires considerable attention. For political historians, the advent of ‘e-government’ and personal digital archives, and the many formats and artefacts involved, is thrilling but also intimidating.

Historians like digging around in archives.

The materiality of the primary source is part of the allure of historical research: rummaging through dust-covered files, turning the decomposing pages of thick-bound volumes, removing rusty paperclips, perusing bundles tied with ancient string – it’s all part of the voyage of discovery into the past which drew most of us to our careers as historians.

To continue reading go to the LSE blog.

 

AOM PDW on Historical methods

*** Apologies for cross-posting ***

 

PDW on “Historical Methods for Management and Organizational Research”

 

Coordinators

Stephanie Decker, Aston Business School

Diego M. Coraiola, U. of Alberta

 

Participants

William Foster, U. of Alberta

JoAnne Yates, MIT Sloan School of Management

Matthias Kipping, Schulich School of Bus, York U.

Michael Rowlinson, U. of Exeter

Christina Lubinski, Copenhagen Business School

 

Program Information

Session Type: PDW Workshop

Program Session: 107 | Submission: 12154 | Sponsor(s): (MH, CMS)

Scheduled: Friday, Aug 4 2017 12:15PM – 2:45PM at Hyatt Regency Atlanta in Embassy Hall E

 

 

Description

The PDW will be divided in two parts.

  1. In the first part the participants will present on topics related to the use of historical methods in management and organizational research. After the presentations we will have time for questions and answers from the audience.
  2. In the second part the participants will be distributed in roundtables and the audience will be invited to join them to discuss specific topics of the practice and publishing of historical research in management journals and receive feedback on their research projects.

 

Registration

***No registration required.

 

We do not require a formal registration. However, if you are planning to join us, we strongly encourage you to prepare a brief summary of a research project you are working on together with any doubts or puzzling issues you have been facing that you might want to discuss and get feedback on during the roundtables.

 

Abstract

Historical approaches to management and organizations have seen many promising developments in recent years, with several articles, special issues and edited books highlighting the important contribution that historical research can make to our understanding of contemporary organizations. Theoretical debates on the status of historical approaches within management and organization studies have dominated so far. These are important as they determine what kind of historical methods align with scholars’ epistemological and theoretical approach. Hence this PDW has two aims: to introduce scholars interested in the more practical questions of how we can use historical methods for organizational research to a range of option, and by highlighting the methodological implications of using specific historical approaches. This PDW will bring together several scholars who have used historical methodologies in their research. Their presentations will introduce participants to a range of methodologies and offer them the opportunity to subsequently discuss the relevance of these approaches for participants’ research projects in small groups in the second half of the session.

 

 

 

BH 59,7 October 2017 issue is now out!

Business History, Volume 59, Issue 7, October 2017 is now available online on Taylor & Francis Online.

Business and Global Environmental History

This new issue contains the following articles:

Special Issue Articles

Uniting business history and global environmental history
Andrew Smith & Kirsten Greer
Pages: 987-1009 | DOI: 10.1080/00076791.2017.1338688
Knowing nature in the business records of the Hudson’s Bay Company, 1670–1840
George Colpitts
Pages: 1054-1080 | DOI: 10.1080/00076791.2017.1304914

Original Articles

Making the global local? Overseas goods in English rural shops, c.1600–1760
Jon Stobart
Pages: 1136-1153 | DOI: 10.1080/00076791.2017.1293040

Workshop report: Pop Nostalgia

The German Historical Institute published a workshop report on an interesting event on pop nostalgia & uses of the past that took place last year here: https://www.ghil.ac.uk/pop_nostalgia.html

Pop Nostalgia: The Uses of the Past in Popular Culture

 

Pop nostalgia, we are told, is everywhere. Our current golden age of television—from Mad Men to Vinyl, Downton Abbey to Call the Midwife—lovingly recreates earlier periods of the twentieth century, while club nights devoted to the 1980s or 1990s allow us to return to our youth. What is more, popular culture is, in the words of music journalist Simon Reynolds, addicted to its own past. It not only reminisces, it revives, reissues, remixes earlier forms and styles instead of coming up with genuinely new. Finally, our most modern technologies are always also time machines: producing sepia-coloured images of the present for an anticipated nostalgic recollection in the future.

These very different cultural phenomena, which are often subsumed under the term nostalgia, raise a number of still under-explored questions. How new is this development, given that period films are as old as the cinema and that popular culture and music has drawn on earlier periods as long as it exists? Can the recycling of old styles and forms not also be highly creative and result in innovations? Are period settings and costumes, retro and vintage styles as such indicative and synonymous with nostalgia? Is it really nostalgia that drives our interest in and our engagement with the past? And if not what other motivations are at play? What role, for example, have media technologies such as film and the internet played in preserving the culture of the past in the present?

These are some of the questions the workshop Pop Nostalgia addresses. It explores the uses of the past in popular culture across all media and genre, from literature, cinema, television, and video games to theme park, club nights and sports events. It is interested not only in representations of the past but also in their production and circulation as well as in audiences and reception. The workshop is particularly interested in the historical dimension of pop nostalgia.

New article on History Reframing Institutional Logics

 And we are happy to announce another great contribution to the ongoing debate on organizational history:

PRACTICE, SUBSTANCE AND HISTORY: REFRAMING INSTITUTIONAL LOGICS

  1. Alistair Mutch
    Nottingham Business School, Nottingham trent University, Nottingham, NG1 4BU, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
  1. Correspondence: Alistair Mutch, Email: alistair.mutch@ntu.ac.uk

Abstract

The characterization by Roger Friedland of institutional logics as a combination of substance and practices opens the door to a more complex reading of their influence on organizational life. His focus suggests attention to feelings and belief as much as cognition and choice. This article uses history to develop these ideas by paying attention to the perennial features of our embodied relations with the world and other persons. Historical work draws our attention to neglected domains of social life, such as play, which can have profound impacts on organizations. The study of history suggests that such institutions have a long run conditioning influence that calls into question accounts that stress individual agential choice and action in bringing about change. Analytical narratives of the emergence of practices can provide the means to combine the conceptual apparatus of organization theory with the attention to temporality of history.

  • Received September 10, 2015.
  • Revision received May 9, 2017.
  • Accepted May 12, 2017.

New article in Organizational History

On the back of recent and significant new debates on the use of history within business and management studies, we consider the perception of historians as being anti-theory and of having methodological shortcomings; and business and management scholars displaying insufficient attention to historical context and privileging of certain social science methods over others. These are explored through an examination of three subjects: strategy, international business and entrepreneurship. We propose a framework for advancing the use of history within business and management studies more generally through greater understanding of historical perspectives and methodologies.