CfP: BHC Doctoral Colloquium

The BHC Doctoral Colloquium (DC) in Business History will be held on March 8th and 9th, 2023.  The participants will be invited for a welcome dinner in Detroit on March 7th. During the days of DC, there will also be professional development sessions scheduled. 

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.

We welcome proposals from students working within any thematic area of 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 work intensively with a distinguished group of BHC-affiliated scholars (including the incoming BHC president), discussing dissertation proposals, relevant literatures and research strategies, and career trajectories. 

Applications are due by Friday December 9th, 2022, via email to Carol Lockman (clockman@Hagley.org). Questions about the colloquium should be sent to its director, Prof. Eric Godelier (eric.godelier@polytechnique.edu). Applicants will receive notification of the selection committee’s decisions by Monday January 16th (2023). If they travel to Detroit, all participants will receive a stipend that partially defrays travel costs to the annual meeting. 

Colloquium participants have a choice of pre-circulating one of the following:

·       a 15-page dissertation prospectus or updated overview of the dissertation research plan; or

·       a draft dissertation chapter, along with a one-page dissertation outline/description. 

Participants should choose the option they feel will most assist them at this stage in their research and writing. We will need either the prospectus/overview or a chapter draft and outline by February 27th.  Those will then be posted on a Colloquium webpage on the BHC website and shared with all participants to read in advance.

BHC mid-year virtual event

We are very proud to be presenting our work with email archives (workshop 2.2) at @the_BHC mid-year event “Methods and Madness” this month. For the up-to-date programme, please see: https://thebhc.org/node/86174 .

Preliminary program for September 30, 2022. Venue: Zoom (Link provided with Registration). All times in Eastern Time (EST). Download PDF of the program here. To see the extended program and post questions to convenors in advance please check out the working document here.

9:00 Welcome
9:15Session 1Reinventing Interpretation
 Workshop 1.1Interpreting Visual Sources Rick Halpern (University of Toronto) and Carol Quirke (State University of New York, Old Westbury) Chair: Beatriz Rodriguez-Satizabal (Universidad del Pacífico)
 Workshop 1.2Interpreting the Senses Ai Hisano (University of Tokyo) and Sven Kube (Florida International University) Chair: Sven Kube (Florida International University)
 Workshop 1.3Material Culture Jen Black (Misericordia University) and Marina Moskowitz (University of Wisconsin) Chair: Paula de la Cruz-Fernández (BHC)
 Workshop 1.4 Topic Modeling Marta Villamor (University of Maryland) and Fabian Prieto-Nañez (Virginia Tech) Chair: Ghassan Moazzin (University of Hong Kong)
 Workshop 1.5Databases, Network Analysis and QCA Erica Salvaj (Universidad del Desarrollo), Alberto Rinaldi (Unimore) and Susie Pak (St. John’s University) Chair: Valeria Giacomin (Bocconi University)
 Workshop 1.6Built and Natural Environment Jeremy Zallen (Lafayette College) and Bartow Elmore (Ohio State University) Chair: Christoph Viebig (Copenhagen Business School)
10:15BreakAttendees are welcomed to stay connected during the 15 minutes break
10:30Session 2Reinventing Sources
 Workshop 2.1Account Books Rachel Van (Cal Poly, Pomona), Caitlin Rosenthal (University of California, Berkeley), William Deringer (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) Chair: Ellen Nye (Harvard University)
 Workshop 2.2Email archives Stephanie Decker (Birmingham Business School), David Kirsch (University of Maryland), and Adam Nix (University of Birmingham) Chair: Christoph Viebig (Copenhagen Business School)
 Workshop 2.3Online Archives Philip Scranton (Rutgers University), Edward Balleisen (Duke University), Andrea Lluch (CONICET) and Geoffrey Jones (Harvard Business School) Chair: Ghassan Moazzin (University of Hong Kong)
 Workshop 2.4Advertisements  Susmita Das (University of Illinois) and Cynthia Meyers (College of Mount Saint Vincent) Chair: Paula de la Cruz-Fernández
 Workshop 2.5Forms and Reports  Sean Vanatta (University of Glasgow) and Gabriela Recio Chair: Beatriz Rodriguez-Satizabal (Universidad del Pacífico)
 Workshop 2.6Legal sources Ashton Merck (North Carolina State University), Anna Hrom (William & Connolly LLP), Nate Holdren (Drake University), and Justene Hill Edwards (University of Virginia) Chair: Ashton Merck (North Carolina State University)
11:30BreakAttendees are welcomed to stay connected during the 15 minutes break
11:45Session 3Reinventing Form
 Workshop 3.1Visualizing the past David Staley (Ohio State University) Chair: Ellen Nye (Harvard University)
 Workshop 3.2History-as-Dialogue: Podcasting Bernardo Batiz-Lazo (Northumbria University) and Gregory Hargreaves (Hagley Museum & Library) Chair: Beatriz Rodriguez-Satizabal (Universidad del Pacífico)
 Workshop 3.3 Business History and Business/Policy in Practice  John Wilson (Newcastle University Business School) and Anna Tilba (Durham University) Chair: TBA
 Workshop 3.4 Microhistory  Andrew Popp (Copenhagen Business School) and Susan Lewis (State University of New York at New Paltz) Chair: Sven Kube (Florida International University)
 Workshop 3.5Curation Marina Moskowitz (University of Wisconsin) Chair: Paula de la Cruz-Fernández
 Workshop 3.6Tiktok History  Zhaojin Zeng (Duke Kunshan University) Chair: Valeria Giacomin (Bocconi University)
12:45BreakAttendees are welcomed to stay connected during the 15 minutes break
13:00 Wrap Up: Where Might We Go From Here?

Business Archives Council Bursary

The Business Archives Council’s bursary for business history research provides financial support for researchers to access business and organisational archives who would not otherwise be able to do so. The closing date for this year has been extended, but applications must be in by 30 September. Information about the bursary, eligibility and how to apply can be found on the BAC website – 

https://businessarchivescouncil.org.uk/activitiesobjectives/bursary/

2022 BHC Mid-Year Conference (online)

The Business History Conference (BHC) will host a one-day virtual conference on September 30, 2022. The 2022 BHC Mid-Year Conference enables members from around the world to easily and cost-effectively participate in the BHC during a turbulent time and also launches the BHC’s activities for the 2022-2023 academic year. The 2023 BHC Annual meeting will take place in person in Detroit on March 9-11, 2023. 

The theme for the 2022 BHC Mid-Year Conference is “Method and Madness: Reinventing Business History in a New Age of Extremes.” The one-day conference will be organized around three sets of 1.5 hour workshops. The first set of workshops will examine new sources and new uses of old sources in business history research. Sessions will include the uses of visual materials, legal records, account books, and big data, among other sources. The second set of workshops will cover interpretive and analytical techniques, including the interpretation of senses, network analysis, and the rhetorical uses of history. The third set of workshops will cover changes in the representation and dissemination of business history, including both conventional formats (books, scholarly articles) and newer formats (podcasts, social media, etc). 

Given that the conference is organized around short workshops rather than presentations, we will request participants to only fill out a registration form. The registration website will go live August 22 and participants will be notified of their acceptance by September 1. BHC members who are students and emerging scholars can register for free; fees for regular BHC members and nonmembers will be modest. In the meantime, please save the date.

If you have any questions or suggestions please don’t hesitate to reach out to BHC president Dan Wadhwani: dwadhwani@marshall.usc.edu. Interested people may also follow/tag @TheBHCNewsBHC’s Facebook, and BHC’s LinkedIn, and the hashtag #BHCMidYear. 

CfP: Early encounters with coal

Early encounters with coal: Retrieving views from below

The rise of coal and steam-power in the nineteenth century is now widely recognised as an epochal historical event. It put the world-economy on a path to large-scale, climate-shattering combustion of fossil fuels. While these trajectories have been intensely studied in recent scholarship, we know far less about how coal and steam were perceived from subaltern positions. How did people react to this novel fuel and the technologies it animated when they slammed into their lives? Did they admire or fear them, wish to escape and eliminate them, or rather emulate and acquire their powers? Through what cultural filters were coal and steam viewed when each first began to take hold? While the stories of early coal and steam have been told from the perspective of inventors, manufacturers, merchants, colonial administrators and other agents of their dissemination, the voices from the other side have yet to be heard: colonised people; workers in mines and ports, on fields, boats and railroads; those who were dispossessed and displaced by the onrush of the first fossil economy. Most of these voices will inevitably be lost to the historical record. Some, however, might be retrieved by studying sources spanning a spectrum from oral traditions and folk songs via travelogues and popular science magazines to pamphlets and novels, to mention only some. We need to examine technologies of extraction as well as use, and thus set the histories of mining and supply alongside those of trade and consumption. A more focused effort to reconstruct the variety and tensions of early encounters with coal, especially as seen from below, is, we believe, not only possible but potentially valuable. It might illuminate creatively the power relations of fossil-fuelled development, potentials for resistance, tendencies of accommodation and embrace and many other aspects of the historical process.

For this workshop we invite contributions about encounters with coal anywhere in the world, up until the Second World War. Building on the recent emergence of literatures examining the development of coal technologies in radically different environments and regions – Asia, the Middle East, South America as well as Britain and Europe – we ask how the histories of those who dug, wrought, fired and laboured for coal and steam can be enriched by the perspectives of historical industrial psychology, environmental history, science and technology studies, history of technology and conceptual history of energy, folklore, religious studies, gender and sexuality in industrial history/history of technology, socioeconomic history, labour history, anthropology, ecocriticism, history of urban environment/pollution, colonial/empire history, rural change and industrialization, energy humanities, maritime history, infrastructural history.

We invite proposed contributions for a hybrid workshop to be held in Cambridge and online on 13-14 December, with 300 word abstracts due on 29 August, accepted contributors informed on 12 September and draft papers (up to 8,000 words) to be circulated by Friday 2 December.

Timeline

Proposed abstracts due: Monday 29 August 2022 (sent by email to Richard Staley <raws1@cam.ac.uk>

Programme circulated: Monday 12 September

Draft papers to be circulated: Friday 2 December

Workshop: Tuesday and Wednesday 13 and 14 December (with a meeting held in Cambridge for those able to attend in person and hybrid participation online for those more distant).

Amr Ahmed, Andreas Malm, Simon Schaffer, Richard Staley

AOM 2022 PDW: Digital archives search

Are you interested in learning about how to use email in your research? If so, please come to a special Professional Development Workshop (PDW) at the 2022 Academy of Management (AOM) Annual Meeting to learn how other scholars are using email and to participate in a study about knowledge discovery in large-scale, organizational email corpora.

Emails are materially different from the correspondence of the pre-digital age, but their significance as traces of the past is substantial, especially for organizations, where email is not only used as a form of correspondence but also as an informal mode of record keeping. We believe that the preservation of a meaningful, relatively complete email archive is one plausible pathway to supporting scholarly research on organizations.

The forthcoming PDW — “Introducing the ‘Digitally Curious’ to Email Archives for Organizational Research and History (session 183)” — is sponsored by the Management History (MH) division of AOM and will introduce the “digitally curious” scholar to email archives for organizational research. It will be moderated by Prof David Kirsch (University of Maryland, US), Dr Adam Nix (University of Birmingham, UK), Shubhangkar Girish Jain (University of Maryland, US) in person, and online by Prof Stephanie Decker (University of Birmingham, UK, and University of Gothenburg, Sweden) and Dr Santhilata Kuppili Venkata (independent scholars).

The PDW will take place on Friday, August 5, from 2:00-4:00pm PDT in a hybrid format with both in-person and virtual participation supported. To allow participants to access the email tools and collections, pre-registration is requested. If you would like to register or to learn more about the workshop and the project, please email Shubhangkar Girish Jain (shubhangkar.girishjain@marylandsmith.umd.edu).

Attendees at the PDW are invited to contribute to research on the use of email and will be encouraged to complete a post-workshop survey that will constitute an input to our ongoing research in this area. Completion of the survey is not required to attend and participate in the workshop.

CfP: Enterprising York

Call for Papers

Enterprising York: Histories of Business, Management and Society in a City of Heritage

York, England

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 (shane.hamilton@york.ac.uk) 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.

HHH: The Empire State building

The tallest building of its day opened as the Great Depression really began to squeeze the American economy. Was the Empire State Building a gigantic folly perpetrated by men with sky-scraping egos? Folks in the 1930s thought so, calling the monument the “Empty State Building,” because so little of its space had been rented. Yet, when viewed from the vantage of the twenty-first century through the lens of archival documents, the Empire State Building resolves into an economically and culturally successful investment made by people with enormous fortunes motivated both by egotism and broad vision. 

Economist Jason Barr, professor at Rutgers University – Newark, dug into the records of John J. Raskob and Pierre Samuel du Pont records held by the Hagley Library to uncover an insider’s story of the Empire State Building. Conceived by Raskob, and backed by du Pont, the project launched in 1929, weeks before the stock market crash, and opened for business in 1931, after a record-setting rapid construction. While the building did sit mostly empty until the 1940s, it nevertheless generated a return, especially through charging admission to the observation deck. This invitation for the public to experience the building characterized the Empire State Building legacy, which has grown to influence city builders the world over. 

The audio-only version of this program is available on our podcast.   Interview available at  https://www.hagley.org/research/history-hangout-jason-barr.

Recorded on Zoom and available anywhere once they are released, our History Hangouts include interviews with authors of books and other researchers who have use of our collections, and members of Hagley staff with their special knowledge of what we have in our stacks. We began the History Hangouts earlier this summer and now are releasing programs every two weeks on alternate Mondays. Our series is part of the Hagley from Home initiative by the Hagley Museum and Library. The schedule for upcoming episodes, as well as those already released, is available at  https://www.hagley.org/hagley-history-hangout

Business History now accepts Video Abstracts!

At Business History, we would like to promote your research to a wider audience. A good way of doing that is video abstracts. Thanks to the pandemic, many of us are now much more versed with video recording software and video conferencing software that facilitates recordings. Therefore, there is no reason to limit this skill set to teaching only. The video abstracts will be published on the journal’s webpage.

What we need from you:

  • The video – 3 mins or so
  • A transcript
  • A multimedia contributor agreement (we will send this when we receive the video and abstract)

Detailed information is available here.

Send the video abstract or any queries about it to the journal’s Social Media Editor, Dr. Paula de la Cruz-Fernández (businesshistorysm[at]gmail.com).

New funding for Email Archives Research Project

EMCODIST – The Next Phase

Following the publication of our Dotcom-Archive website [link to Monday’s post] we’re delighted to announce that we’ve been awarded follow-on funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation [https://mellon.org] via the Email Archives: Building Capacity and Community (EA:BCC) programme at the University of Illinois [https://emailarchivesgrant.library.illinois.edu].

 “Discovery environments for using email archives: Evaluating user needs with prototype version of EMailCOntextualisationDIScovery Tool” (or just “EMailCOntextualisationDIScovery”) is a new project that will build on Contextualizing Email Archives and the ECOMDIST discovery prototype we developed.

The award (approximately $57,000) will fund tool development, testing and user experience analysis in 2022 and 2023.

Why email?

Emails are materially different from correspondence of the pre-digital age, but their significance as traces of the past is substantial, especially for organizations, where email is not only used as a form of correspondence but also as an informal mode of record keeping. We believe that the preservation of a meaningful, relatively complete email archive is one plausible pathway to supporting scholarly research on organizations. 

Our work focuses on how researchers will engage with such resources, having previously developed an AI-based discovery tool (ECOMDIST), which we used to explore a dotcom-era email archive [https://dotcomarchive.bristol.ac.uk/]. Our new project will bring this technology to researchers in management and organization history, one of the key scholarly use cases for large-scale email corpora, and see how it can best be developed to support a context-sensitive discovery process.

Going to AoM?

One of our first activities on the project will be a Professional Development Workshop (PDW) at this year’s Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management in Seattle [https://aom.org/events/annual-meeting]. Sponsored by the Management History (MH) division, Introducing the “digitally curious” to email archives for organizational history will:

  1. introduce “digitally curious” management scholars to the use of email collections as contexts for research;
  2. orient scholars to new tools for interacting with sample email collections, including EMCODIST; and 
  3. provide a forum for scholars to share and learn from each other about emerging best practices in the use of email as a context for research. 

The PDW will take place on Friday, August 5, from 2:00-4:00p PDT in a hybrid format with in-person and virtual participation supported. To allow participants to access the email tools and collections, pre-registration is required. If you would like to register or to learn more about the workshop and the project, please email Shubhangkar Girish Jain (shubhangkar.girishjain@marylandsmith.umd.edu).​