Symposium on Radical Business

Radical Business?

SYMPOSIUM, 28 June 2019

Radical Business? Business and the Contest over Social Norms

Lecture Theatre, Weston Library
9 am to 4:30 pm

Conveners: David Chan Smith and Rowena Olegario

This one-day symposium at the Weston Library brings together an interdisciplinary group of speakers to offer insights into how business has acted as a radical force to upset and replace social norms over time. Whether seeking to normalize new products and services, such as autonomous vehicles, or reacting to environmental or safety concerns, business is engaged in a constant negotiation with larger cultural codes. Speakers will discuss the consequences of this contest over social norms, including ethical as well as strategic implications. By bringing together researchers from across disciplines, the symposium will also explore common conceptual ground to understand the significance of this problem for the history of capitalism and management.

 

All are welcome to attend, but please RSVP.

David Smith is Associate Professor, Department of History, Wilfrid Laurier University, and is the Royal Bank of Canada-Bodleian Visiting Fellow at the Bodleian Libraries during Trinity Term 2019.

Presented in association with the Oxford Centre for Global History, Global History of Capitalism project, Faculty of History, University of Oxford

Confirmed speakers:

Aled Davies, University of Oxford
Stephanie Decker, Aston University
Neil Forbes, Coventry University
James Hollis, University of Oxford
Mary Johnstone-Louise, University of Oxford
Alan Morrison, University of Oxford
Anne Murphy, University of Hertfordshire
Adam Nix, De Montfort University
Will Pettigrew, University of Lancaster
David Chan Smith, Wilfrid Laurier University
Heidi Tworek, University of British Columbia
Michael Weatherburn, Imperial College London
Lola Wilhelm, University of Oxford

GHC logo

Conference: Hidden Capitalism @ Hagley

The program  (https://www.hagley.org/research/conferences) for the conference, Hidden Capitalism: Beyond, Below, and Outside the Visible Market is now available. This one-day conference will take place November 10, 2017 at the Hagley Museum and Library in Wilmington, Delaware.

The conference’s twelve papers seek to expand understandings of capitalism by exploring the substantial economic activity that occurs at the margins and in the concealed corners of the formal economy. Uncovering these forgotten or obscured activities can focus new attention on our understanding of how capitalism works both with formal market institutions and at the same time incorporates informal, less visible institutional apparatus.  The papers especially highlight the mutual dependency of the visible and invisible features of capitalism and how the moralities of each both converge and diverge.

The papers are transnational in scope, addressing episodes in France, the United States, Communist China, and India, as well as nationally-ambiguous cases of free-trade zones and offshore banking havens. They trace episodes involving apparel, scrap metal, liquor, lumber, and cotton, as well as regulatory conflicts over food and household commodities, knock-off clothing designs, businesses advertising “immoral” services, and enterprises operated by Hispanics and African Americans. All cases engage, in one way or another, with the boundaries of legality and the relationship between the official marketplace and the spaces that lie outside.

This conference was initiated by Lisa Jacobson (University of California, Santa Barbara) and Ken Lipartito (Florida International University), who were joined on the program committee by Roger Horowitz and Amrys Williams from the Hagley Library and Wendy Woloson from Rutgers University – Camden. The conference runs from 8:30-5:30 and will meet in the Copeland Room of Hagley’s library building.

Advance registration is free but required.  Lunch is available onsite for advance payment of $15.00.  A link to all of the conference papers will be available to those who have registered.  To sign up to attend the conference, please contact Carol Lockman, clockman@Hagley.org  or 302-658-2400, x243.

 

Carol Ressler Lockman

Manager, Hagley Center

PO Box 3630

Wilmington DE  19807

clockman@hagley.org

 

 

 

CfP: BHC 2018 – Money, Finance and Capital

Money, Finance, and Capital

2018 Business History Conference Annual Meeting

Baltimore, Maryland, April 5 – April 7, 2018

Money, Finance, and Capital is the theme of the 2018 Business History Conference meeting. Historians who want to write compelling histories of capitalism must grapple with the manifold roles that money, finance, and capital have played in political, economic, social and cultural dynamics. Yet, for many years, the abstruse and elusive character of these phenomena encouraged many historians of economic life to maintain a safe distance from them. Of course, there have always been some historians willing to figure out where money, finance, and capital fit into broader histories of our societies. Still, much of what we know about currency and credit, investment and profit, bonds and futures results from highly specialised research whose technical quality reinforces the enigmatic character of these subjects.

Historians are not alone in encountering difficulties in making sense of money, finance, and capital. In 1931, for example, when distinguished British economist, John Maynard Keynes, gave a radio address on the “slump”, he emphasised that “the behaviour of the financial system and the banking system is capable of suddenly going off the rails, so to speak, and interfering with everyone’s prosperity for obscure and complicated reasons.” Keynes pointed out that it was unreasonable to expect the ”man in the street” to understand such reasons. Yet, he also emphasised that professed experts tended ”to talk much greater rubbish than an ordinary man” largely because ”the science of economics, of banking, of finance is in a backward state.” More recently, Alan Greenspan infamously admitted his “shocked disbelief” at the onset of the recent crisis and former governor of the Bank of England, Mervyn King, portrayed money and finance as “alchemy”. Technical expertise in these domains, it seems, is not necessarily a route to greater understanding.

Fortunately, money, finance, and capital have moved to the forefront in many historiographies in recent years. Whether it is the business of slave plantations and trade, of consumer credit and railroading, of government finance, securities markets and international banking, the history of business offers exciting insights on these important and perplexing themes. That was already apparent in some of the pioneering research that historians carried out on money, finance, and capital and it has become clearer still with the recent new wave of research by political, cultural, social, literary and economic historians.

The theme of the 2018 BHC conference is designed to encourage contributions from a variety of approaches to historical research on the themes of money, finance, and capital, covering a broad range of periods and geographies. The program committee of David Sicilia (chair), Christy Ford Chapin, Per Hansen, Naomi Lamoreaux, Rory Miller, Julia Ott, and Mary O’Sullivan (BHC president) invites papers addressing, inter alia, the following questions:

  • How have money, finance, and capital bound different people and places together over time in relationships of mutual advantage, dependence or exploitation?
  • How much change do we observe in concepts such as currency, credit, and capital and their associated practices between more distant and recent pasts?
  • What is the role of money, finance, and capital in the emergence and persistence of varieties of capitalism around the world?
  • What historical variations do we observe among businesses in their conception and measurement of capital, its control, investment and utilisation, as well as in the risks and rewards associated with it?
  • Without neglecting the post-World War II trend towards “financialization”, what might we say about the changing relationship between finance and capital over the very long run?
  • What has been the role of money, finance, and capital in the origins and diffusion of international crises in history?
  • What types of commentators have generated powerful ideas about money, finance, and capital? How have economic commentators, historians, business leaders, journalists and other writers helped to construct and contest these ideas?
  • Do the historical roles of money, finance, and capital allow us to demarcate capitalism as a distinctive type of social organisation or does it suggest, as Deirdre McCloskey claims, that the term “capitalism” is a scientific mistake?

While we encourage proposals to take up this theme, papers addressing all other topics will receive equal consideration by the program committee in accordance with BHC policy. The program committee will consider both individual papers and entire panels. Individual paper proposals should include a one-page (300 word) abstract and one-page curriculum vitae (CV). Panel proposals should include a cover letter stating the rationale for the panel and the name of its contact person; one-page (300 word) abstract and author’s CV for each paper; and a list of preferred panel chairs and commentators with contact information. To submit a proposal go to http://thebhc.org/2018meeting and click on the link Submit a Paper/Panel Proposal.

All sessions take place at the Embassy Suites Baltimore Inner Harbor. Rooms (all suites) are $159/night and include a full breakfast.

The K. Austin Kerr Prize will be awarded for the best first paper delivered by a new scholar at the annual meeting.  A “new scholar” is defined as a doctoral candidate or a Ph. D. whose degree is less than three years old. You must nominate your paper for this prize on the proposal submission page where indicated. Please check the appropriate box if your proposal qualifies for inclusion in the Kerr Prize competition.

The deadline for receipt of all proposals is 2 October 2017. Acceptance letters will be sent by 31 December 2017. Everyone appearing on the program must register for the meeting. Graduate students and recent PhDs (within 3 years of receipt of degree) 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.

The BHC awards the Herman E. Krooss Prize for the best dissertation in business history by a recent Ph.D. in history, economics, business administration, the history of science and technology, sociology, law, communications, and related fields. To be eligible, dissertations must be completed in the three calendar years immediately prior to the 2018 annual meeting, and may only be submitted once for the Krooss prize. After the Krooss committee has reviewed the proposals, it will ask semi-finalists to submit copies of their dissertations. Finalists will present summaries of their dissertations at a plenary session of the 2018 BHC annual meeting and will receive a partial subsidy of their travel costs to the meeting. Proposals accepted for the Krooss Prize are not eligible for the Kerr Prize. If you wish to apply for this prize please send a cover letter indicating you are applying for the Krooss prize along with a one-page CV and one-page (300 word) dissertation abstract via email to BHC@Hagley.org. The deadline for proposals for the Krooss prize is 2 October 2017.

The BHC Doctoral Colloquium in Business History will be held in conjunction with the BHC annual meeting. This prestigious workshop, funded by Cambridge University Press, will take place in Baltimore Wednesday April 4 and Thursday April 5. Typically limited to ten students, the colloquium is open to early stage doctoral candidates pursuing dissertation research within the broad field of business history, from any relevant discipline. 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 at least two BHC officers), discussing dissertation proposals, relevant literatures and research strategies, and career trajectories.  Applications are due by 15 November 2017 via email to BHC@Hagley.org should include: a statement of interest; CV; preliminary or final dissertation prospectus (10-15 pages); and a letter of support from your dissertation supervisor (or prospective supervisor). Questions about the colloquium should be sent to its director, Edward Balleisen, eballeis@duke.edu. All participants receive a stipend that partially defrays travel costs to the annual meeting.  Applicants will receive notification of the selection committee’s decisions by 20 December 2017.

General questions regarding the BHC’s 2018 annual meeting may be sent to Secretary-Treasurer Roger Horowitz, rh@udel.edu.

 

Job: Oxford University, Global history of capitalism

Career Development Fellow – Global History of Capitalism

University of Oxford – Faculty of History

The Global History of Capitalism project is seeking a dedicated Career Development Fellow to join their team to conduct rigorous academic research and to inform debates on the history of capitalism.

The successful applicant will have an active research interest in the global history of capitalism and be able to work individually and collaboratively with researchers across disciplines. You will conduct relevant archival research as well as field-based research where relevant. You will manage your own academic research and administrative duties, contribute ideas for new projects and collaborate in the presentation of publications. You will also provide teaching relief to one of the Co-Directors and co-design a new undergraduate course in business history.

You will hold a relevant doctorate (or show evidence that a doctorate is imminent) and have an excellent knowledge of the languages relating to your specialism. You will be able to demonstrate a strong research record and excellent communication skills along with the ability to teach. An ability to work independently as well as collaboratively within a team is essential.

The post is full-time and fixed term for 3 years; the start date is negotiable but must be no later than January 2018.

Applicants are required to submit a research proposal as part of their application.

Applications must be made online. To apply for this role and for further details, including the job description and selection criteria, please click on the link below.

The deadline for applications is 12.00 noon on 13 September 2017.

Applications are particularly welcome from women and black and minority ethnic candidates who are under-represented in research posts in Oxford.

https://www.recruit.ox.ac.uk/pls/hrisliverecruit/erq_jobspec_version_4.jobspec?p_id=130104

CfP: Global Histories of Capital

CALL FOR PAPERS – EXTENDED DEADLINE MAY 1ST

Global Histories of Capital: New Perspectives on the Global South

Department of History, New York University and the Heilbroner Center for Capitalism Studies

The New York University Department of History and the Heilbroner Center for Capitalism Studies at the New School are inviting abstracts for a workshop entitled Global Histories of Capital: New Perspectives on the Global South. We are seeking paper proposals from advanced graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, and faculty working broadly on themes related to the history of capitalism, historical political economy, the history of economic life and new materialism. The workshop aims to connect scholars working on topics or countries considered part of the global south, international history and those engaged in comparative historical research.

The conference will take place the weekend of October 7th, 2017 in New York.

Applicants should submit a 250 – 300 word abstract to globalcapitalconference@gmail.com by May 1st, 2017. Suggested themes include but are not limited to:

Built-environments; slavery; labor; internationalisms; gender, gendered labor and unpaid work; concept histories; financialization; agrarian change; radical traditions; state structures; sovereignty; law; commodity histories; environmental historyhistories of economic thought; science, technology and the economy; culture and translation; decolonization; markets and market governance

Workshop Objectives

Our aim is to bring together graduate students working on areas of the non-west, broadly conceived, whose work approaches questions of the economic from political, environmental, intellectual and cultural perspectives. In light of growing interest in the status of the economic to social scientific inquiry — spurred by research programs from the history of capitalism to new materialism — our objective is to foster a critical conversation about how we write such histories from world-regions outside Western Europe and North America. By bringing together scholars of varied regional expertise, we hope we might more precisely reframe the relevance of categories such as the ‘global south’ and ‘non-west’ within their specific relationship to historical processes of globalization and imperialism.

Our emphasis on the ‘global’ nature of this history is not simply to fill-in a preexisting cartography that has been relatively neglected by new histories of capitalism. Rather, we intend to explore how the global emerged as a category under modern capitalism and the different moments in which it has been imagined and redefined, and perhaps misrecognized. Understanding the global spaces of capitalism requires close attention to methodological questions of comparability, scale, historical structure and unevenness. Therefore this workshop intends to group scholars thematically, rather than by region or periodization, in order to develop comparative vocabularies for doing this type of historical work.

CfP: Histories of Capitalism 2.0

Conference: Histories of Capitalism, v2.0

CALL FOR PAPERS

Histories of Capitalism, 2.0

Cornell University

September 29 to October 1, 2016

In 2014, Cornell’s History of Capitalism Initiative hosted a conference on the “Histories of American Capitalism” to showcase the deep connection between traditional subfields of social history (race, gender, sexuality and class) and the new history of capitalism. Building on the success of that conference and on developments in this rapidly-growing field, we invite proposals for panels that continue to illustrate the diversity of the histories of capitalism(s) through a variety of perspectives, including intellectual, legal, gender, environmental history, as well as the history of science and technology.

We hope that the previous conference’s focus, which sought to bring social and cultural history categories into dialogue with capitalism, will continue to infuse the conversation this year. We would also especially like to see panels and papers that incorporate non-U.S., regional, transnational, or global histories.

For the 2016 conference we are open to all proposals and particularly encourage submissions on:

  • Science and Technology
  • Migration
  • Unfree Labor
  • Family and Home
  • Environment and Built Environment
  • Criticizing, Defending and Defining Capitalism
  • Regulation and the State

Plenary Speakers include:

  • Jedidiah Purdy (Duke)
  • Marcus Rediker (Pittsburgh)
  • Emma Rothschild (Harvard University)
  • Juliet Walker (University of Texas-Austin)

 

Submission:

  • Our invitation is open to scholars at any stage of their careers. We will accept both panels and individual papers.
    • For each panel, please include a 500 word description of the panel, a 250 word description of each paper in the panel and a short c.v. for each paper giver.
    • For each paper, please submit a 250 word description of the paper and a short c.v.
  • To submit the paper proposals please go to http://hoc.ilr.cornell.edu/fall-2016-conference
  • Submissions are due by March 1, 2016

Call for Papers

We are currently accepting proposals for the 2016 conference.

Register for the Conference

Registration to attend the conference has not yet begun.

Please contact Rhonda Clouse with any questions or concerns.

Debating the history of capitalism & slavery

History of Capitalism has been an influential take on  analyzing the history of business and society in the USA in recent years. However, it has also been criticized as an approach for its failure to clearly define its key concept, capitalism. Recently, the issue of slavery and capitalism has been discussed again as an important issue in order to understand the nature of capitalism (and management, an argument made by Prof Bill Cooke of the University of York).

The following blog by Tom Cutterham picks up these debates in this blog post:

It’s been two and a half years since the new history of capitalism marked its arrival with the full red carpet treatment in the New York Times. So it’s about time we saw some serious and constructive critiques of the project. Robin Blackburn’s lengthy review of Empire of Cotton goes some way to bringing that Bancroft-winner back down to earth, particularly by scrutinising the concept of “war capitalism.” But what I particularly want to share with Junto readers today is an article by the NYU sociologist John Clegg recently published in the Chicago-based journal, Critical Historical Studies.

Anyone who has read Beckert, Baptist, and Johnson, or is eagerly awaiting the forthcoming volume on Slavery’s Capitalism, ought to read what Clegg has to say. In earlier posts at The Junto, I’ve pointed out the way new historians of capitalism have made a feature out of their resistance to defining the primary term. Clegg puts that resistance at the centre of his critique. “None of them,” he writes, “seem interested in asking what capitalism is” (281). As a result, he argues, “these authors fail to explain how the various features of the antebellum economy that they identify form part of a coherent capitalist system” (284). That makes it very difficult for them to “engage scholars in other fields and contribute to contemporary political and economic debates” (282).

To read the full blog, follow this link: https://earlyamericanists.com/2015/10/27/continuing-the-debate-on-slavery-and-capitalism/