Wednesday, October 18, 2017

CFP: EBHS 2018

The 43rd Economic and Business History Society (EBHS) Annual Conference will be held at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland, on May 30-June 2, 2018. The general theme is "Early Modern Origins of Growth and Business." However, proposals for presentations on any aspect of ancient to recent economic, social or business history are welcome, as are proposals for whole panels. Submissions from graduate students and non-academic affiliates are encouraged.
    Proposals should include an abstract of no more than 500 words and contact details. The deadline for submission of proposals is February 15, 2018. Proposals may be submitted through the EBHS website at www.ebhsoc.org (or by email to ebhs2018@ebhsoc.org). Please consult the complete call for papers for more details about the meeting and submission procedures.
    Questions should be addressed to Program Chair Olli Turunen, oturunen@wisc.edu, or EBHS 2018 President Jari Eloranta, elorantaj@appstate.edu.


Monday, October 16, 2017

CFP: Special Issue of Management and Organizational History on “ Making Managers”

The journal Management and Organizational History has issued a call for papers for a special issue on "Making Managers." Guest editors are Rolv Petter Amdam, Mathias Kipping, and Jacqueline McGlade. They state:
The issue intends to fill an important gap in the current literature on the history of management education, which has largely been centered on organizational development narratives, i.e. the rise of business schools, the global spread of the American model, business-based academic disciplines, etc. We therefore invite papers that to chronicle the actual preparation of managers in all types, venues and forms; address questions and perspectives that have not been addressed; and cover geographical areas or industries and activities that are not in focus in the extant literature.
For a much fuller explanation of possible topics and the submission process, please see the journal website. The deadline for submissions is March 31, 2018.


Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Digital Resource: Business History Explorer

Business History Explorer (BHE) is a bibliography covering the history of UK businesses and the industries to which they belong. At the end of 2016 it contained c45,000 entries. Its prime purpose is to assist researchers in locating historical information about specific businesses. The bibliography includes monographs, periodical articles, theses, chapters in multi-author works, unpublished works, and selected product and employment literature. The database is being continuously updated in order to include new publications and to plug gaps in the existing constituency. According to the project website, "Many gaps remain in periodical article coverage and priority is being given in 2017 to addressing this."
    One can search the database to get a sense of the contents without charge, but viewing the results returned requires payment of an annual fee, substantially discounted for BAC members and affiliates.
       The BHE is the successor to Francis Goodall, A Bibliography of British Business Histories, published in 1987. The work in gathering information for the present bibliography has been undertaken by John Orbell with Richard Storey. It is supported by the British Archives Council.


Monday, October 9, 2017

And More Business Historians in the News

News about and by historians of business continues to pop up in the general media. [Note that some of these links may lead to material that is gated, but readers with access to university or public libraries should be able to gain entry.]
In an opinion piece in the wake of the Google employee memo about gender in the industry, Marie Hicks drew on her recent research to write "Women were foundational to the field of computing" for the Washington Post.

Marc Levinson wrote an op-ed in the New York Times on "Can Amazon Be the Next Apple?"

Josh Lauer appeared on NPR's Marketplace, discussing his new book, Creditworthy: A History of Consumer Surveillance and Financial Identity in America.

An essay on the Bank of England blog on Britain's early efforts to finance the First World War, written by Michael Anson, Norma Cohen, Alastair Owens and Daniel Todman, received widespread coverage in the UK press; see, for example, the Financial Times.

Ed Balleisen's Fraud: An American History from Barnum to Madoff continues to attract media attention; see Katherine Epstein, “Deconstructing Fraud,” The American Interest, and Brooke Harrington, “Why Americans Get Conned Again and Again,” The Atlantic. There is also a podcast discussion of the book between Balleisen and David Burch on the latter's podcast site.

Julia Ott wrote an extended review essay of Robert Gordon's The Rise and Fall of American Growth for the online site Public Books.

The Washington Post featured a discussion of the The Negro Motorist Green-Book.

Robert Wright can be found on C-Span talking about Alexander Hamilton's views on the national debt, under the auspices of the Museum of American Finance. 

Noam Maggor's Brahmin Capitalism was reviewed by John Steele Gordon for the Wall Street Journal.

 A large contingent of historians, including Dael Norwood, contributed to a two-part story on WBUR's online site, "Commonwealth," "How Profits From Opium Shaped 19th-Century Boston."

Friday, October 6, 2017

CFP: “Contextualizing Bankruptcy”

The Institut historique allemand in Paris is holding a two-day workshop on March 19-20, 2018, on the subject "Contextualizing Bankruptcy: Publicity, Space and Time (Europe, 17th to 19th c.)." The organizers [Natacha Coquery (LARHRA, Lyon 2, IUF); Jürgen Finger (DHI Paris); Mark Sven Hengerer (LMU Munich)] write in their call for papers:
Although bankruptcy is a rather exceptional situation in the life of a merchant, it has explanatory power for routines of economic stakeholders. Considering the long, non-uniform and unsteady transition from merchant capitalism to industrial and financial capitalism, we suggest to start a dialog between modernistes and contemporanéistes. The workshop focuses on the various forms of contextualizing business failure and puts forward three major research axes: Covering and uncovering/secrecy and publicity; economic space and area of jurisdiction; temporal narratives of (in)solvency.
Those interested in presenting should send an abstract of the presentation (max. 500 words) and a short biographical note (1/2 page) with a list of relevant publications to jfinger@dhi-paris.fr by the deadline of October 31, 2017.
    For a much more extended discussion of the workshop topic, please see the complete call for papers.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Blogs of Interest

A number of history organizations and groups now publish active and informative blogs, which often include material of interest to business and economic historians. A (far from comprehensive) sampling:
American Antiquarian Society: Past Is Present
American Historical Association: AHA Today
Centre for Imperial and Global History, Exeter: Imperial & Global Forum  
Economic History Society: The Long Run
Global Urban History
Hagley Library and Museum: Research and Collection News
Legal History Blog 
National Museum of American History, O Say Can You See? (filtered for business history)
New-York Historical Society: From the Stacks  
Organization of American Historians: Process
Organizational History Network
Society for Historians of the Early Republic (SHEAR): The Panorama
The Junto (early Americanists)
Urban History Association: The Metropole 
In addition, several individual historians manage blogs of interest:
Ed Ayers, et al., Bunk: Rewiring American History
Ken Lipartito, In the Age of Trump
Stephen Mihm blogs regularly at the Bloomberg View
Andrew Smith, The Past Speaks
John Turner, Finance: Past, Present, and Future
Robert E. Wright, Finance: History and Policy

Monday, October 2, 2017

Program Available: Hagley Conference on “Hidden Capitalism”

On November 10, 2017, the Hagley Museum and Library will offer a conference on "Hidden Capitalism: Beyond, Below, and Outside the Visible Market." The conference was initiated by Lisa Jacobson (UC Santa Barbara) and Ken Lipartito (Florida International University); they were joined on the program committee by Roger Horowitz (Hagley Museum and Library) and Wendy Woloson (Rutgers University). Session titles are: "Business in the shadows"; "Liminal spaces and global order";"Capitalisms in collision"; and "Regulating alternative markets."
    For additional information, please contact Carol Lockman at clockman@hagley.org.


Friday, September 29, 2017

Reminder: BHC Doctoral Colloquium Deadline Approaching

The 2018 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 on 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 and from any country. Topics 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, due by November 15, 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 the 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 December 20, 2017.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Book Reviews of Interest

A selection of recent (ungated) reviews of books in business and economic history:
Charles Thompson reviews Nicolas Barreyre, Gold and Freedom: The Political Economy of Reconstruction, for Reviews in History.

Aaron L. Chin reviews Gautham Rao, National Duties: Custom Houses and the Making of the American State for Common-Place.

John Kampfner reviews David Kynaston, Till Time’s Last Sand: A History of the Bank of England, 1694-2013 for The Guardian.

Bernard Attard reviews Marc Flandreau, Anthropologists in the Stock Exchange: A Financial History of Victorian Science for EH.Net.

Larry Neal reviews Youssef Cassis, Richard S. Grossman, and Catherine R. Schenk, eds., The Oxford Handbook of Banking and Financial History for EH.Net.

Jean-Pierre Dormois reviews Robert Gordon, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, for Books & Ideas.net.

Erik Benson reviews Richard R. John and Kim Phillips-Fein, eds., Capital Gains: Business and Politics in Twentieth-Century America for EH.Net.

David González Agudo reviews Rafael Torres Sánchez, Military Entrepreneurs and the Spanish Contractor State in the Eighteenth Century for EH.Net. The book is also reviewed by Jobie Turner for H-War.

Lynne Kiesling reviews John L. Neufeld, Selling Power: Economics, Policy, and Electric Utilities before 1940 for EH.Net.

Michael Haupert reviews James W. Cortada, All the Facts: A History of Information in the United States since 1870 for EH.Net.

Anne L. Murphy reviews Ranald C. Michie, British Banking: Continuity and Change from 1694 to the Present for EH.Net.

Joshua Friedman reviews Adam Teller and Rebecca Kobrin, eds. Purchasing Power: The Economics of Modern Jewish History for H-Judaic.

Martin Bemman reviews Hartmut Berghoff and Adam Rome, eds., Green Capitalism? Business and the Environment in the Twentieth Century for H-Soz-u-Kult [in German].

Gayle K. Brunelle reviews Jutta Wimmler, The Sun King's Atlantic: Drugs, Demons and Dyestuffs in the Atlantic World, 1640-1730 for H-Atlantic.

Sean Seyer reviews Molly W. Berger, Hotel Dreams: Luxury, Technology, and Urban Ambition in America, 1829-1929 for H-USA.

Nate Holdren reviews Elizabeth Anderson, Private Government: How Employers Rule Our Lives (and Why We Don’t Talk about It), and Chad Pearson, Reform or Repression: Organizing America's Anti-Union Movement for History News Network.

Anthony Swift reviews Robert Rydell, ed., World's Fairs: A Global History of Exhibitions for Reviews in History.

Helen Paul reviews Amy Froide, Silent Partners: Women as Public Investors during Britain’s Financial Revolution, 1690-1750 for Reviews in History.


Monday, September 25, 2017

CFP: Richard Robinson Workshop in Business History 2018

The 3rd biennial Richard Robinson Workshop on Business History will take place at Portland State University on May 24-26, 2018. The theme for the meeting will be "Risk, Honor & Innovation: Imagining New Markets." According to the call for papers:
The market, market-relations, and the marketplace, have become key markers of what is forward-looking and progress-oriented in modern societies. These markers delineated an impersonal sphere of scientific, technical and agentless activities whose workings seemingly lay outside the realm of desires and emotions. Our workshop seeks to break down the divide between the impersonal (effects of technical limits and aggregations of large numbers) and the subjective (articulations of perceptions, fears, and self-regard) in the ways “the market” and “the economy” are conceived. We aim to reconsider market and business activities in light of both the techniques and the emotional vectors that infuse them.
The organizers are looking for "business histories (broadly construed) that tackle this intersection of desire, norms and markets in a variety of ways from all time periods and places," and they particularly encourage "proposals on global, transnational, and non-Western topics and on developments before the twentieth century." For a much fuller discussion of possible topics, please see the full call for papers.
    Paper proposals, consisting of a one-page CV and a 500-word abstract, should be sent to the workshop organizers, Thomas Luckett (Portland State University), Chia Yin Hsu (Portland State University), and Erika Vause (Florida Southern College), at psu.business.history. workshop@gmail.com by November 15, 2017