Annual Meeting of the Business History Conference
In Conjunction with the Académie François Bourdon
18-20 June 2004, Le Creusot, France
On 18-20 June 2004, the Business History Conference (BHC) will host its annual meeting in Le Creusot, France. The BHC is the leading scholarly organization in the United States for the study of business history. Le Creusot is a major center for the study of France's industrial heritage, and the home of the Académie François Bourdon. The Académie is an independent research institute that maintains an archive with many collections on topics in European business history. The Académie also maintains several buildings that were once part of the Schneider Works, long a leading manufacturer of steel, armaments, and metal products. The conference will take place at the Académie, as well as at a nearby château. Le Creusot is located 250 kilometers southeast of Paris, and is a gateway to the culturally rich Burgundy region. It is easily reached from Paris by high-speed train.
Conference Theme: The theme of the conference is "Networks." In the past few years, networks of various kinds have engaged the attention of business historians. Students of the so-called network industries in communications, transportation, energy, and finance have moved beyond the firm and the industry to make networks a focus of inquiry. Other kinds of networks--rooted in geography, professional ties, mutual self-interest, or shared values (such as religious affiliation or educational background)--have figured prominently in recent work on innovation, industrial regions, trade associations, cartels, and enterprises run by women and minorities. The program committee welcomes proposals that explore business networks, broadly construed. The committee is particularly interested in scholarship that is grounded in research in business archives, trade journals, oral histories, or other primary sources. Among the questions that presenters might wish to consider are the following: ·How and to what extent can a focus on networks illuminate central themes in business history? ·How and to what extent can a focus on networks complement the traditional preoccupation of business historians with firms and industries? ·How and to what extent can the study of networks build bridges between business history and other areas of inquiry? ·How and to what extent can the study of networks alter our understanding of the boundaries between business and society? Note: In keeping with a longstanding tradition of the BHC, the program committee will also entertain submissions on topics that are NOT directly related to the conference theme.
The program committee consists of Richard R. John (chair), University of Illinois at Chicago; Patrick Fridenson, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris; JoAnne Yates, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Reggie Blaszczyk, Chemical Heritage Foundation, Philadelphia; and Philippe Mioche, University of Aix-Marseille I.