Abstract

A Workshop of One’s Own

Individual abstract below for the proposed roundtable entitled, "An International Collaboration of Business Historians: Female Entrepreneurs in the Long Nineteenth-Century, A Global Approach" As a Junior Scholar, one of the most important experiences in my short career has been attending the Global Female Entrepreneurs workshop because it allowed me to interact with global scholars who introduced me to diverse ways of thinking and writing about female entrepreneurs. At this point, I had two book reviews under my name and was completely unfamiliar with the editing and publishing process. When I walked into the conference room and found myself seated among very excellent scholars, I was extremely intimidated. I had read the important works of historians like Mary Yeager and Beatrice Craig; however, meeting them in person and having them treat me as a part of their inner-circle was something else entirely. Our workshop was a place of thrilling intellectual discourse, humor, and comradery. I provided comments for others and received useful critiques for improving my own chapter on elite and enslaved female entrepreneurs in the 19th century American South. One of the most important evaluations of my chapter was that the scholars I was engaging with were very old Marxists and that I needed to refresh my historiographical section. I received a list of scholarly works, including those of Juliet Walker and Nicola Philips, which allowed me to situate my work within the more current historiography of women and business. What was once a paper about elite and enslaved women in the Savannah marketplace shifted into a more nuanced discussion of female economic relationships in a slave society. With each new round of papers and observations, our global group began to find common themes between all of our studies. Right before my eyes, our ideas were shifting from individual essays into a collective analysis. We had truly found a workshop of our own.