The Exchange: The BHC Weblog

A reminder that submissions remain open for the Management and Business History Track of the British Academy of Management (BAM) Conference. BAM 2017 will be held at the University of Warwick in the UK on September 5-7. According to track co-chair Kevin Tennent, "We are now in our seventh successful year of this track's operation at the UK's foremost management studies conference. We are now also expanding into a Special Interest Group." The Management and Business History Track summary states:

The 2017 conference theme calls for management scholars to re-engage with social science disciplines. This provides an excellent opportunity for management historians to consider the role that history can play in influencing management knowledge and practice, as well as contributing to wider theory in the disciplines of economics, strategy, accounting, finance, law and sociology.

Please visit for more information, including the call for papers and paper submission guidelines. Fully developed papers (5-7,000 words), work in progress developmental papers (1,000-2,000 words), and workshop proposals comprised of interactive activities or other forms of discussion are accepted. Submissions are due by February 28, 2017
     Questions should be addressed to Kevin Tennent at York Management School.

The Harvard Graduate Conference on the History of Capitalism invites graduate students to submit proposals addressing this year’s theme: "Before the City / Beyond the City: Capitalism in the Countryside." The conference will be held on October 19-20, 2017, at Harvard University. The call for papers states:

In a world that continues to be mostly ocean, countryside, forest, and desert and with nearly half the world’s population still living and laboring in such locations, we seek to decenter the city and metropole and problematize progress narratives that render capitalist and urban formations inevitable. Proceeding outward from any world region, we hope to tackle a number of theoretical, historiographical, and methodological questions ranging from the origins of a capitalist world-system in the sixteenth century, to the relationship between slavery and capitalism, to the politics of development in the twenty-first century. These questions will touch on the changing ways in which people relate to land, water, and other materials and the claims they make on them; the power relationships that govern those claims; how life is imagined and sustained, how livelihoods are made and unmade, and how belonging is constructed and contested. 

Accepted papers will be grouped for presentation within three or four panels each composed of graduate students and faculty commentators from Harvard and elsewhere. The organizers invite graduate students to submit a 300-word proposal and one-page c.v. (in Word or PDF format) to by March 1, 2017. It is anticipated that reasonable travel and lodging expenses can be reimbursed.
    Please check the Study of Capitalism website for the full call for papers and a more detailed discussion of conference goals. As the date approaches, additional information will be posted about the conference at The Twitter hashtag is #CapCon2017.

"The Lineman, a Character Study," Allen True, Mountain States Telephone and Telegraph Company Building, Denver, Colorado (Photo by Marcia Ward.)

Folks planning to attend the upcoming BHC meeting in Denver, Colorado, should be aware of  opportunities offered by the Telecommunications History Group (THG), a nonprofit organization with the mission of promoting a broad humanistic understanding of telecommunications in history. The group holds an extensive archive in its Denver headquarters of photographs, telephone directories, and historic documents related to the history of telecommunications, especially in the West.
    The facility, located at 1425 Champa, only a few blocks from the BHC conference hotel, will be available on Thursday, March 30, from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m., especially for BHC attendees. Those interested in visiting the THG will need an appointment to enter the building. For information and an appointment, please contact Jody Georgeson, Archivist, and Lisa Berquist, THG Director, at An overview of the THG's collections is available on the group's website.
    Also well worth visiting, and even closer to the conference hotel, stands the 1929 Bell Palace, the last of the grand Bell Palaces, at 931 14th Street. For a virtual tour of this beautiful structure, including some of its remarkable Allen Tupper True Art Deco homages to technological glories, see the THG web exhibit. Access to the building is restricted, but visitors can enjoy many of True’s murals in the entrance area and in the main lobby during business hours.

Belfast City HallThe 2018 European Social Science History Conference will be held at Queen's University in Belfast, Northern Ireland, on April 4-7. The ESSHC is one of the largest congresses for the historical sciences in the world; papers and sessions are therefore organized in many networks covering specific topics. The Economic History Network has announced its call for papers, inviting

proposals for papers as well as sessions of 4 related papers each. We welcome proposals focusing on any aspect of the historical analysis of economic change using both quantitative and qualitative methods, on any region of Europe or the wider world. We especially look for receiving proposals from young scholars and proposals using interdisciplinary approaches that push the boundaries of economic history.

Both paper and session proposals must be submitted through the ESSHC website by filling out the pre-registration form; please select "Economic History" from the list of networks. To propose a paper, submit a working title and an abstract of up to 500 words. To propose a session, submit a title and an abstract for the session and the list of participants. Proposal writers may suggest a chair and discussant(s) for the session, who may be the same person.
     All paper and session proposals must be submitted by May 1, 2017. Please see the full call for papers for additional details.

Two $9,000 Rovensky Fellowships will be awarded for doctoral students writing their dissertations in U.S. business or economic history.
    Applicants must be working toward a Ph.D. degree with U.S. business or economic history as the area of major interest. Fellowship recipients must be enrolled in a doctoral program at an accredited college or university in the United States. Preference will be given to applicants who are preparing for a career in teaching and research and who will have completed all graduate course work prior to the fall of 2017. Awards are non-renewable, but awardees may use the fellowship concurrently with other funding sources, including grants or teaching assignments.
     More information and a link to the application form can be found on the BHC website at
    Inquiries may be directed to Marcelo Bucheli at Completed applications for the fellowship must be received no later than Friday, February 17, 2017. Winners will be announced at the 2017 Business History Conference Banquet. All application materials should be sent as e-mail file attachments (PDF format) to
     The fellowships are available largely through the generosity of the late John E. Rovensky and are administered by the University of Illinois Foundation.

The ninth Accounting History International Conference will be held in Verona, Italy, on September 6-7, 2017, hosted by the Department of Business Administration at the University of Verona. The theme for the meeting will be "Accounting and Governance in Diverse Settings." According to the call for papers:

While papers will be accepted across the full range of accounting history topics and methodological and theoretical perspectives, authors are encouraged to address topics relevant to the conference theme. . . . This involves studying accounting and governance in private, public and not-for-profit contexts, including charitable bodies, mutual societies, professional bodies and family businesses.

Papers, written in English and complying with the Accounting History manuscript style, should be submitted in Word format no later than March 1, 2017 March 20, 2017, to All papers will be subject to a double-blind refereeing process and will be published on the Conference Web site as refereed conference proceedings, unless otherwise advised. A special issue of the journal on the conference theme is scheduled to be published following the event.
    Plenary speakers are Carolyn Cordery of Victoria University Wellington and  Christoper Napier of Holloway College London. An Emerging Scholars’ Colloquium will be held immediately prior to the conference.
    Inquiries may be directed to the Conference Convener, Alessandro Lai, at

On the "Age of Revolutions" blog, Bertie Mandelbrot discusses "Trans-Imperial Geographies of Rum Production and Circulation."

Very sorry to report the death last month of Ann Johnson (1965-2016), professor of Science and Technology Studies at Cornell University. Her research focused on the history of engineering and the way engineers work in a modern industrial society.

The "Atlas Obscura" blog features a story about Martha Matilda Harper, "The Greatest Businesswomen You've Never Heard Of," including commentary by Harper biographer Jane Plitt.

The German Historical Institute in Washington, D.C., has created a blog, "History of Knowledge"; its editors are Mark Stoneman and Kerstin von der Krone.

Roger Horowitz's book, Kosher USA, has been recognized by Choice as an Outstanding Academic Book for 2016, only 10 percent of the 7,000 books reviewed by Choice last year achieved this distinction. Kosher USA also has received the National Jewish Book Award in the category of American Jewish Studies from the Jewish Book Council. has a very nicely illustrated essay on the Dutch East India Company in Ceylon, based on Lodewijk Wagenaar’s book, Cinnamon and Elephants: Sri Lanka and the Netherlands from 1600.

In related news, Adam Matthew has recently published digitized records of the East India Company from 1599 to 1947. These are not open access, but may be viewed at sites with an institutional subscription.

Vicki Howard, author of From Main Street to Mall (University of Pennsylvania Press), writes about the current status of American shopping malls on the Penn Press blog.

On a similar topic, BBC Culture offers a brightly illustrated "History of the Department Store."

On the BHC's own website, book editor Eric Godelier has published the first in a series of essays "by Emerging Scholars that explain how a recently published book in business history has influenced their own research." The first contribution is by Dan Du, who writes about Frederic Delano Grant's 2014 book, The Chinese Cornerstone of Modern Banking: The Canton Guaranty System and the Origins of Bank Deposit Insurance, 1780-1933.

The IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) has a 6-part video series that explores key themes from the book Open Standards & the Digital Age by Andrew L. Russell.

Library digital material of note:

Over at Bloomberg News, Stephen Mihm has two posts that view current events through the lens of history: "Trump's Cabinet Gives New Meaning to 'Power Elite'," and "Congress Has the Power on Trade."

Also on free trade, on Ohio State's "Origins" blog, Aaron Cavin looks at "The Collapse of America's Free Trade Consensus" by considering the debate since World War I.

The Legal History Blog recently published a post highlighting Ed Balleisen's new book on fraud in American history, Fraud: An American History from Barnum to Madoff (Princeton University Press).

In conference news:

  • The program for a conference on "Economic Inequality in Preindustrial Europe," sponsored by the Dondena Centre at the University of Bocconi, can be viewed online.
  • A recent conference on "Region and Nation in American Histories of Race and Slavery" included a session on "Women and the Economy of Slavery in Early America." All the sessions of this conference were video recorded and can be found on the conference site.
  • The H-France Salon has links to videos of several sessions at recent Western Society for French History Conferences. Issue 17, on "Regime Change and Money," Issue 15, "The Circulation of Goods and Ideas in the Eighteenth-Century French Atlantic," and Issue 3, "Consumer Cultures and Material Goods in Seventeenth- and Eighteenth-Century France," are of specific interest.

Laurence Mussio, author of A Vision Greater than Themselves: The Making of the Bank of Montreal, 1817-2017 (McGill Queen University Press), joins BNN to discuss the bank's past.

A talk by William Goetzmann, Yale professor and author of Money Changes Everything: How Finance Made Civilization Possible (Princeton University Press), at the Museum of American Finance on the history of money is available on YouTube.

Archives Hub for January features archives of the Horrockses cotton firm, held by the Lancashire Archives.

Focusing on India, Chinmay Tumbe writes about "Why Business History Matters."

In the New York Review of Books, David Kaiser uses a very long, 2-part review essay (part 1; part 2) to discuss the fight between the Rockefeller Family Fund and ExxonMobil.

On "Uncommon Sense," the blog of the Omohundro Institute for Early American History and Culture, Keith Pluymers discusses his research on early American ironworks and transatlantic networks.

A workshop will be held at the Henley Business School on March 10-11, 2017, to present and discuss contributions to a special issue of Business History that will be a festschrift to honor the career of Professor Leslie Hannah. The program has been posted on the Henley website.
    Inquiries may be directed to Valerie Woodley at the Center for International Business and History at the Henley Business School, University of Reading. Attendance is free, though attendees are required to register by March 5; please email Valerie Woodley to do so.

Hat tip to Andrew Smith, "The Past Speaks."

The 2017 annual meeting of the Society for the History of Technology (SHOT) will be held on October 26-30 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  The call for proposals for open sessions has just been published. According to the announcement:

Open session proposals should be submitted in a single PDF or Word file to the secretary’s office ( The secretary’s office will post the proposals on the SHOT website. To join a proposed panel from the Open Sessions list, contact the organizer for that panel, not the Program Committee. Open Session organizers will then assemble full panel sessions and submit them to SHOT by the end of the regular call for papers on March 31, 2017. The Program Committee will review the resulting fully formed session proposals, whether traditional or unconventional, for quality and adherence to SHOT standards of gender, geographic, and institutional diversity.

The deadline for open session proposals is March 15, 2017.

The Jefferson Scholars/Hagley Library Fellowship in Business and Politics (formerly the Miller Center/Hagley Library Dissertation Fellowship) supports completion of exceptional dissertations for which the Hagley’s Library research materials constitute a significant source and that connect with the mission of the National Fellowship Program.

For many decades the Hagley Library has been the preeminent business history library in the United States, with over seven miles of manuscript materials, 300,000 published sources, and more than two million visual images. Hagley also sponsors significant scholarly programming, including seminars, conferences, and lectures pertaining to the relationship between business and politics. It is the administrative headquarters of the Business History Conference, the principal academic organization of business historians in the United States. More information on Hagley’s collections is available here.

Like other National Fellows, the Business and Politics Fellow is paired with a senior scholar in the fellow’s field who will serve as a mentor and provide critical guidance during the year. The Fellow also participates in the fall and spring conferences and receives training on how to reach broader audiences.

The Business and Politics Fellow is expected to be in residence at Hagley for the fall and spring academic year. While in residence, the Fellow will receive an office, stack access, inter-library loan privileges, internet access, and the opportunity to present a paper in Hagley’s seminar series. The Fellow receives a stipend of $25,000 for the year and free housing in Hagley’s scholar’s accommodations.

The application deadline is February 1, 2017. To apply, please go to: