K. Austin Kerr Prize

The K. Austin Kerr Prize is awarded for the best first paper delivered at the annual meeting of the Business History Conference by a new scholar (doctoral student or those within three years of receiving their Ph.D.). It honors K. Austin Kerr, professor of history at the Ohio State University since 1965 and president of the Business History Conference during 1992-1993. Author of many books and articles in business history, and a founder of H-Business, Professor Kerr has always encouraged excellence in scholarship and in professional and classroom presentations. Criteria for awarding the prize include scholarly excellence; innovation in subject, method, or findings; and effectiveness of presentation. Presentations at the Krooss Dissertation Prize sessions are not eligible for the Kerr Prize. Persons who have also presented in the Krooss Prize sessions at previous BHC annual meetings are eligible for the Kerr Prize as long as they are graduate students or within three years of receiving their Ph.D. The Kerr Prize Committee is to consist of four members, one of whom will serve as chair. Each member serves a three-year term, rotating onto the committee as junior member, then becoming chair (or co-chair), and then exiting after serving a final year as senior member. Potential awardees will be asked to designate themselves as such and to submit their paper in advance of the meeting, by a specified date. The Kerr Prize Committee will evaluate the papers in advance, selecting up to 15 finalists whose presentations they will attend during the annual meeting. The Committee will meet prior to the awards ceremony to make a decision that will be announced by the Committee chair at the ceremony.

The Kerr Prize was not awarded in 2020 due to the extraordinary circumstances resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

K. Austin Kerr

2024 K. Austin Kerr Prize Recipient

Zada Ballew
University of Wisconsin - Madison
"A Company of Kin: Pokagon Village and the Business of Tribal Nationalism, 1821-1841"

Honorable Mention:

Emmet von Stackelberg
"From the World to Rochester: The Raw Materials of Kodak’s Motion Picture Film"

2023 K. Austin Kerr Prize Recipient

Jeremy Goodwin
Cornell University
"From Economic Literacy to Entrepreneurial Literacy: The National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship and Business Conservatism in the United States, 1987-1999"

2022 K. Austin Kerr Prize Recipient

Ellen Nye
Harvard University
"A Commerce in Coins: The Early Modern Ottoman Empire as an Arena for Competing Theories of Money’s Value"

Honorable Mention:

Charles Petersen, “Flexible Accumulation, Flexible Organization, Flexible Masculinity: Silicon Valley and the Birth of a New Subjectivity, 1957-1998”

2021 K. Austin Kerr Prize Recipient

Jiemin Tina Wei
Harvard University
"Amazon Mechanical Turk: Methodological Innovation in an Evolving Labor Market"

2019 K. Austin Kerr Prize Recipient

Alastair Y. Su
Westmont College
"'A Marvellous Affair': Opium and the Panic of 1839"

Honorable Mention:

Kate Epstein, Rutgers University, Camden
"Arms and the State: American Torpedoes, Intellectual Property Rights, and the Origins of the Military-Industrial Complex before World War I"

2018 K. Austin Kerr Prize Recipient

Joan Flores-Villalobos
Assistant Professor, The Ohio State University
“’Cash fe’ sen’ back home:’ Banks, Compensation, and Women’s Financial Exchanges in Panama and Barbados"

2017 K. Austin Kerr Prize Recipient

"'No Free Market: The Enslaved Marketwoman and Butchers of Charleston's Centre Market Stalls"

2016 K. Austin Kerr Prize Recipient

Robert William Cole
New York University
"'Making Immovable Wealth Movable': Land Finance and Rural Money in 1930s Shanxi"

2015 K. Austin Kerr Prize Co-recipient

Joseph Slaughter
Wesleyan University
"Christian Business Enterprise Reform: The Pioneer Line, 1828-1831"

2015 K. Austin Kerr Prize Co-recipient

Paige Glotzer
University of Florida
"National Standards, Local Sales: The Professional Culture of Real Estate and the Creation of an Exclusionary Housing Market"

2014 K. Austin Kerr Prize Recipient

Elizabeth Semler
University of Minnesota
"Public Health or Industry Health? U.S. Government Responses to the 1970s Dietary Cholesterol–Heart Disease Controversy"

2013 K. Austin Kerr Prize Recipient

Anne Fleming
"The 'very fibre of personal finance': Changing Beliefs about Regulation and the Small-Sum Lending Industry in New York, 1900-1940"

Honorable Mention:

Joshua Specht, Monash University
"Hard Winters, International Capital, and the Rise and Fall of the Land and Cattle Company in the United States"

2012 K. Austin Kerr Prize Recipient

Gabriel N. Rosenberg
Duke University
"The Programa Interamericano para la Juventud Rural and the Cultivation of Agribusiness and U.S. Hegemony in Cold-War Latin America"

Honorable Mention:

Judge Glock, Rutgers University
"The Federal Housing Administration: Did It Really Favor the Suburbs?"

2011 K. Austin Kerr Prize Recipient

Di Yin Lu
Harvard University
"Shanghai's Art Dealers and the International Market for Chinese Art, 1922-1949"

Honorable Mention:

Kelly Brennan Arehart
"'To Put a Mass of Putrefying Animal Matter into a Fine Plush Casket': The Development of Professional Knowledge among Morticians, 1880-1920"

Johan Mathew, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey - New Brunswick
"Controlling Currency and Smuggling Specie in the Arabian Sea, 1873-1966"

2010 K. Austin Kerr Prize Recipient

Robert Goldberg
University of Pennsylvania
"Black Power in the Dollhouse: Shindana Toys and the Business of Social Change"

2009 K. Austin Kerr Prize Recipient

Alexander Engel
University of Goettingen
"Coloring Markets: The Industrial Transformation of the Dyestuff Business Revisited"

2008 K. Austin Kerr Prize Recipient

Paula Gajewski
LKQ Corporation
"Expanding Connections between the New York Stock Exchange and the Employee Retirement Income Security Act"

2007 K. Austin Kerr Prize Recipient

Eric Hintz
Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation, Smithsonian Institution
"Independent Inventors in an Era of Burgeoning Research & Development"

2006 K. Austin Kerr Prize Recipient

Michelle McDonald
Stockton College of New Jersey
"The Drink of Diplomats: Government Intervention in the U.S. Coffee Re-Export Trade, 1790-1805"

2005 K. Austin Kerr Prize Recipient

Sharon Murphy
Providence College
"Protecting Middle-Class Families: Life Insurance in Antebellum America"

2004 K. Austin Kerr Prize Co-recipient

Hyungsub Choi
Assistant Professor, Seoul National University of Science and Technology
"Between Research and Production: Making Transistors at RCA, 1948-1960"

2004 K. Austin Kerr Prize Co-recipient

Ellen Hartigan-O'Connor
Department of History, University of California, Davis
"The Ties That Buy: Shopping Networks of the Atlantic World"

2003 K. Austin Kerr Prize Co-recipient

Marlis Schweitzer
York University
"Uplifting Makeup: Actresses' Testimonials and the Cosmetics Industry, 1910-1918"

2003 K. Austin Kerr Prize Co-recipient

Elysa Engelman
Mystic Seaport Museum
"Dear Mrs. Pinkham: Expanding Intimate Advice Networks into a National Community of Consumers, 1890 to 1935"