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CFP: Histories of Capitalism Workshop, NACBS Annual Meeting

Published: January 30, 2019

Histories of Capitalism Workshop

NACBS, Vancouver, Canada November 14-17, 2019


Organized by Tehila Sasson (Emory University) and Vanessa Ogle (UC Berkeley)

Deadline for Submission: 15 March 2019

Over the last decade historians have revisited questions about political economy, business history and economic life through a new framework sometimes labeled “history of capitalism.” Such works within and outside British history have paid particular attention to how capitalism – broadly construed – was shaped by local, imperial and global processes. From slavery and indentured labor, development programs and migration policies, and finally de-industrialization and neoliberal economics, historians have turned to a plethora of archives —national, international, nongovernmental and business archives — to trace the transformations of capitalism from the 18th to the 20th century.

This workshop invites papers that engage with the fundamental questions and themes in the history of capitalism and the role it played within the history of Britain and the World. We will probe whether capitalism could be a useful category of analysis for modern Britain as well as its limits. We will examine the type of archival and methodological tools for working with such a framework. We will ask whether the history of capitalism provides a useful framework to think about the histories of race and gender and how to square them with a long historiographical tradition of social, cultural and economic histories of Britain and its empire. We welcome papers on a wide range of topics including slavery and migration; raw materials, commodities and monies; speculation and crises; environmental and development histories; de-industrialization, neoliberalism and inequality. Participants will be chosen with a view to the complementarity of their research topics and strong preference will be given to graduate students and early career scholars.

The session will include 6-8 pre-circulated papers of 6,000-8,000 words each. Participants must be prepared to submit their papers by 1 October 2019. Each participant will be required to read all papers for the session, and to share written comments on two of the papers, prior to the conference. The session itself will include brief presentations and discussions of each paper, followed by a more extensive conversation between participants and the audience around common questions and themes. 

Those interested must submit a CV and a one-page abstract to Tehila Sasson ([email protected]) and Vanessa Ogle ([email protected]) by 15 March 2019. Results will be announced by 5 April 2019. Please title your email “NACBS Workshop Proposal.”

Note: Some financial assistance will be available for graduate students (up to US$500) and for a limited number of under/unemployed NACBS members within ten years of their terminal degree (US$300). Details of these travel grants will be posted to and emailed to members once the 2019 meeting program is prepared.


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