Call for Papers
“Inequalities: Winners and Losers in Business”
What does business have to do with inequality? Contemporary answers have ranged from “everything” to “nothing.” The call for proposals for the 2015 joint meeting of the Business History Conference (BHC) and European Business History Association (EBHA) challenges business historians of all stripes to historicize the economic, political, cultural and social processes by which inequality has taken hold, ebbing and flowing over time. Business is central to those processes. The very word “inequality” suggests injustice and unfairness, subjugation and lack of opportunity. But in fact, there are many different inequalities, and their historical significance depends upon how societies have regarded and valued difference. Men and women of various racial and ethnic populations, the rich and poor, dominant and subordinate, leaders and laggards, have been praised and derided, advantaged and disadvantaged in various ways by different societies in different time periods. By inviting a broad historical exploration of the many inequalities that affected and have been affected by business, both positively and negatively, the conference hopes to illuminate more clearly the complexities involved in distinguishing winners from losers. In keeping with longstanding BHC and EBHA policy the Program Committee will give equal consideration to submissions not directly related to the conference theme.
Thomas Piketty, author of Capital in the 21st Century, will deliver the joint meeting’s plenary address. The conference also will have several additional plenary sessions, receptions, and organized local activities in Miami; addresses by the BHC and EBHA presidents; lunch meetings for business historians in business schools and for women in business history; a meeting of the Alliance of Centres for Business History in Europe; a breakfast and reception for emerging scholars (graduate students and recent Ph.D.s); membership meetings for the BHC and EBHA; and a closing banquet with presentation of awards by the BHC and EBHA.
This will be the fourth joint meeting of the Business History Conference and the European Business History Association. The Program Committee includes Lucy Newton (chair), University of Reading; Mary Yeager (BHC president), University of California Los Angeles; Raymond Stokes (EBHA President), University of Glasgow; Juliette Levy, University of California, Riverside; Stephen Mihm, University of Georgia; Ben Wubs, Erasmus University, Rotterdam; and Stephanie Decker, Aston Business School. Most sessions will take place at the Hyatt Regency Miami, where a large bloc of lodging rooms has been reserved for $135/night.
The program committee will consider both individual papers and entire panels. Individual paper proposals should include a one-page (300-word) abstract and one-page curriculum vitae (CV). Panel proposals should include a cover letter stating the rationale for the panel and the name of its contact person; one-page (300-word) abstract and author’s CV for each paper; and a list of preferred panel chairs and commentators with contact information. It also invites proposals for innovative sessions, such as roundtables. Proposals will be reviewed by all program committee members and evaluated for their quality and originality. Graduate students and recent Ph.D.s (within 3 years of receipt of degree) whose papers are accepted for the meeting may apply for funds to partially defray their travel costs; information will be sent out once the program has been set. Everyone appearing on the program is required to register for the meeting.