My Talk in Banff

28 07 2015
"Banff, Alberta, Canada (230089894)" by Tony Webster from Portland, Oregon, United States - Banff, Alberta, Canada. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

“Banff, Alberta, Canada (230089894)” by Tony Webster from Portland, Oregon, United States – Banff, Alberta, Canada. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Are you interested in state formation, constitutional change, and sovereignty in North America in the 1860s? If so, check out the programme of the Rethinking North American Sovereignty Conference in Banff Alberta.

Masonic Lodge, Banff, Alberta

I will be speaking at the Masons Hall, 103 Caribou Street, in Banff, Alberta on Thursday, 30 July at 6:30pm. The event is free and open to the public.

Andrew Smith, University of Liverpool, “Confederation as a Hemispheric Anomaly: Why Canada Choose to Remain a Colony -draft July 2015

Steven Hahn, University of Pennsylvania, “The United States from the Inside Out and the Southside North”

Comment: Thomas Bender, New York University

This conference is sponsored by the George and Ann Richards Civil War Era Center at Penn State University and supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Virginia Center for Civil War Studies at Virginia Tech University and the following academic units at the University of Calgary: the Department of History; the Centre for Military, Security, and Strategic Studies; the Faculty of Arts; the Latin America Research Centre; and the Office of the Vice President for Research.

New Website to Watch

5 12 2014

North American business and sport historian J. Andrew Ross has launched a new website. The image above is of his forthcoming book, which is published by Syracuse University Press.

The website discusses Dr Ross’s current academic research. He is working on a number of projects including a study using historical census data, a historical analysis of the life insurance industry, and an anthropometric history of hockey players. (See image below).

Dr Ross, who is based at the University of Guelph, also advises private-sector clients on historical issues.

Timothy Shenk on the Historians of Capitalism

10 11 2014

In recent years, a group of young business historians in the United States have attempted to re-brand business history at the “history of capitalism.” As part of the rebranding, these scholars have refocus the attention of the business-history community on the issue of inequality.

The Nation, a left-leaning US magazine, has published a very lengthy article on the new breed of historians of capitalism. This l thoughtful article, which is by Timothy Shenk, is about far more than the scholars who are calling themselves historians of capitalism. Indeed, this article is an intellectual tour of the horizon and discusses the ideas of the wide range of social thinkers, from Adam Smith to John Stuart Mill to Larry Summers and Tyler Cowen. (The TV host Jerry Springer also gets a brief mention).  Anyway, this piece should be read by all serious social scientists.

Here is a sample of the article.

Historians of capitalism hail from departments across the country, but the field’s most prominent enthusiast occupies an ideal perch for academic proselytizing. In 1996, a young German-born historian of the United States named Sven Beckert was hired by Harvard University’s history department. The title of Beckert’s dissertation alone was significant: called “The Making of New York City’s Bourgeoisie, 1850–1886,” it nodded to the Marxist historian E.P. Thompson’s classic text The Making of the English Working Class (1963), and it highlighted a concept—“bourgeoisie”—shunned by scholars wary of associating themselves with a Marxist vocabulary. Beckert’s methodology was more indebted to the great figures of modern sociology than to Capital, but at the time Marxism of any kind was unfashionable among historians. It remained so five years later when the book quarried from Beckert’s dissertation was published as The Monied Metropolis.