The History of Capitalism in the United States

CFP: a conference at Harvard University, Nov 2008

Graduate Student Conference at Harvard University November 6-8, 2008

Call for Papers

The development of American capitalism has profoundly shaped the histories of both the United States and the world. Its study has the potential to connect large-scale processes with daily life and to shape our understanding of nature, culture and even freedom. All too often, however, scholars have divided the history of capitalism into business histories, labor histories, and economic histories along with studies of the state. This conference is intended as a forum in which to encourage dialogue, debate and more inclusive approaches to the writing of the history of capitalism in the United States. We hope, in the process, to interrogate the conceptual boundaries often employed in research on capitalism.

Building on the success of the 2006 conference, we seek papers or panel proposals from graduate students whose work will broaden the understanding of American capitalism and provide a new prism through which to understand U.S. history as a whole. Because we see capitalism as both a subject in itself and an analytical framework, we invite papers that reflect the variety of topics that are intricately connected to capitalism. We particularly welcome papers that utilize transnational approaches to reposition the history of capitalism in the United States within a global context.

We believe the framework of capitalism can be applied to nearly any topic and welcome submissions on subjects related (but not limited) to:

  • Industrialization
  • Slavery and the slave trade
  • Labor and management
  • Markets, credit, and finance
  • Currencies and commodities
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Trans- and multinational corporations
  • Migration and immigration
  • Imperialism and colonialism
  • Materialist histories of culture
  • Legal structures and the state
  • Cultural reverberations of capital

Submit proposals of 500-1000 words to [mailto][/mailto] by June 1, 2008.