Joint Meeting of the Business History Conference and the European Business History Association

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.

The BHC awards the Herman E. Krooss Prize for the best dissertation in business history in English by a recent Ph.D. in history, economics, business administration, the history of science and technology, sociology, law, communications, and related fields. To be eligible, dissertations must be completed in the three calendar years immediately prior to the 2015 annual meeting, and may only be submitted once for the Krooss Prize. If you wish to apply for this prize, please send a letter to the Krooss Prize Committee expressing your interest along with a one-page CV and one-page (300-word) dissertation abstract. After the Krooss committee has reviewed the proposals, it will ask semi-finalists to submit copies of their dissertations. Finalists will present summaries of their dissertations at a plenary session of the 2015 BHC annual meeting in Columbus and will receive a partial subsidy of their travel costs to the meeting.

The K. Austin Kerr Prize is awarded for the best first paper delivered by a new scholar at the annual meeting of the BHC. A "new scholar" is defined as a doctoral candidate or a Ph.D. whose degree is less than three years old. If you wish to participate in this competition, please notify the BHC program committee in your proposal. Proposals accepted for the Krooss Prize are not eligible for the Kerr Prize.

Since 2009, the EBHA has held a prize competition for the best paper on European business history presented at its annual congress. That tradition will continue at the joint BHC/EBHA meeting in Miami in 2015. More information will be available on the conference and EBHA websites.

The deadline for receipt of all proposals is 15 October 2014. Acceptance emails will be sent in January 2015. Presenters are expected to submit abstracts of their papers for posting on the BHC website. In addition, presenters are encouraged to post electronic versions of their papers prior to the meeting and to submit their papers for inclusion in the BHC's on-line proceedings, Business and Economic History On-Line.

Please send proposals for papers, panels, or the Krooss Prize to BHC@Hagley.org. If you do not have access to the Internet, you may send hard copies to Roger Horowitz, Secretary-Treasurer, Business History Conference, P.O. Box 3630, Wilmington, DE 19807, USA. Phone: (302)658-2400; fax: (302) 655-3188.

The BHC Doctoral Colloquium in Business History will be held in conjunction with the BHC annual meeting. This prestigious workshop, sponsored by BHC and funded by Cambridge University Press, will take place in Miami at the conference site Tuesday, June 23, and Wednesday, June 24. The colloquium is limited to ten students. Participants work intensively with a distinguished group of BHC-affiliated scholars that includes at least two BHC officers. The colloquium will discuss dissertation proposals, relevant literatures and research strategies, and employment opportunities in business history. This colloquium is intended for doctoral candidates in the early stages of their dissertation projects. If you are interested in being considered for this colloquium, please submit to Roger Horowitz by 1 December 2014 (at the email address listed above) a statement of interest, a CV, a preliminary or final dissertation prospectus of 10-15 pages, and a letter of support from your dissertation supervisor (or prospective supervisor). All participants receive a stipend that will partially cover the costs of their attendance at the annual meeting. The colloquium committee will notify all applicants of its decisions by 23 January 2015.