CfP: “Knowledge” (Event: Business History Conference, St. Louis, 03/2011); DL: 01.10.2010

Business History Conference (BHC) – Conference Theme: „Knowledge“

St. Louis, Missouri
31 March 2011 to 2 April 2011
Deadline: 1 October 2010

The history of business has for millennia been entwined with the pursuit and acquisition of knowledge. Artisans have jealously guarded trade secrets; merchants have networked to improve their access to information on market trends; promoters have fostered business education; scientists and engineers in corporate research and development laboratories have devised innovative artifacts, techniques, and theories; management consultants, journalists, and business academics have hailed the emergence of a „knowledge industry“; business leaders, philanthropists, and academic administrators have established universities and foundations to nurture innovation; and, most recently, lawmakers and computer programmers have created an Internet that has facilitated the creation of new kinds of knowledge that have transformed the conduct of business, public affairs, and private life.

In keeping with the recent expansion in the mandate of the Business History Conference (BHC) to embrace not only the dynamics of business decision-making, but also the relationship of economic institutions to culture, politics, and society, our 2011 annual meeting takes „Knowledge“ as its theme. Knowledge embraces, but is not confined to, the human capital generated and sustained by entrepreneurs, middle managers, and technical professionals; the tacit knowledge of clerks and factory workers; the cultural messages broadcast by advertisers and public relations professionals; the learning paths of institutions that contribute to the generation, circulation, and preservation of knowledge; the intellectual history of constructs like the „knowledge economy“; and the relationship of knowledge-generating economic institutions to government, the professions, and communications networks. While we hope that many of the proposals could be fit under this rubric, and in keeping with a venerable BHC tradition, the program committee welcomes proposals on topics that are not directly related to the conference theme.

The BHC program committee for 2011 consists of the following individuals: Mark R. Wilson (chair), University of North Carolina, Charlotte; Teresa da Silva Lopes, University of York, Great Britain; Matthias Kipping, York University, Canada; Jocelyn Wills, Brooklyn College; Richard R. John (BHC President-elect), Columbia University.

Potential presenters may submit proposals for individual papers or 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; a one-page (300 word) abstract and author’s CV for each paper (up to three); and a list of preferred panel chairs and commentators with contact information.

The BHC awards the Herman E. Krooss Prize for the best dissertation in business history by a recent Ph.D. in history, economics, business administration, the history of science and technology, sociology, law, communications, and related fields. A „recent Ph. D.“ is defined as a Ph. D. whose degree is less than three years old. 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 2011 BHC annual meeting in St. Louis.

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.

The Halloran Prize in the History of Corporate Responsibility is awarded for a paper presented at the annual meeting of the BHC that makes a significant contribution to the history of corporate responsibility.

The deadline for receipt of all proposals is 1 October 2010. Acceptance letters will be sent by 15 December 2010. 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.“ To offset some of the costs of attending the conference, the BHC offers modest financial grants to graduate students who are presenting papers; information will be sent out once the program has been set.

Please send proposals for papers, panels, or the Krooss Prize to 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 Oxford Journals Doctoral Colloquium in Business History will be held in conjunction with the BHC annual meeting. This prestigious workshop, sponsored by BHC and funded by Oxford University Press, will take place in St. Louis at the conference site Wednesday evening 30 March 2011 and all day Thursday 31 March 2011. The colloquium is limited to ten students. Participants work intensively with a distinguished group of BHC-affiliatedscholars 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 2010 (at the 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 10 January 2011.


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