The History of Capitalism

in the United States

Graduate Student Conference

November 6 – 8, 2008

Harvard University
CGIS South, 1730 Cambridge Street,
Cambridge, Massachusetts

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

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. We intend to bring together both emerging scholars and more established historians from around the world, provide a prominent stage for sharing new research and new ideas, and push the boundaries of existing knowledge to situate American capitalism in a transnational and global context. Furthermore, we will encourage innovative approaches to both teaching and learning about capitalism as a historical phenomenon.

The conference will begin in November with a reception at Baker library at the Harvard Business School. The reception will be followed on Friday and Saturday by five thematically organized panel discussions, and one round table discussion, in which the participants will present their work and receive comments from experts in their fields. All papers will be circulated in advance to maximize time for discussion among the participants and the audience. Additionally, Steven Hahn will offer the keynote address on Friday afternoon. The conference will foster collegial relations among young scholars as well as connect them with more established mentors.