The New History of American Capitalism

Thursday, November 17, 2011 - 7:00pm to Saturday, November 19, 2011 - 11:00pm

On November 18-19, 2011, the Program on the Study of Capitalism will host an exciting conference on the History of Capitalism.  The conference will bring together leading scholars to explore new problems and possibilities in the field.  We are excited to partner with the Culture of the Market Network for this event.  Please register if you would like to attend the "New History of American Capitalism" and the "Teaching Workshop on the History of Capitalism."  Papers will be precirculated only among conference presenters.  The sessions will be open to the public, but please be aware that presenters will give only preliminary remarks not full talks.

All events on Thursday and Friday will be in the Thompson Room of Barker Center (see

Friday, November 18

8:45 – Coffee and Pastries 

9:00 – Opening Remarks – Sven Beckert and Christine Desan

9:30 – 11:30 - Making Markets, Chair Christine Desan

Elizabeth Blackmar, “Taking the Measure of Nineteenth-century Land and Mortgage Markets”

Chris Tomlins, “Demonic Ambiguities: “Capitalism as Religion” in Turner’s Virginia”

Seth Rockman,  "Negro Cloth": Mastering the Market for Slave Clothing in Antebellum America 

11:45 - Lunch

1:00 – 3:00 - North America and Global Capitalism, Chair Noam Maggor

Michael Zakim, "Was Capital a Global Language?"

Peter Coclanis, “Slippery Space:  Capitalist Agriculture, Global Competition, and the Evolution of the American Rice Industry” 

Eliga Gould, "War by Other Means:  The Politics of International Trade in the Age of European Mercantilism, 1660-1830"

3:15-5:15 - Capitalism and Governance, Chair Sven Beckert

Richard White, "What is the Purpose of an Economy?: The Early Challenge to Corporate Capitalism"

Kimberly Philips-Fein, "The Fiscal Crisis of the 1970s and the Idea of the State"

Woody Holton, “Unintended Beneficiaries: Women, Capital, and the Constitution”


Saturday, November 19

8:45 – Coffee and Pastries

9:00 - 11:30 - Representing the Market, Chair Chris McKenna

Mary Poovey, “"Expanding the Domain of the Calculable: From Fair Valuation to Risk Management in Early Twentieth Century America."

Peter Knight , "The Pujo Committee, Mark Lombardi, and the Conspiratorial Sublime of American Finance"

Amy Dru Stanley, "The Traffic in Things and the Rights of Persons: An American Peculiarity"

Walter Johnson, "The Impossibility of Black Freedom in the Age of The African Colonization Society"

11:30 – Closing Comments

            Sven Beckert and Christine Desan

12:15 – Lunch


Please register if you would like to attend the "New History of American Capitalism" and the "Teaching Workshop on the History of Capitalism."

Register for The New History of American Capitalism in Harvard University  on Eventbrite