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Summer school (scadenza domande 26 aprile): University of Glasgow & University of Tübingen PhD Summer School, 3-5 July 2024, Glasgow, Scotland Business History Beyond Boundaries: Fourth International Summer School


Call for Papers: 
University of Glasgow & University of Tübingen PhD Summer School, 3-5 July 2024, 
Glasgow, Scotland
Business History Beyond Boundaries: Fourth International Summer School

The Centre for Business History in Scotland at the University of Glasgow, together with the University of Tübingen’s Institute for Modern History once again provides funding for an intensive three-day event aimed at PhD students, early-career researchers and practitioners undertaking archival based research in business history or economic history working on any topic that addresses issues and questions related to the period 1850-2000 (For more details, see “Further Notes for Applicants” below). Students will be hosted on Glasgow University’s historic main campus and will present, debate and discuss their worksin-progress and take a selection of masterclasses together with leading international scholars in the discipline.

The school aims to provide doctoral students with an overview of relevant research and innovative tools and methodologies in the fields of business and economic history. It is the fourth event in this series, which began in 2017 and is organised jointly by Daniel Menning of the Seminar für Neuere Geschichte (University of Tübingen) and Christopher Miller of the Centre for Business History in Scotland (University of Glasgow).

The school will take the form of presentations from students (c.25 minutes) and workshops hosted by established experts in the field. The aims of the school are:

1. to deepen students’ understanding of current themes in historical research (and how this can inform their own work);
2. to enhance research skills through masterclasses on methods for researching and writing history;
3. to explore the main theoretical underpinnings particular to business and economic history; and
4. to provide a welcoming and convivial environment in which students can discuss their research with leading scholars and peers;
5. to develop their research towards publication in journal and monograph form.

Students will benefit from the experience of academics and archivists from Glasgow, Tübingen and beyond. We will be confirming additional speakers in the coming weeks and months.

Funding will cover flights and/or trains (up to an agreed limit, to be reimbursed after the school), accommodation, lunches, and the conference meal for up to twelve students. There may also be limited space for applicants who wish to self-fund or who have received funding from their own institution.

Those interested in attending the summer school should e-mail the following documents to the organisers, Dr Christopher Miller (Christopher.Miller@glasgow.ac.uk) and Dr Daniel Menning (Daniel.Menning@uni-tuebingen.de)

1. a brief CV (two pages maximum);
2. a summary of their PhD (two pages maximum); and
3. a title and abstract for their desired presentation topic, which should incorporate one or more major themes of the student’s PhD (one page maximum).

We will accept applications from anyone working on a PhD in business history or a cognate field, or anyone whose PhD was awarded on, or after, 1 Jan 2022. Additionally, we also welcome applications from those working professionally in related fields, including archivists and journalists, so long as they are undertaking significant pieces of archivalbased research.

While not required, applicants are encouraged to submit with their materials a short (c.20 page) example of a work-in-progress (e.g., a draft chapter, article, or working paper), preferably in English or German. Please note, however, that all presentations and discussions will be in English.

The deadline for applications is 26 April 2024. A maximum of 12 funded applicants will be selected and notified shortly afterwards.

Further Notes for Applicants: Research Agenda

(This overview is only a guide. Students working on similar topics to those listed below are encouraged to speak to Christopher Miller and/or Daniel Menning in the first instance.)

Business history and economic history have been distinct disciplines, separate from both economics and organizational studies, for over three quarters of a century. They have developed a rich and varied historiography that has helped to answer and contextualize some of the largest questions of the last two centuries. These include explaining rapid technological changes of the industrial and information ages, the globalization of financial and production markets, and, not least, the rise of capitalism itself.

However, recent trends have in some cases deepened the divide between disciplines. For instance, business history has often found a home in business schools rather than in history departments, while economic history is increasingly undertaken using quantitative methods in economics faculties, rather than by historians using archives. This said, new approaches from historians are starting to re-bridge the divideand ask questions about the history and nature of capitalism in comparative and other contexts. We thus believe historians and those engaged in research with qualitative archival material have much to offer business and economic topics, and it is work in this area that this summer school intends to foster.

More particularly, the school will examine one of the major ‘problems’ prevalent in the existing literature. Simply put, the firm – that is the company or organization itself – has been the unit of assessment most prevalent in business and economic historiography, matched only by overviews or studies of national economies or government policies. Many historians, economists and business scholars have made careers explaining the rise (and fall) of major corporations, or the successes and failures of a nation’s economy or core industries. However, while these studies have been and are immensely valuable, such narratives of success and/or failure have missed, or not yet fully developed, important nuances as a result.

We believe there is scope for business history to go beyond and reach across boundaries and thus are particularly interested in contributions that discuss:

– Limitations imposed by a focus on firms and new ways to approach business history research;
– Limitations imposed by national perspectives;
– Ways to bridge quantitative/qualitative divides;
– New ways of using/utilising archival holdings.

As these are large questions, we also invite those working on cognate topics – even those that do not see themselves as business historians or historians at all, to apply to the school. We also welcome applications from those working in archives and records management fields, particularly practising business archivists, to offer insights into archival-based research.

In sum, this school will bring together PhD students, early career researchers and practitioners in history, heritage, and archives to explore the interrelationships between business practice and the actors, organizations, and institutions of the broader social and political environment. These are large and important questions which are only beginning to be tackled, and our hope is that the summer school will help to map out and better understand spheres of business beyond the national economies or particular firms, to the benefit not only of history students, but to show why and how history can benefit the kinds of studies that have hitherto taken place mainly in economics faculties or business schools.