“Green Capitalism? At the Crossroads of Environmental and Business History.”

Hagely Museum and Library Soda House, Oct. 30-31, 2014

CLICK HERE to register online

View Conference Flyer (PDF)


Thursday, 30 October

8:30-9:00 Coffee

9:00-9:30 Welcoming remarks

Erik Rau, Hagley Museum and Library

Hartmut Berghoff, German Historical Institute-D.C.


9:30-12:00 Session 1: Firms as Conservationists?

William D. Bryan, Emory University: Corporate Conservation and Conflict: Determining the Ideal Forms of Development for the American South

Julie Cohn, University of Houston: Utilities as Conservationists: The Conundrum of Electrification during the Progressive Era in North America

David B. Cohen, Brandeis University: Capitalism and the Wilderness Idea: The Case of the Great Northern Paper Company

Frank Uekötter, University of Birmingham: How Green was Chemurgy? A Movement in Search of Corporations

Comment: Ann Greene, University of Pennsylvania


12:00-1:00 lunch

1:00-3:00 Session 2: Consumers’ Demands

Ai Hisano, University of Delaware: Making Natural: Coloring Florida Oranges, 1930s-1950s

Brian C. Black, Penn State Altoona: Energy Hinge: Green Consumerism and the Energy Scene since 1973

Rachel Gross, University of Wisconsin, Madison: Greening Outdoor Recreation in the Age of Plastics

Comment: Adam Rome, University of Delaware


3:30-5:30 Session 3: Globalization

B. R. Cohen and Matthew Plishka, Lafayette College: Cottonseed, Oil, and the Environmental Entanglements of a Global Gilded Age Industry

Emily K. Brock, Max Planck Institute: Naming Commodities: Colonial Power, American Business and the Rebranding of a Tropical Forest Tree in the Philippines

Simone Müller-Pohl,University of Freiburg: Why American Cities go Wasting Abroad: Local Political Economy and International Trade in Hazardous Waste

Comment: Yda Schreuder, University of Delaware

5:30-6:30: Reception

6:30-8:30: Dinner


Friday 31 October

8:30-9:00 Coffee

9:00-11:30 Session 4: Firms Going Green

David Kinkela, State University of New York Fredonia: Hi-Cone Plastic Six-Pack Rings, Ocean Pollution, and the Challenge of a Global Environmental Problem

Bart Elmore, University of Alabama: Towards a History of Sustainable Business?: What the Coca-Cola Company Can Tell us about the Ecological Causes of Corporate Restructuring

Leif Fredrickson, University of Virginia: The Rise and Fall of an Ecostar: Environmental Technology Innovation and Marketing as Policy Obstruction

Ann-Kristin Bergquist. Umeå University: Dilemmas of Going Green: Company Strategies in the Swedish Mining Company Boliden 1960-2000

Comment: Regina Lee Blaszczyk, University of Leeds


12:30-2:00 Session 5: Governance

Roman Köster, Bundeswehr University Munich: Private Companies and the Recycling of Household Waste in West Germany, 1965-1990

Hugh Gorman, Michigan Technology University: The Role of Businesses in Constructing Systems of Environmental Governance

Comment: Brian Balogh, University of Virginia


2:00-3:00 Conference summary

Christine Meisner Rosen, Haas School of Business, University of California-Berkeley


Advance registration is free but required. Contact Carol Lockman,, for program and registration information.

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