The Center for the History of Business, Technology, and Society organizes events designed to bring attention to Hagley’s research collections and the topics with which they engage. Our author talk series features recent original books that draw on Hagley materials and address topics of interest to a general audience. Research seminars invite audiences to read and offer thoughts on pre-circulated work in progress original historical essays, and intended for a cross-over audience of active scholars and the interested public. Conferences are organized in around a thematic call for papers and are comprised of academic presentations based on original research. Many conferences form the basis for edited volumes published in the University of Pennsylvania Press series, Hagley Perspectives on Business and Culture.
Upcoming History Hangouts
A virtual event produced by the Center for Business History featuring in-depth talks with staff and scholars about moments in U.S. history documented by collections at the Hagley Library.
When miners go underground, they enter a spiritual realm distinct from that aboveground. Across time, places, and cultures, miners have made religious observance part of their work, building shrines, making offerings, and naming places after sacred personages. What connects these practices, and how can we access the meaning behind them?
Nitrogen is the most abundant element in the Earth’s atmosphere, it is essential to life and biological processes, and yet it is virtually impossible to access nitrogen absent the mediation of something or someone that can “fix” gaseous atmospheric nitrogen into a stable form. Historically, these mediators were biological organisms, such as cyanobacteria, that can fix nitrogen and make it available in the ecosystem and economy. Not until the advent of modern chemistry and chemical industries did a method for synthetically fixing nitrogen exist, but once developed, it became an essential component of the human economies of agriculture and warfare.
The self-employed have many motivations for choosing or accepting their working arrangements. A business model that taps into the desire for people to “work for themselves” can mobilize the capital, networks, and labor of large numbers of people at comparatively low cost. Whether through franchising, direct-selling, or other methods, major firms became enablers, advocates, and beneficiaries of self-employment.
Upcoming Author Talks
Want to know about the origins of the brands and trademarks that now fill our marketplaces and media? In her author talk on Thursday February 29, Jennifer Black will tell all, drawing from her new book, Branding Trust: Advertising and Trademarks in Nineteenth Century America.
A Good Place to Do Business: The Politics of Downtown Renewal Since 1945 will be the topic of our May 9 author talk by historians Roger Biles and Mark Rose. Their book chronicles efforts to reinvigorate the downtowns of major American cities in order to reverse the process of urban decline. Commencing with Pittsburgh’s efforts, they explore how these urban “makeovers” promised to increase...
Each year, the Hagley Center organizes a conference around a theme in business history. We issue a thematic call for papers in the spring, and the resulting fall conference consists of academic presentations based on original research.
Upcoming Research Seminars
For more than twenty years Hagley’s research seminars have brought innovative work-in-progress essays for wide-ranging discussions on Thursday evenings during the academic year. Those planning to attend are encouraged to read the paper in advance as the author does not deliver a lecture. For papers, contact Carol Lockman at firstname.lastname@example.org or (302) 658-2400, ext. 243.
Proximity to power, access to professional networks, and acquisition of insider knowledge has come to define the “intangible things” unpaid internships claim to offer students—whether in the public service or in proliferating private internship programs. This paper locates the origins of the modern, private white-collar internship in the growth of the New Deal administrative state and the...
In the 25 years after World War II, the coastline of South Florida was transformed into a sprawling cultural landscape of leisure, made up of suburban communities designed for vacationers and retirees. While builders and real estate developers were integral in drawing throngs of leisure seekers to South Florida from the Midwest and Northeastern U.S., residents also played a critical role in...