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. Many conferences form the basis for edited volumes published through the University of Pennsylvania Press series, Hagley Perspectives on Business and Culture.


Fall 2024 Conference

Real Estate Development and the Built Environment, A Conference at the Hagley Library in Wilmington DE, November 1, 2024


Past Hagley Conferences

Building Ecosystems/Selling Natures: At the Edge of Environments and Economies, October 28, 2022 

Reach Out and Touch Someone: A Conference on Commercial Intimacy and Personalization, November 5, 2021

Avon: An International Forum on its Archive, May 7, 2021.

Capitalism and the Senses, November 5, 2020.

Commercial Pictures and the Arts and Technics of Visual Persuasion, November 8, 2019

Seeing Like a Capitalist: Histories of Commercial Surveillance in America, November 8–9, 2018

Hidden Capitalism: Beyond, Below and Outside the Visible Market, November 10, 2017

Making Modern Disabilities: Histories of Disability, Design, and Technology, October 2016

Doing Business Across Borders, November 2015

Green Capitalism? At the Crossroads of Environmental and Business History. October 2014

Business and Politics in Twentieth-Century America, November 8, 2013

Historicizing Intellectual Property: A symposium, May 16, 2013. 

Talking Business: Oral History and the History of Enterprises, November 2, 2012. 

The Life of New Materials. November 17-18, 2011

Crisis and Consequence. Conference at the Hagley Museum and Library November 5, 2010

Understanding Markets: Information, Institutions and History. Sponsored by the Hagley Museum and Library and German Historical Institute. October 30 and 31, 2009

Fashions: Business Perspectives in Historical Perspective. Business History Conference. June 11-13 2009

Unintended Consequences. A conference sponsored by the Hagley Fellows of the University of Delaware. April 4, 2009

Automobility: A Conference on the 100th anniversary of the Model T. November 6-7, 2008

Commonplace Yet Extraordinary: Design Histories of Everyday Objects. Friday, May 16, 2008

Sound in the Era of Mechanical Reproduction. November 29-30, 2007

Technological Innovation and the Cold War. March 9, 2007

Food Chains: Provisioning, Technology, and Science. November 2 to 4, 2006

How Business Users Shaped Modern Technologies...and Vice Versa. March 10, 2006

Producing Fashion. October 28-29, 2005

Utopian Visions and World's Fairs. April 15, 2005

Tourism Conference: Consuming Experiences. November 12-13, 2004

The Pennsylvania Railroad and its Archives: Their History and Legacy. December 5, 2003

The Ambiguities of Work: Knowledge, Power, and Culture. November 7, 2003

Reinventing the Factory. Hagley Fellows Conference, March 28, 2003

The Technological Fix. October 4-5, 2002

Commodifying Everything: Consumption and the Capitalist Enterprise. October 12-13, 2001

Consumption and the Environment. Hagley Fellows Conference. March 9, 2001

Kitchens: Design, Technologies, and Work. November 10, 2000

Food and Drink in Consumer Societies. November 12-13, 1999

Beauty & Business. March 26-27, 1999

Private Time, Private Space, Private Parts: Negotiating the Boundaries of Private and Public in History. Hagley Fellows Conference, February 26, 1999

Technology and Artistic Practice. October 30, 1998

Women and Historic Preservation. May 28 & 29, 1998

Boys and Their Toys? Masculinity, Technology, and Work. October 3, 1997

The Future of Business History. April 4 & 5, 1997

Modernism and Technology, 1900-1945. Hagley Fellows Conference, March 7, 1997

Click to view and search a selection of programs and posters from past conferences in the Hagley Digital Archives