Wednesday, April 6, 2011

This week: Slavery's Capitalism: A New History of American Economic Development

Slavery's Capitalism: A New History of American Economic Development is a fabulous conference co-sponsored by Brown and Harvard University, convened by Sven Beckert and Seth Rockman, April 7-9, 2011.  Legal historians Al Brophy and Amy Dru Stanley are on the program.  Here are the details:

The decades between the American Revolution and the Civil War witnessed two economic transformations: the harnessing of machinery and capital into an industrial revolution and the vast expansion of slavery across a so-called Cotton Kingdom. These were not rival developments, but rather the twin engines of the nineteenth-century American economy.

THIS THREE-DAY CONFERENCE will showcase the latest research on the role of slavery in American
economic development, pointing toward a new history of capitalism itself.

Please register online here. For more information, contact Shaun S. Nichols, conference coordinator.

Thursday, April 7

Salomon Hall, Brown University
Undergraduate Research Poster Session
Salomon Hall lobby

Keynote Address, President Ruth Simmons
Salomon 101

Friday, April 8

Crystal Room of Alumnae Hall, Brown University
Providence, Rhode Island

Coffee and Registration

Chair: Michael Vorenberg, Brown University
The Contours of Cotton Capitalism: Speculation, Slavery, and Economic Panic in Mississippi, 1832-1841, Joshua D. Rothman, University of Alabama
Neighbor to Neighbor: Local Lending Networks Building Economies by Mortgaging Slaves, Bonnie Martin, Southern Methodist University
The Common Thread: Cotton, Slavery and the Development of Merchant Banking, Kathryn Boodry, Harvard University
Comment: Elizabeth Blackmar, Columbia University

Coffee Break

Chair: Ted Widmer, John Carter Brown Library
Defining the National Mainstream: Slavery, Capitalism, and the Limestone South, John Majewski, University of California–Santa Barbara
Did Slavery Need Capitalism, or did Capitalism Need Slavery? Stanley Engerman, University of Rochester
Comment: Kaivan Munshi, Brown University


Chair: Cécile Vidal, L'École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales
Quantifying Complicity: New Englanders and the Slave Economies of the West Indies, Eric Kimball, University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg
The Coastwise Slave Trade and a Mercantile Community of Interest, Calvin Schermerhorn, Arizona State University
Slavery, Technology and the Richmond-Rio Circuit, Daniel Rood, American Antiquarian Society
Comment: Ronald Bailey, Savannah State University

Saturday, April 9

Thompson Room in the Barker Center, Harvard University
Cambridge, MA

Coffee and Registration

Plantation Practices
Chair: Joyce Chaplin, Harvard University
The Whipping Machine, Edward Baptist, Cornell University
Improving the South: Plantation Slavery and American Industrialization, Ian Beamish, Johns Hopkins University
From Slavery to Scientific Management: Accounting for Mastery, Caitlin Rosenthal, Harvard University
Comment: Lorena Walsh, Colonial Williamsburg (retired)

Coffee Break

11:30- 1:00
Human Capital
Chair: Richard Rabinowitz, American History Workshop
“Broad is de Road dat Leads ter Death”: Human Capital & Enslaved Mortality, Daina Ramey Berry, University of Texas
Slave Breeding: An Antebellum Argument over Commodity Relations, Love, and Personhood, Amy Dru Stanley, University of Chicago
Comment: Walter Johnson, Harvard University

Lunch, with special Undergraduate Poster session on "Harvard and Slavery"

Institutions and Ideas
Chair: John Stauffer, Harvard University
“The Very Name of a West Indian”: Atlantic Wealth and the Rise of the American College, Craig Wilder, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Capitalism, Slavery, and Mathew Carey’s 1819, Andrew Shankman, Rutgers University–Camden
“No God But Gain”: The Business of Cuba and U.S. Foreign Policy, Stephen Chambers, Brown University
Utility, Slavery, and Market in American Legal Thought, Alfred Brophy, University of North Carolina School of Law
Comment: James T. Campbell, Stanford University

Concluding Roundtable
Sven Beckert, Seth Rockman, and the Audience