On 19-21 May 2005, the Business History Conference (BHC) will host its annual meeting in Minneapolis (USA), home to the flagship campus of the University of Minnesota.

The theme for the conference is Reinvention and Renewal. Throughout history, firms, industries, regions, and nations have demonstrated remarkable capacities to transform prevailing business practices and reorient economic activities. Minnesota’s own 3M is just one example of such reinvention, with its reorientation from mining to Post-It notes. On another level, the region surrounding Minneapolis has renewed itself by refocusing from flour and cereal milling to high tech. Longtime residents and immigrant entrepreneurs have also remade numerous neighborhoods in the city into shopping, restaurant, and theater districts. The program committee invites proposals aimed at elucidating all aspects of such phenomena. (In keeping with longstanding BHC policy, the committee will also entertain submissions not directly related to the conference theme.)

Potential presenters may submit proposals either for individual papers or for entire panels. Individual paper proposals should include a one-page abstract and a one-page curriculum vitae. The abstract should summarize the argument of the paper, the sources on which it is based, and its relationship to existing scholarship. Each panel proposal should include a cover letter stating the rationale for the session, a one-page abstract and author’s vitae for each proposed paper (up to three), and a list of preferred chairs and commentators (with contact information for those who have agreed in advance to participate).

The conference features several programs of special interest to graduate students and recent Ph.D.s. These include the Krooss dissertation prize competition, the Kerr prize for the best first paper presented by a recent Ph.D. candidate or recent Ph.D., dissertation-in-progress workshop sessions, and a day-long Dissertation Colloquium preceding the conference. The BHC also offers selected graduate students small grants to offset some of the costs of attending the conference. See reverse for details.

The deadline for the receipt of all proposals is 1 October 2004. All presenters are expected to submit abstracts of their papers for posting on the Business History Conference’s web site. In addition, presenters are encouraged to post electronic versions of their papers prior to the meeting.

Please send all proposals to Roger Horowitz, secretary-treasurer, Business History Conference, P. O. Box 3630, Wilmington, DE 19807, USA. Phone: (302) 658-2400; fax: (302) 655-3188; email [email protected]

The program committee consists of Steven W. Usselman (chair), Georgia Institute of Technology; Tracey Deutsch, University of Minnesota; Helen Shapiro, University of California, Santa Cruz; Steven Tolliday, University of Leeds; and JoAnne Yates (BHC President-Elect), MIT.


The Business History Conference is committed to fostering work by younger scholars working in the field of business history, broadly conceived. To this end, the BHC has organized the following events in conjunction with the annual conference.

Krooss Dissertation Prize Competition Each year, the Business History Conference awards the Herman E. Krooss Prize for the best dissertation in business history completed in the past three years. The Krooss Prize Committee welcomes submissions from recent Ph.D.s (2002-5) in history, business administration, history of science and technology, economics, law, and related fields. If you would like to participate in this competition, please indicate this in a cover letter, and include a one-page vita and one-page dissertation abstract. These should be sent to address above. A group of selected finalists will present summaries of their dissertations at a plenary session of the conference.

K. Austin Kerr Prize Competition The Business History Conference also awards the K. Austin Kerr Prize for the best first paper by a Ph.D. candidate or recent Ph.D. (2002-5). If you wish to participate in this competition, please indicate this in your paper proposal. Proposals accepted for the Krooss prize panel and the dissertation-in-progress sessions described below are not eligible for the Kerr Prize.

Dissertation-in-Progress Sessions Open to all attendees, these sessions are intended to provide students in the early stages of their dissertation projects with feedback and constructive criticism from a larger community of scholars than is available to them at their home institutions. Doctoral candidates who would like to have their dissertations discussed in an informal but informed scholarly setting should submit a cover letter to this effect, along with a one-page vita and one-page dissertation abstract. (Please make clear this is a dissertation abstract, not a paper proposal.) Send materials to Roger Horowitz at the address above.

Newcomen Dissertation Colloquium This intensive workshop, sponsored by the BHC through the generous support of the Newcomen Society, will take place at the conference venue on Wednesday evening, May 18 and Thursday, May 19. Participants will work closely with a small but distinguished group of BHC-affiliated scholars, including at least two of its officers. The assembled scholars and students will review dissertation proposals, consider relevant literatures and research strategies, and discuss the business history profession. The colloquium will involve a mix of activities, including a kick-off dinner on May 18. Limited to at most ten students, it is intended for doctoral candidates in the early stages of their dissertation projects. Those interested in participating should submit to Roger Horowitz, BHC Sec-Treas ([email protected]), a statement of interest, a preliminary or final dissertation prospectus, and a current vita. (Please make clear that you are interested in the dissertation colloquium.) One recommendation from the dissertation supervisor (or prospective supervisor) should also be either faxed (302-655-3188) or emailed ([email protected]) to Roger Horowitz by January 5, 2005. The review committee will notify all applicants of its decisions by March 1st. A grant from the Newcomen Society of America will provide each participant with a $300 honorarium, which will help cover individual travel and lodging expenses.

NOTE: Subject to approval by the appropriate selection committees, doctoral candidates may participate in both the dissertation colloquium and a dissertation-in-progress session.