Business History in Times of Disruption: Embracing Complexity and Diversity
Annual Meeting of the Business History Conference
Sheraton Mexico City María Isabel Hotel
Ciudad de México, México
April 7-9, 2022
The Covid-19 crisis arrived with little warning, disrupting global business and trade. Industries as different as tourism, retail, and manufacturing were plunged into disarray by travel restrictions, broken supply chains, and quarantines. The pandemic also underscored the growing dangers posed by economic inequality and environmental degradation, hinting at a more tumultuous future. We have, it seems, entered into a new age of uncertainty.
Informed by these developments, the 2022 Business History Conference will explore the diverse ways that entrepreneurs, firms, and organizations coped with complexity, uncertainty, and disruption over the long run. The Program Committee welcomes individual papers and session proposals that explore this theme. Submissions can address a host of topics: the historical challenge posed by complexity and uncertainty; the stories told about periods of turbulence, disruption and chaos; the ways that disruptions have engendered adaptation and resilience in different times and places; and any number of related subjects.
The Program Committee is especially interested in sessions and papers that contribute to a more inclusive, global, and pluralistic vision of business history. For example, submissions could address diverse geographic locales and time periods; analyze the different ways that race, class, and gender have affected the ability of entrepreneurs and firms to survive and thrive in previous eras of uncertainty; address the role of governments, politics, and power in deciding winners and losers in tumultuous times; and any number of similar subjects. Finally, the organizers welcome proposals with innovative formats that promote discussion on how to conduct research and teach business history in the so-called post-pandemic era.
While we encourage submissions to take up these themes, papers addressing all other topics will receive equal consideration by the program committee in accordance with BHC policy. Graduate students and emerging scholars in the field are particularly encouraged to attend. Graduate students and recent PhDs whose papers are accepted for the meeting may apply for funds to partially defray their travel costs; information will be sent out once the program has been set.