The Institute for Historical Studies at the University of Texas at Austin announces its 2014-15 theme, “Capital and Commodities.”


For the Institute’s 2014–15 program, we invite proposals for research into the history of capital and commodities.  The co-development of financial and ecological crises, the global proliferation of mass consumerism, and ongoing social and military conflicts over access to natural resources suggest the critical importance of historicizing the study of capital and commodities.  Indeed, over the last several decades, historians have compiled an impressive body of work on the history of commodities and their production, circulation, uses, and cultural significance. Research into commodity chains has forced historians to consider questions of social identity formation and has invigorated analysis of systems of communication and representation.  Historical studies have also revealed the impact of commodity production and consumption on natural landscapes and sociopolitical formations.  Recent globalized economic crises have further helped focus scholarly attention on how commodity exchange and capital creation involve the conjunctural dimensions of history:  credit booms and debt crises, cycles of inflation and deflation, economic growth (and its intellectual constructions) and limits to growth.   In this vein, the Institute encourages analytical approaches that underscore the sociocultural, political, environmental and intellectual underpinnings of the history of capital and commodities.  We especially welcome proposals that encompass broad timespans (including the medieval and early modern periods) and that reach across geographic areas and disciplinary boundaries. Read more at: http://www.utexas.edu/cola/insts/historicalstudies/news/7106

The IHS invites applications for resident fellows at all ranks. Deadline: January 15, 2014 (12:00 midnight CST). For more information about the institute’s fellowship and application process, please visit: http://www.utexas.edu/cola/insts/historicalstudies/fellowships/resident-fellows.php

For further information on IHS, including events programming and applications for residential fellowships for 2013-14, please visit the IHS website: http://www.utexas.edu/cola/insts/historicalstudies/

Queries: historyinstitute@austin.utexas.edu

Courtney Meador
University of Texas at Austin

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