Friday, February 24, 2012

SSHA Call for Papers

Call for Papers: 37th Annual Meeting of the Social Science History Association

Vancouver, British Columbia, 1-4 November, 2012
Submission Deadline: 1 March 2012

"Histories of Capitalism"


The 2012 Program Committee seeks panel proposals that focus on Histories of Capitalism. But it also encourages, as usual, papers and panels on all aspects of social science history.

Dramatic developments in the contemporary world – including the current world economic crisis; the rapid economic growth of China; the shocking rise of income inequality in the United States, or the looming danger of climate change – argue strongly for putting the history of capitalism at the center of our agenda in social science history. These contemporary developments point to capitalism’s enduring enigma: it promises the utopian possibility of overcoming material want but creates barriers, inequalities, and dystopian disasters en route.

Features or aspects of capitalism often figure as causes or effects in studies of a wide range of topics close to the heart of social science historians: urbanization, labor struggles, cultural change, the demographic transition, gender and racial inequalities, migration, agrarian movements, or economic growth, to cite a few key examples. Yet capitalism usually figures as a context – either avowed or unavowed – of the phenomena we are attempting to grasp. Only occasionally do we reflect explicitly about the specific dynamics of capitalism as an evolving system or about how these dynamics shape possibilities for social and political action.

As the plural ‘histories’ in our theme’s title affirms, there are various kinds of histories of capitalism: macro and micro histories; Marxian, neo-classical, Weberian, Schumpeterian, Polanyian, and neo-institutionalist histories; cultural, economic, political, and social histories; histories informed by anthropology, political science, literature, geography, economics, sociology, philosophy, and of course history itself; histories of capitalism’s fundamental movements and of its manifold effects. Perhaps new histories will emerge at these meetings…

The Social Science History Association, with its rich tradition of interdisciplinary research, is an ideal forum for exploring all aspects of the history of capitalism both as an enduring intellectual problem and as a burning issue of contemporary politics and culture.

How Do I Participate in the 2012 SSHA Program?

Starting in December 2011, proposals for individual papers and complete sessions will be accepted at, which provides instructions for submission. The deadline is 1 March 2012; we prefer the submission of complete sessions. If you want to organize a session, we recommend that you first contact a network representative. Network representatives – who are open to all possibilities – screen all papers and panels in their areas. (Current networks, with their representatives' e-mail and web addresses, are listed on the SSHA website.) If you are not certain which network your paper proposal best fits, just ask the representatives of the networks closest to your interests.

SSHA will continue to make competitive grants for graduate student travel, now with additional help from theCharles and Louise Tilly Fund for Social Science History, which also supports a graduate student paper prize.

SSHA President for 2011-12
William H. Sewell, Jr., University of Chicago,

Program Committee Co-Chairs for the 2012 Conference:
Tessie Liu, Northwestern University (History),
David Pedersen, University of California San Diego (Anthropology),
Dan Slater, University of Chicago (Political Science),

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