Tag Archives: Economic History

Stephen Leccese is now Dr. Stephen Leccese! Congratulations on Passing your Dissertation Defense!!

We would like to offer our heartfelt congratulations to Dr. Stephen Leccese. He successfully passed his dissertation today: “The Discovery of the Consumer: Economic Regulation and Social Policy, 1865-1905.” Please congratulate him when you see him!

Stephen Leccese (@srleccese) | Twitter

You can follow him on Twitter @srleccese

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Filed under Doctoral Defenses, Grad Student News, Uncategorized

What is Global History at Fordham? (Part 3 – Prof. Samantha Iyer)

This is part 3 of our new series, “What is Global History at Fordham?” Today, we hear from Professor Samantha Iyer, a member of Fordham’s Global History consortium, on what global history means to her and how it shapes her work.

“Global history offers a perspective that is integral to my work as a historian of capitalism: a system for organizing life that has, since its beginnings, bound together continents and nations. It allows us to ask fundamental questions that tend to lie outside the purview of the national histories that have traditionally dominated the historical profession. For example: How did the work of enslaved people in the Americas since the sixteenth century affect economic institutions and everyday life in Europe? Why did the environmental catastrophe of the Dust Bowl in the 1930s United States have echoes in other parts of the world near the same time, such as South Africa and Australia? How have organizations like the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and Rockefeller Foundation influenced the economic systems of countries around the world? Global history encourages you to think critically about the geographic contours of the questions that most interest you.”

Samantha Iyer

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Filed under Faculty Profiles, Global History, Teaching, This week in Fordham History

O’Connell Initiative: “Unveiling Money” with Dr. Johan Mathew

On October 17th, Dr. Johan Mathew, Assistant Professor of History at Rutgers University gave a talk at Fordham’s Lincoln Center campus based on research from his prizewinning book, Margins of the Market: Trafficking and Capitalism Across the Arabian Sea (University of California Press, 2016). The talk, titled “Unveiling Money: Counterfeits, Arbitrage, and Finance across the Arabian Sea,” analyzed the influence trafficking and smuggling had on monetary policies across a region that included Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. Dr. Mathew spoke about his sources, explaining to his audience that trafficking creates detailed records of trade. This rich source of records includes contracts and family papers from ‘diasporic archives.’ Dr. Mathew explained how the nature of money was changed by merchant networks, by the multiplicity of them and the instability within them. In his lecture, Dr. Mathew defined ‘capitalism’ as a loose system of analysis that covers free labor, private property, and monetary exchange. 

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Medieval England Conference at Fordham!

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Fordham PhDs and Educating Future Educators

Part of Fordham’s rigorous PhD program is its mandatory Teaching Tutorial. This class uses one-on-one training with a member of Fordham History’s professoriate to give PhD candidates valuable pedagogical training and classroom experience. The tutorial transitions PhDs from their first two years of coursework into their upcoming teaching assignments mandated by the PhD program’s funding package. We caught up with Michael Sanders, a PhD candidate who is finishing his second year at Fordham and recently completed his tutorial with Dr. Héctor Linda-Fuentes, to get his perspective on the experience.

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The Professor and the Process: Dr. Steven Stoll and Ramp Hollow

The History Department blog recently caught up with Dr. Steven Stoll to discuss his newest book, Ramp Hollow: The Ordeal of Appalachia (Hill and Wang, 2017). The book illuminates how the persistent poverty and pejorative perceptions associated with Appalachia are a result of the industrial powers that utilized the people to strip the land of its natural resources.

History Department: So how did the entire project begin?

Steven Stoll:  I originally set out to write a book about the collision between agrarian people (peasants, settlers, campesinos) in the Western Hemisphere. I then decided Continue reading

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Dr. Christopher Dietrich and the Oil Revolution

Last Tuesday, Dr. Christopher Dietrich sat down with Dr. Toby C. Jones of Rutgers University and Fordham’s own Dr. Asif Siddiqi to discuss Dr. Dietrich’s new book, Oil Revolution: Anticolonial Elites, Sovereign Rights, and the Economic Culture of Decolonization (Cambridge University Press, 2017). The event quickly became standing-room only as undergraduates, graduates, faculty, and reporters filled the South Lounge at Fordham’s Lincoln Center campus. According to Dr. Dietrich, Continue reading

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Hamlin on the Building of Germany’s “Empire in the East”

Big news from Fordham History’s Professor David Hamlin!  On 13 July, Cambridge University Press published  Germany’s Empire in the East; Germans and Romania in an Era of Globalization and Total War. Where many studies of European empire in the twentieth century focus on imperial projects in the global south, Professor Hamlin’s book demonstrates the place of central and eastern Europe in that story and the important role of economic forces played in shaping global empires. The book tells how the Germans, when “confronted with the global economic and political power of the western allies…  turned to Eastern Europe to construct a dependent space, tied to Germany as Central America was to the US.” We reached out to Hamlin for some comments on the process and how the ideas for the book emerged. Continue reading

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Grad Student Publications, A Summer Series: Pt. 1 Stephen Leccese

PhD student Stephen Leccese, who recently published two journal articles.

Students in Fordham’s MA and PhD programs produce original research of the highest quality, and are encouraged to publish this work when and where it is appropriate during their time in the program. The academic year 2016-2017 saw the appearance of articles by a number of our students in different peer-reviewed volumes and journals. We asked our students who published their work to tell us a little bit about the articles and the writing process and we’ll feature these students and their publications in a short blog series.

First up is Stephen Leccese, an American historian in the PhD program working with Professor Christopher Dietrich. Leccese has achieved the remarkable feat of publishing two journal articles virtually simultaneously. He wrote to tell us about both:

“John D. Rockefeller, Standard Oil, and the Rise of Corporate Public Relations in Progressive America, 1902-1908,” Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era 16.3 (July 2017): 245-63.

This article is a shortened version of my Master’s research paper, which Prof. Chris Dietrich advised. I became interested in progressivism in Prof. Dietrich’s American Political and Intellectual History since 1877 class, particularly on how the “robber barons” defended themselves against attacks from progressive muckrakers who exposed businessmen’s unethical practices. For a case study, it was natural to look at the Standard Oil Company, the most visible of the great trusts and the subject of muckraker Ida Tarbell’s classic The History of the Standard Oil Company. Since the Supreme Court successfully dissolved Standard Oil in 1911, historians have exclusively considered the company’s response to Ida Tarbell insufficient from a public relations perspective. Yet from what I saw, no historians had actually examined what the company did do. That was how I found my historiographical gap. I decided to go into the archives and tell the story of how Standard Oil and John D. Rockefeller attempted to recover their reputations with public statements, official histories, and some of the first professional PR agents in American history. When placed in historical context, this response was groundbreaking – the field of PR was in its infancy, so Standard Oil agents were largely making this up as they went along. Going further, I tied this small study to the Progressive Movement at large. In the Standard Oil case, progressives attacked a corporation, and that corporation defended itself by developing the PR field. This started a trend of other businesses following suit, and by the 1920s the modern public relations field was largely established. Therefore, I argue that the anti-business activities of the progressives inadvertently helped big business establish itself. The editor of the Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era liked this provocative argument about progressivism, and it definitely helped get this article published.

 

“Economic Inequality and the New School of American Economics,” Special Issue – Growing Apart: Religious Reflection on the Rise of Economic Inequality, Religions 8.6 (2017): 99-110.

This article began life as my first-year PhD research paper, where I examined how a new generation of American economists argued that consumer spending was key to economic growth, breaking from previous classical economics. After some revising, I presented the paper at the Growing Apart: The Implications of Economic Inequality Interdisciplinary Conference at Boston College in March, 2016. After the conference, the organizers contacted me and said that my paper was among a group that they would like to publish in a special issue of the journal Religions (the conference sponsor was the BC theology department, hence the journal choice). I accepted and expanded the paper into a peer-reviewed piece. In the article, I examine how the various crises of the late nineteenth century – namely economic depression and increasing labor unrest – showed a group of younger economists that economic inequality was harmful to the social fabric. They argued that greater equality would create a working class that had increased spending power, which would lead to economic growth and more stable class relations. My main sources were numerous economic publications and several archival collections that these economists left behind. After establishing this new theory of consumption, I trace how the New Economists tried to put their ideas into practice. Importantly, they formed the American Economic Association in 1885 with the intention of spreading their message among the economic community. I conclude briefly by showing that by the 1890s, the New Economists were influencing public policy by working with politicians – particularly, several directly advised Theodore Roosevelt, first when he was governor of New York and later when he was president. The overall claim is that mass consumption was an aspect of social reform, something that is typically not considered in histories of consumerism.

 

Thanks Stephen, and congratulations on your two articles!

 

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First O’Connell Lunchtime Seminar: Stuff and Money in the Time of the French Revolution 10/06

oconnell

 

spang-article

On Thursday October 6 12:00-1:00PM in Duane Library 140 (Theology Conference Room) the  History Department will hold the first of our 2016 O’Connell lunchtime seminars. In our first meeting, we will discuss Rebecca Spang’s Stuff and Money in the Time of the French Revolution (Harvard, 2015).  Spang’s new history highlights the crucial role of money in the creation of a gulf between political deals and daily life at the time of the French Revolution, artfully restoring economic considerations to the heart of the Revolution and modern history. A recent reviewer writes that it asks “a penetrating set of questions about the general issue of how we should understand social experience and its political consequences in the French Revolution, and beyond.” Please come and join us for a stimulating discussion of this book the issues that it raises for the global history of capitalism.

Members of the Fordham community who would like to take part in the seminar and would like a copy of the book are asked to RSVP to ndeantonis at fordham dot edu by September  23. Copies will also be available for loan in the History department office.

 

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