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Events

Mercantilism Through the Ages

Politics of the Present, The Money Series, Past Series

dateNovember 15, 2013 timeFriday, 9:00am–6:00pm EST location Fayerweather Hall, The Center for Science and Society (Room 513), Columbia University
Cosponsor
  • Blinken European Institute
Allegory of Trade by John Theodore Heins, painting of merchants standing around statue

Mercantilism is a strange being with an awkward past. The concept ironically owes a far greater debt to its foremost critic, Adam Smith, than to any of its supposed advocates. And, while most recent scholarship agrees that the Wealth of Nations painted a deceptively coherent portrait of 17th-century political economy and the commercial regulations these ideas supposedly engendered, Smith’s interpretation of a “mercantile system” has survived, informing the way we conceive both of early modern history as well as the nature of modern economy and politics.

This conference continues the discussion of recent contributions to the study of mercantilism in its traditional context and period. In addition, it seeks to explore how the notion of “mercantilism” itself has shaped not only our understanding of the early modern era but the political and economic cultures of the modern world, from Smith to Keynes.

Program

time9:30am - 10:00pm EDT

Break 1

time10:00am - 11:30am EDT

The Rise of Commercial Society and Political Economy--Mercantilism
Chair

Partha Chatterjee

Professor of Anthropology

Columbia University

Lars Magnusson

Professor of Economic History

Uppsala University

Steven Pincus

Bradford Durfee Professor of History

Yale University

Philip J. Stern

Associate Professor of History

Duke University

Carl Wennerlind

Associate Professor of History

Barnard College

time11:30am - 12:00pm EDT

Commercial Cultures and Ideas Before Mercantilism

Martha Howell

Miriam Champion Professor of History

Columbia University

time12:00pm - 2:00pm EDT

Break 2

time2:00pm - 3:00pm EDT

Empire, Science, and Commerce--Neomercantilism?
Chair

Kathleen Wilson

Professor of History

State University of New York, Stony Brook

Margaret Schabas

Professor of Philosophy

The University of British Columbia

Timothy Alborn

Professor of History

Prasannan Parthasarathi

Professor and Director of Graduate Studies

Boston College

time3:30pm - 4:00pm EDT

Break 3

time4:00pm - 5:30pm EDT

Modern Capitalism and the Modern State--The Continued Relevance of Mercantilism?
Chair

Anupama Rao

Associate Professor of History

Barnard College

Fred Block

Research Professor in the Department of Sociology

University of California at Davis

Bradley W. Bateman

President

Randolph College

Timothy Shenk

Jacob K. Javits Fellow in History

Columbia University

time5:30pm - 6:30pm EDT

Concluding Comments and General Discussion

Victoria de Grazia

Moore Collegiate Professor of History

Columbia University

Participants
  • Timothy Alborn Professor of History
  • Bradley W. Bateman President Randolph College
  • Fred Block Research Professor in the Department of Sociology University of California at Davis
  • Victoria de Grazia Moore Collegiate Professor of History Columbia University
  • Martha Howell Miriam Champion Professor of History Columbia University
  • Lars Magnusson Professor of Economic History Uppsala University
  • Prasannan Parthasarathi Professor and Director of Graduate Studies Boston College
  • Steven Pincus Bradford Durfee Professor of History Yale University
  • Margaret Schabas Professor of Philosophy The University of British Columbia
  • Philip J. Stern Associate Professor of History Duke University
  • Carl Wennerlind Associate Professor of History Barnard College
  • Timothy Shenk Jacob K. Javits Fellow in History Columbia University
  • Kathleen Wilson Professor of History State University of New York, Stony Brook
  • Anupama Rao Associate Professor of History Barnard College
  • Partha Chatterjee Professor of Anthropology Columbia University