A man sweeps the trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange on the evening of October 29, 1929


The Historical Capitalisms Workshop is accepting proposals for the 2017/2018 academic year. The workshop will be a forum for graduate students, faculty, and post-doctoral fellows to present and discuss new work on the past, present, and future of global capitalism. Our aim is to spark and foster critical, multidisciplinary exchanges among scholars interested in historical aspects of economic life under capitalism.

The workshop welcomes a plurality of approaches to understanding and critiquing the history of capitalist political economy. We are especially interested in submissions from, but not limited to, the following fields: literary and cultural criticism, political and social theory, intellectual history, global history, comparative literature, the history of economic life, philosophy, art history, law, environmental history, critical theory, cultural history, gender and sexuality studies, critical race theory, postcolonial theory, industrial archeology, cultural and biological anthropology, history of science, and all related areas.

We encourage submissions by graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, and faculty from all departments in the Social Sciences and Humanities as well as Law, Social Service Administration, and Divinity. Workshop papers may be drafts of dissertation chapters, journal articles, book chapters, and dissertation proposals.

Possible paper topics might include:

  •  The history of capitalism as a world system
  • Gender and capitalism
  • Art, literature, and poetics
  • Cultural and literary theory/criticism
  • Postwork imaginaries, automation, unemployment, precarious labor, social death, and poverty
  • Empire, settler colonialism, and the global history of capitalism
  • Slavery, race, and racialization in capitalist development
  • Critiques of capitalist political economy
  • Marx, Marxists, and Marxisms
  • The history of capitalist ideas
  • Climate change, the anthropocene, nonhuman life, and natural disasters
  • Art, taste, and judgment in capitalist societies
  • Digital labor, Silicon Valley, big data, and financial speculation
  • The juridical life of capital
  • Human rights and humanitarian discourse under capitalist rule
  • Affect, trauma, identity, and capitalist domination
  • Migration, expropriation, deportation, and industrial disintegration
  • Capitalism, class warfare, and the carceral sphere
  • Futures without capitalism

Please email proposals to All submissions should include:

  • A title
  • An abstract of 300 words or less
  • An indication of the nature of your paper (article, dissertation chapter, etc.)
  • Any dates you are not available to present

Papers will be circulated one week in advance through our listserv, which you can subscribe by following this link:

If you have any questions or concerns do not hesitate to get in touch with the workshop coordinator, Nic Johnson.