History 280B

Spring 2018
Evans 65
Day & Time: 
Tu 12-2PM
Class Number: 

This graduate seminar seeks to provide an overview of recent and established research on the history of capitalism and political economy, roughly from the 18th century to the present. Under the label of “history of capitalism,” historians have recently revisited the history of economic life in all its aspects. Often, such newer contributions are deeply informed by insights about the importance of culture, ideas, law, and social practices. Others have returned to older questions but cast answers in new ways for instance by placing capitalism and the rise of Europe and North America in a global context. Topics include early modern long-distance networks, the Industrial Revolution, capitalism and slavery, speculation, bubbles, and crises, capitalism and empire, Communist/Socialist alternatives, women, gender, and capitalism, humanitarianism and development politics, inequality, and neoliberalism. Readings necessarily includes literature on Europe (and North America) but will deliberately move beyond the ‘West.’ Along the way, the course questions whether capitalism is really a useful category of historical analysis, and what biases and limitations the to date largely Americanist lens on the ‘new history of capitalism’ entails. Students interested in taking this as a research seminar should contact me in advance.