In recent years, the history of capitalism has become a topic of significant interest to historians of science, medicine, and technology. Annual conferences feature plenary roundtables and prominent journals commission special issues on the topic.
I write to you, my colleagues in the history of science, medicine, and technology, to announce an opportunity for those who want to do more to blend our questions with insights from the history of capitalism or to bring the considerable intellectual resources of science studies to bear on modern political economy.
This summer, Cornell is hosting a "Boot Camp" for the History of Capitalism offering faculty and graduate students an opportunity to explore the nitty-gritty of modern finance, economics, and accounting. I attended the camp last year: it offers a good excuse to learn or refresh basic skills in accounting, financial math, stats, data visualization, excel, and micro/macro/heterodox economics. Attaining a basic understanding of such topics can be a crucial step in gaining the confidence to investigate ties between the histories of STM and political economy.
But the camp can also be viewed as an exercise in participant observation. It offers attendees a chance to study the ways of knowing of modern capitalism, just as we study the ways of knowing of scientists, doctors, or engineers.
Here is the official FAQ and the flyer! Camp runs July 10-23 at Cornell University. Grad students can attend for $600 w/o housing or $1000 with housing. Faculty prices are $2000/$2400. (Check the FAQ for more pricing details.) Applications are due JANUARY 15.
I'll be back this summer helping run the camp. Hope to see some historians of science, medicine, and technology there!Dan BoukAssistant Professor of HistoryColgate UniversityHow Our Days Became Numbered: Risk and the Rise of the Statistical Individual