Statement from the Secretary General
I hope you have all had a productive year since we last met at the XIXTH WEHC in Paris in July 2022. It was wonderful to gather again after the pandemic years of Zoom. I want to thank the whole Paris team for persevering through enormous uncertainty to host what turned out to be a tremendously successful Congress. A more detailed report on the Congress appears below.
It has been my first year as Secretary General after taking over from Jari Eloranta last July, and I also want to thank him for steering the ship so ably through the challenges of the pandemic. Since I came into the role, the main focus of the Executive Committee has been to select a venue for the next World Economic History Congress in 2025. Normally this would have been done before the 2022 Congress, but the pandemic continues to have lingering effects, particularly on the ability of institutions to plan for big events like this one. We were fortunate to have two excellent bids for the Congress, and over the spring members of the EC visited each venue. Both bid leads also made presentations to the full EC at our meeting at the end of May.
Following a careful review and vote by the EC, I am pleased to announce that the 2025 World Economic History Congress will be hosted in Sweden by Lund University. As many of you know, Lund’s Economic History department has expanded recently to become a real global hub for economic history research. It has over 100 staff and students representing 30 countries. We look forward to working with their team to organise the 2025 meeting. Look out for a call for sessions to be issued in the next few months. Note that due to the compressed timetable for the 2025 Congress there will be only ONE call for sessions, not two as in the past.
One new initiative for 2025 will be the dedication of 10 slots for sessions organised by member associations. The call for these will be issued at the same time as the more general call for sessions. Member association sessions are an opportunity for associations to highlight the best recent research in their field (whether that be regional or thematic) and showcase their activities to a global audience.
A second focus of the EC is the redesign of the IEHA’s website. The current design has been in place for more than a decade and is rather static. We would like the site to reflect the IEHA’s role as a global hub for economic historians. We are currently developing ideas to be considered at the next EC meeting in 2024. If there is anything in particular which members would like to see on the site, please drop me an e-mail.
Finally, we are in the process of working with potential hosts for the 2028 WEHC. Bids are welcomed from all regions of the world. A complete list of previous IEHA sites can be found here. The newsletter includes a call for preliminary bids, which is also on the IEHA’s website. The call is intended for anyone who wants to assess the feasibility of a potential bid before putting together a full one. Preliminary bids will be considered by officers of the IEHA, who will give feedback on any potential questions raised. Again, please contact me if you might be interested in hosting the 2028 Congress.
Report on Paris Congress
After a year’s delay due to COVID, the XIXth World Economic History Congress took place from 25-29 July 2022 in Paris. Some 1,500 scholars from around the world participated in a hybrid meeting – 1,129 in person and 371 online. Those who attended in person got to make use of the new facilities of the Campus Condorcet in Aubervilliers in the Paris suburbs. For those who were unable to attend, the full programme remains online and recordings of keynote lectures by Bruce Campbell, Catherine Coquery-Vidrovich and Francesca Trivellato are on the Association’s Youtube channel.
Notable features of the Congress were a new set of Digital Humanities prizes, sponsored by the Association Francaise d’Histoire Economique (AFHE). The winners of these and the usual dissertation and poster prizes appear below. Congratulations to you all!
IEHA Poster prize
Gianni Marcante (University of Warwick)
When nation building goes south: draft evasion, government repression, and the origins of the Sicilian mafia
IEHA Pre-1800 Dissertation Prize
Jeremy Land (University of Helsinki)
Boston, New York and Philadelphia in global maritime trade, 1770-1775
IEHA Long 19th century Dissertation Prize
Cheng Yang (University of Cambridge and Renmin University of China)
The occupational structure of late Imperial China, 1736-1898
IEHA 20th-21st century Dissertation Prize
Katharine Frederick (Utrecht University)
Deindustrialization in East Africa: textile production in an era of globalization and colonization, 1830-1940
AFHE Digital Innovation prize (joint winners)
The AveTransRisk database: mapping trade, risk and disasters in the first globalization
The mass digitization of historical tables using open-source AI and machine vision tools
AFHE Science Outreach prize
Labor, livelihood, and immigration in a Brazilian plantation: the archives of Ibicaba farm
Honorable mention: Multiscale trade in eighteenth-century La Rochelle region
The EC reviewed and approved the financial report prepared by the treasurer Jeroen Touwen for this fiscal year. The IEHA’s finances remain healthy, for which we thank the support of our member associations. We realise that these have been difficult times for many of you, and remain grateful for your support. If any member association is struggling to pay its annual membership, please get in touch with the Treasurer.
Despite the uncertainties of the pandemic, we have maintained a healthy surplus which will allow the Association to continue its support for travel bursaries for the 2025 Congress and beyond.
XX World Economic History Congress in Lund, 28 July-1 August 2025
Now that we have selected a venue for the 2025 WEHC, please look out for further communication about the organization of the Congress. The call for sessions will be sent around in the next few months, with a deadline for submission in early 2024. As noted above, there will only be one round of session proposals for this Congress. There will be a parallel call for member associations to submit their own sessions for a dedicated set of member association sessions. We look forward to receiving your submissions!
XXI World Economic History Congress in 2028 – call for bids!
We welcome bids for the 2028 WEHC. Those interested are welcome to submit preliminary bids for feedback from the Secretary General and officers of the IEHA. As detailed here, preliminary bids should include information on the potential membership of the local organizing committee, host institution and supporting organization. It should also include details on the conference venue, including the number and size of available rooms (both classrooms for parallel sessions and larger venues for keynotes), some indication of local accommodation options, and information on local and international transport networks. Full bids for 2028 will be due at the end of 2024.
Stay well, and see you in Lund!
Leigh Gardner (firstname.lastname@example.org)
International Economic History Association (IEHA)