Category Archives: Conferences and workshops

HISRECO 2017 in Dumont d’Urville

UPDATE: Of course, the following statement was an April Fools hoax. The next HISRECO conference will be organized by Verena Halsmayer at the University of Lucerne in April 21-22 2017. The call for paper is here. Deadline for submissions is October 14th, 2016. 

Dumont d'UrvilleFollowing the strong enthusiasm generated by the latest edition of the HISRECO conference, held in Sao Paulo, on March 14-15 2015, the organizers of the meeting, Pedro Duarte (University of Sao Paulo), Yann Giraud (University of Cergy-Pontoise) and Joel Isaac (University of Cambridge) are delighted to announce that the next Hisreco conference will be held on May 16-17 2017 at the Dumont D’Urville station in Adélie Land, with the cooperation of the CNRS-funded « French Polar Institute Paul-Émile Victor ».

The past conference in Brazil made us realize that the quality of discussions was much better when researchers are located in unfamiliar environments. In addition, because as defenders of the science studies framework we strongly believe that the production of knowledge is tied to specific cultural, social and even climatic settings, we are interested in seeing what kind of knowledge creation could result from extreme meteorological conditions (in May, the average temperature in  this part of Adélie Land is between 20° and 15° below freezing, with strong winds).

Because this will be a very special event and because we have some serious space constraints – the icebreaker L’Astrolabe will be reserved especially for the trip, free of charge, departing on April 1st from Hobart, Tasmania–, we ask people who are interested in the conference to get back to us as soon as possible with a proposal of no more than 500 words. Contributions dealing with the history of the economic study of climate change in Polar Regions will receive special attention. Please note that the trip requires good health condition. People with special dietary constraints, such as vegetarians, will not be considered. Before applying, please have a look at the following instruction video.

We are also delighted to announce that our keynote speaker this year will be Stanley Fish and we thank our sponsors: the French CNRS, the History of Economics Society, as well as Ben and Jerry’s.

Yann Giraud, on behalf of the organizing committee : Pedro Duarte, Yann Giraud and Joel Isaac

HISRECO 2016 in São Paulo


Left to right: Y. Giraud, P. Duarte and T. Vogelgsang

The 10th History of Recent Economics (HISRECO) conference was held at the university of São Paulo on March 14-15 2016. Though I only joined the organization after a few years of operation – the conference had been funded in 2007 by  Roger Backhouse, Philippe Fontaine and Tiago Mata and I joined the team in 2010 -, I must say that I did not think it would make it to its tenth edition. A few years back, and though each edition had its share of great contributions, I felt that we had exhausted our topic, having received most of those we deemed to be the main contributors to the history of postwar economics.



The audience at Hisreco 2016, São Paulo

This year proved me wrong. In his contribution, Philippe Fontaine depicted the rise of “another history of economics”, one which is written by people who have not been trained – like myself – as economists: historians, sociologists and political scientists whose take on economics and/or the economy contribute to the renewal of  the conversation. This is not exactly old news. Hisreco has always been inclined to give a prominent place to those non-disciplinary historians of economics. What has changed, though, is that during this year’s meeting, I did not feel any gap between the community of economists-historians and those who do not come from the traditional “history of economic thought” culture. Topics such as the relations between economics and neighboring disciplines, between theorizing and policy practices, between facts and theories, between macro and micro, as well as accounts of neoliberalism during the postwar period were discussed and debated with a common language. All of the researchers who participated in the conference are interested in doing the archives, and more generally in talking about economics, not as a a mere repository of past analyses, but as a set of discursive practices, embedded in specific communities and cultures.



First row (left to right): Marcel Boumans, Ted Porter, Joel Isaac, Leonardo Nunes, Camila Orozco Espinel, Tobias Vogelgsang, Yann Giraud, Pedro Duarte, Erich Pinzon Fuchs. In front (l. to r.): Philippe Fontaine, Tiago Mata and Luke Messac.

This is not to say that all researchers in the history of economics are now fond of the frameworks used in science studies but at least some of that language has made its way in all of the contributions we had at the conference. On the other hand, those who do not come from the HET tradition are increasingly inclined to include in their narratives a fair treatment of the kind of accounts that economists have given of their past. For instance, in Luke Messac’s history of health policies and economics in Malawi or in Joel Isaac’s depiction of “property rights economics”, internalist accounts are not taken as granted but are themselves part of the story that is told. In fact, members of the audience who are not familiar with the curriculum vita of our guests may have had difficulties in trying to guess whether Ted Porter, Tobias Vogelgsang, Marcel Boumans, Camila Orozco Espinel, Erich Pinzon Fuchs or Tiago Mata work in an economics or a history/STS/sociology department.


Marcel Boumans and Bruno Damski

Pedro Duarte, who highly succeeded in the task of hosting and co-organizing the conference, had also conceived a poster session with some Brazilian graduate students. This proved to be a very nice feature of the meeting, though one that is not likely to be transposed easily to other places. History of economics seems to be subject worth of attention in Brazil, as attested by the size of the attendance, the biggest I have witnessed in recent years. In addition, Pedro told me that the USP website, which streamed the event online, had 192 views. This all makes me quite positive about future conferences. This is the first time since I joined the organizing committee that I can project myself easily several years in the future. But this one was definitely special. I even came up with a new moto for Hisreco: “unearthing the future of the recent past of economics, one caipirinha conference at a time”.


9th History of Recent Economics (HISRECO) Workshop – 29 May 2015

Cartoon by Jason Lutes, originaly published in  the New York Times in 2009.

Cartoon by Jason Lutes, originally published in the New York Times in 2009.

UPDATE. Due to unforeseen circumstances, Joel Isaac will not be able to attend the workshop. Instead, Maxime Desmarais-Tremblay will be talking about Musgrave’s contribution to public goods theory.

The 9th History of Recent Economics (HISRECO) Workshop will be held at the University of Cergy-Pontoise (Salle des Thèse), on May 29th, 2015.  It will comprise five contributions aimed at understanding better postwar economics and social science. Joel Isaac, from the University of Cambridge, will offer a historian’s view on the concept of monopoly (spoiler alert: he will argue that there are actually two concepts of monopoly); Adam Leeds, who is currently visiting the Center for the History of Political Economy at Duke University, will study the birth of mathematical economics in Soviet Russia; Serge Benest, a PhD Candidate at ENS Cachan, will give an account of the early years of the Ecole des hautes études en sciences sociales, based in part on a study of the archives at the Rockefeller Archive Center; Matthias Schmelzer, a postdoctoral researcher at the Paul Bairoch Institute of Economic History at the University of Geneva, will study the origins of the critique of economic growth at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development; last but not least, Pedro Duarte, from the university of Sao Paulo, will analyse the role of models and facts in Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium models. These contributions will show that the history of recent economics can be studied from many different perspectives and will surely convince attendants that it is a subject worth pursuing. Also, this workshop will mark a turning point in the history of HISRECO. Next year should be different, but I can’t write much more at the moment. The full program can be downloaded below. Those who are interested in attending should feel free to contact me at yann.giraud[at] The HISRECO workshop is organized by Roger Backhouse (University of Birmingham), Philippe Fontaine (ENS Cachan) and myself and it is funded by the International Research Network CNRS “History of Recent Social Science”.

Hisreco 2015 program

History of ‘Economics as Culture’ 3rd Annual Workshop

3rd Annual Workshop, Friday April 8th, 2011

History of ‘Economics as Culture’

(Histoire Culturelle des Savoirs Économiques)
Université de Cergy-Pontoise,
Les Chênes II, Salle des Thèses




From Otto Neurath, Gesellschaft und Wirtschaft – Bildatlas, 1930, p. 74

This workshop, which is organized on behalf of THEMA (CNRS UMR 8184), EconomiX (CNRS UMR 7235) and the Cachan History of Social Science Group (H2S), brings together scholars from different disciplines to discuss from an historical vantage point, the place of economics in our culture. Below are some of topics that exemplify what will be at issue :

– To consider the interactions between art, literature and economics ;
– To discuss the interactions between cultural or artistic objects such as magazines, books, maps, photographs, paintings, graphs and economic thinking and to consider economic texts as cultural items and to reflect upon the consequences their physical form had on their reception.
– To consider economics as part of cultures (political, commercial, scientific, etc.) of past (including very recent past) societies ; in particular, to discuss the economic representations (or culture) of specific social groups such as merchants, workers, businessmen, etc.


10:00-10:30 am : Welcome, coffee and pastries
10:30-11:30 am
Christopher Burke
(University of Reading – Dept of Typography and Graphic Communication)
The Linguistic Status of Pictorial Statistics
Emma Helena Minns
(University of Reading – Dept of Typography and Graphic Communication)
Picturing Soviet Success : Soviet pictorial statistics 1931-1940
12:30-2:00pm : Lunch
2:00-3:00 pm
Sophie Cras
(Université Paris I – Dept of art history)
“Artistic Shareholding” Experiments in the 1960s
3:00-4:00 pm
Arnaud Orain
(Université de Bretagne Occidentale – Dept of economics)
Success in, or with the help of Rhetoric and Belles-Lettres ?
A Case Study of Eighteenth Century French Economists
4:00-4:15 pm : Coffee Break
4:15-5:15 pm
Gül Karagoz – Kizilca
(SUNY Binghamton and Ankara University)
Bringing the Public into the Arena of Politics :
Ottoman Newspapersand the Quest for Fiscal Responsibility for an Emerging Voice of “the Public”

If you plan to attend the workshop, please contact the organizers : Yann Giraud (yann.giraud [at] or Loïc Charles (charles [at]

How to get to the University of Cergy-Pontoise (from Paris)

CfP – Session on visualization at the 14th ESHET Conference (March 25-28, 2010)

For the 14th conference of the European Society for the History of Economic Thought in Amsterdam, I am submitting a session on the use of visual representation in economics, with the following argument:

The last two decades have witnessed a growing literature on visualization in the history of science following the publication of Lynch and Woolgar’s Representation in Scientific Practice (1990) – see for instance a recent focus section in Isis (March 2006). Despite previous attempts to draw the attention of historians of economics and insightful published papers on the subject – e.g. a ECHE conference in 2002 and a related mini-symposium in JHET in 2003), the use of visual representation in economics remains largely misunderstood. Graphical methods, for instance, are still regarded as a mere subdivision of mathematical analysis, whereas Klein (1995), Cook (2005) and Giraud (2007) have demonstrated that they have been considered distinct from mathematics since the early days of neoclassical economics. More generally, though anyone would concede that graphs, charts, tables, pictures and illustrations are part of the economist’s workaday tools, few efforts have been engaged to understand precisely how they operate within the larger models and theoretical frameworks in which they are used. Failure to recognize the role of visualization in economics is related to the fact that historians of the field tend to focus on the development of theory rather than on the practices in which theorization is entrenched, favoring a foundational approach which undermines cultural specificities. The most recent contributions to the history of science, indeed, have pointed out that the role of visualization in science is best understood within the framework of visual culture – see for instance Luc Pauwels (ed.), Visual Cultures of Science (2006).In this session, we would like to follow this literature by bringing together a set of papers which explore the use of visual representation in connection with peculiar cultures, whether disciplinary or operating at a larger level – the birth of mass-media in the US, for instance. Contributions will focus on the invention of visual devices in relation with specific practices, on the interaction between economists and artists or on how certain visual methods are affected when audiences are different from those they were originally intended for. They need not be focused on theoretical economics but also on the use of visual representation by economic propagandists, state administrations or practitioners operating on markets.

I already have two papers for the session, including one by Loic Charles and myself on the visual display of economic information in the US during the interwar period (we draw on the FSA pictorial project and on Otto Neurath‘s Isotype method). I would be happy to include one or two other papers. These may not be strictly papers on the history of economics but also papers on the history of management or general history articles which cover economic themes (for instance, economic history, history of measurement and the larger history of social sciences). Beyond the ESHET conference, this session may help launch the discussion on this neglected aspect of scientific practice and to help increase multidisciplinary work on the subject in the near future. If you have an abstract to submit, you can do this directly to me (yann.giraud[at], replace [at] with @), I will re-submit the session as a whole before the papers are individually submitted through the ESHET website. You can also contact me if you have already submitted a paper which you think may fit this session in particular.

HISRECO 2010 – Call For Papers

Fourth Conference on the History of Recent Economics

3-5 June 2010

École normale supérieure de Cachan

The Second World War and its aftermath marked a major stage in the establishment of economics as one of the dominant discourses in contemporary societies. The spread of economic ideas into many areas of social life invites mutually profitable engagements between historians of economics and historians of other social sciences. It also presents great potential for those working on the history of economics to broaden their audience beyond those that they have traditionally addressed.

The past decade has been witness to a surging interest in the history of economics post-WWII. This new scholarship has made good use of newly available source-materials, rehearsed new methodologies for the study of the past and looked across disciplinary boundaries for insights. The first three HISRECO conferences offered wide-ranging samples of this work. For the fourth consecutive year, we are inviting submissions of papers on the post-WWII era. Papers that deal with the period leading up to this may be considered, but only if they shed significant light on subsequent developments. Though all proposals will be carefully considered, our preference is for papers that place post-war economics in a broader context, whether this is parallel developments in other social sciences, politics, culture or economic challenges. To this end, we solicit proposals from scholars trained in history, economics, sociology, or any field that may yield insights. Proposals from doctoral students and junior researchers are actively encouraged.

If you are interested in participating, please submit a proposal containing roughly 500 words and indicating clearly the original contribution of the paper (if you have a draft of the paper, we would be happy to see that as well). The deadline for the submission of paper proposals is 30 September 2009. Notice of acceptance or rejection will be sent by 15 November 2009 and completed papers will be due on 1 March 2010 so that we can provide feedback and then give discussants time to prepare worthwhile comments.

The organizing committee consists of Roger Backhouse (University of Birmingham), Philippe Fontaine (École normale supérieure de Cachan and Institut universitaire de France), Yann Giraud (Université de Cergy-Pontoise) and Tiago Mata (University of Amsterdam).

Proposals should be sent electronically to philippe.fontaine [at]
For further information about the conference please contact Philippe Fontaine.