Tag Archives: HISRECO

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”.


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] ens-cachan.fr.
For further information about the conference please contact Philippe Fontaine.