Campus News

Published by Communications and Public Affairs (519) 824-4120, Ext. 56982 or 53338

News Release

October 06, 2003

Rural, economic historians to meet at U of G

Leading historians from around the world will be at the University of Guelph Friday, Oct. 17, to take part in a roundtable discussion on rural history and a conference on the future of economic history.

The roundtable discussion will be held from 10 a.m. to noon in the Ontario Agricultural College boardroom in Johnston Hall. It will feature Gareth Austin, London School of Economics; E.J.T. Collins, University of Reading; and George Grantham, McGill University. The session will be chaired by U of G historian Terry Crowley, a leading expert on Canadian rural society, and also include Guelph history professors Catharine Wilson, Femi Kolapo and Stuart McCook and economics professor Kris Inwood. The discussion is sponsored by the Canada Research Chair in Rural History, which is held by U of G professor Douglas McCalla and funded by the Canada Research Chairs program. “It’s a very impressive group, covering quite a bit of the world,” McCalla said.

Austin is the co-editor of the Journal of African History and an expert on west Africa. Collins recently edited The Agrarian History of England and Wales, and Grantham has published extensively on markets and agriculture in ancient regime France. “We plan to swap stories and convey the excitement and recent research on new rural history to a wider world,” said McCalla, He is the author and editor of several books on economic and business history, notably an award-winning economic history of early Ontario. As the CRC Chair in Rural History, he is pursuing systematic research on Canadian economic history between 1600 and 1939, basing it on the experiences of ordinary farm and artisan families of the day.

The roundtable discussion precedes the Conference on the Future of Economic History, which runs Oct. 17 to Oct. 19 at the Holiday Inn in Guelph. Organized by the Canadian Network for Economic History and McCalla, the event features more than 25 presentations by leading economists and historians from Canada, England, Uruguay and the United States. Highlights include presentations by Austin, distinguished American economic historian Larry Neal on his “shocking theory of economic history,” and Luis Bertola on the economic history of Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay. There will also be presentations on rent seeking and the decline of Spain; the economics of hockey labour, 1875-1936; the evolution of debt markets; and women’s property ownership in Guelph. The full conference program and copies of papers are available online.

The conference is open to graduate students from Guelph, the University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University (members of the Tri-University program) without charge. Other members of the Guelph community are also welcome to attend and should contact McCalla for cost and registration details. The conference is funded by U of G’s Office of the Provost, College of Arts, Department of History, Department of Economics and the Collaborative International Development Program.

Prof. Douglas McCalla, Department of History
(519) 824-4120, Ext. 53120

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, (519) 824-4120, Ext. 53338, or Rachelle Cooper, (519) 824-4120, Ext. 56982.

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