3rd Biennial Richard Robinson Workshop on Business History
Thursday, May 24, 2018 - 6:00pm to Saturday, May 26, 2018 - 5:00pm

3rd Biennial 

Richard Robinson Workshop on Business History


Risk, Honor & Innovation: Imagining New Markets

Portland State University

May 24-26, 2018 | Portland OR



Thursday, May 24, at 6:00 pm in Smith Student Union Center, Room 238
Friday, May 25, from 9:30 am in Smith Student Union Center, Room 294
Saturday, May 26, from 9:00 am in Smith Student Union Center, Room 294


Keynote Address | Panel Discussions


Sponsored by the Department of History of Portland State University. All sessions are free and open to the public, and will take place on the PSU campus. While the panel sessions on 25-26 May will be of interest primarily to specialists, the keynote lecture on May 24 is also intended for the larger Portland community.

This year's Richard Robinson Business History Workshop brings together new research that offers a global perspective on the history of markets, market relations, and the marketplace. The Workshop seeks to break down the divide between the impersonal (effects of technical limits and aggregations of large numbers) and the subjective (articulations of perceptions, fears, and self-regard) in the ways “the market” and “the economy” are conceived. We aim to reconsider market and business activities in light of both the techniques and the emotional vectors that infuse them.

The Workshop will open on May 24 with a keynote lecture by François Velde of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, examining the consequences of the Mississippi Bubble in France. Six panels on May 25 and 26 will address such topics as risk and honor in markets, commodities and identities, emotions and marketing, public debt and national honor, control of markets by the state, and regulatory intervention in financial markets.

Co-organized by Thomas Luckett and Chia Yin Hsu of Portland State University, and Erika Vause of St. John's University.

Those interested in attending the panels are welcome to read the papers beforehand. For access to the papers, please send email to: @




Thursday, May 24, 2018 at 6:00pm
Smith Memorial Student Union (SMSU) 238


Keynote Address:"The Mississippi Bubble of 1720 and France’s Missing Revolution" 

by François Velde, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago
Thursday, May 24, 2018 at 6:30pm
Smith Memorial Student Union (SMSU) 238
FREE and open to the public



Lecture Description:

The Mississippi Bubble of 1720 was the epicenter for a wave of speculative bubbles across Europe, but it was more than a bubble. John Law's complex scheme involved a complete reconstruction of public finance as well as the first full-scale implementation of paper money in Europe. The scheme failed spectacularly, but the failure raises interesting questions. Could it have worked, and if so, how would France's history have changed? And, given the far-reaching failure, why were the repercussions so limited?

About François Velde 

François Velde is a senior economist and research advisor in the economic research department at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. Velde's primary research on monetary history and monetary theory has been published in numerous journals. His research topics include medieval currency debasements, the monetary history of the United States, dollarization in Argentina and the macroeconomics of the French revolution.

In 2002, Velde and Thomas Sargent co-authored the book The Big Problem of Small Change (Princeton University Press), which studies how monetary systems in Western European economies evolved in response to recurring shortages and depreciation of small change.

Prior to joining the Chicago Fed as an economist in 1997, Velde was an assistant professor of economics at Johns Hopkins University. He is currently a visiting lecturer at the University of Chicago.

Velde earned an undergraduate degree at the École Polytechnique in France and a Ph.D. in economics at Stanford University.



Panel Discussions

Friday, May 25
Smith Memorial Student Union (SMSU) 294

10:00am -11:45am
Panel 1: Transgressing Boundaries: Risk and Honor
Discussant: Erika Vause


  • "Transitional Navigations of the Market: Efunsetan Aniwura and the Paradoxical Unity of Indigenous and Modern Market Principles in Nineteenth-Century Yorubaland" Olutayo C. Adesina University of Ibadan

  • "Creating a Market for Sea Risks: From General Average to Insurance in Early Modern Europe"
    Giovanni Ceccarelli, Università degli Studi di Parma

  • "This First of All Goods: Honor, Risk, and Debt in Post-Revolutionary French Finance"
    Tyson LeuchterUniversity of Chicago

1:00pm - 2:45pm   
Panel 2: Commodity: Desire and Imagined Identities
Discussant: Thomas M. Luckett


  • "‘A Blessed Province, where Milk and Honey Flow’: New Netherland (1609–1664) as a Market of Promises"
    Eva Brugger,University of Basel
  • "Barbancourt Rum: Corporate History and Cultural Heritage in Haiti" 
    Michael J. Mulvey, St. Thomas University
  • "Strong markets for Strong Drink: Stimulants, Depressants and Café Commerce in 18th-Century Paris"
    Preston M. PerlussUniversité de Grenoble

3:15pm - 5:00pm   
Panel 3: Emotions: Commerce, Service, and Marketing
Discussant: Chia Yin Hsu


  • "'In English, I Think. In Spanish, I Feel': The Focus Group and the Construction of the Hispanic Consumer Market" Daniel Guadagnolo, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • "'The Spirit of Service': Christianity and the Self-Regulated Emotional Laborer" 
    Daniel Robert, University of California-Berkeley
  • "Freedom Fighters in a Minstrel Economy: African-American Restaurateurs in Nineteenth-Century New York"
    Daniel L. Wilk, Fashion Institute of Technology-SUNY


Panel Discussions

Saturday, May 26
Smith Memorial Student Union (SMSU) 294

9:30am -10:30am
PSU Graduate Student Panel
Discussant: Thomas M. Luckett


  • “The Reservearmee on Leave: The West German Woman’s ‘Return to the Home’ and Gendered Migrant Labor Recruitment, 1960s – 1980s” Jordan F. Norquist, Portland State University

    “Nuclearity For Sale: How Uranium Became Tradeable” Nicholas D. Ziegler, Portland State University

10:45am - 12:00pm              
Panel 4: Public Debt, National Honor and Global Identities

Discussant: Erika Vause


  • "Sovereign Debt, Bondholders, and the Peruvian Corporation, 1820–1955'" 
    Felipe F. Cole, Northwestern University
  • "Looking for New Markets in a Time of Revolution: The American Securities Market, 1789–1804"
    Niccolò Valmori, École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales


1:00pm - 2:45 pm   
Panel 5: Commodity: State and Quasi-State Control

Discussant: Thomas M. Luckett


  • "Finance, Privacy and Innovation: Imagining New Currencies: The History of Bitcoin" 
    Enrico Beltramini, Notre Dame de Namur University

  • “The Players Extraordinaire? Organised Crime and the So-called 'Shrimp Mafia' of Odisha, India”
    Lalatendu K. Das, University of Hyderabad
  • “An Eighteenth-Century Big Bang? The Liberalization of the Paris Stock Market, 1774–1793”
    T. J. A. Le Goff, York University

3:15pm - 5:00pm   
Panel 6: Affect, Persuasion, and Naturalizing Financial Markets
Discussant: Chia Yin Hsu


  • “Imagining Trust: Trust Companies as the Latest Hot Ticket in 1920s Shanghai”
    Bryna GoodmanUniversity of Oregon

  • “‘Hints to Speculators and Investors’: Creating a Mass Market for Company Shares in Britain, 1860–1914”
    James Taylor, Lancaster University

  • “‘A Proletariat of Shareholders’: Affect and Investment in Late-nineteenth-century France”
    Alexia M. Yates, University of Manchester