History of Capitalism at the University of Georgia
The Graduate Reading Group serves as an interdisciplinary forum where graduate students interested in the intersection of capitalism, society, and history can convene and discuss relevant works, as well as their own developing scholarship. We welcome interested scholars to join us at our monthly meetings for a chance to hash out this world historical topic in an atmosphere of camaraderie.

Upcoming Meetings


Previous Meetings

    September 8, 2015 at 6:30 pm, Hendershot's Cafe
    • Karl Marx, Das Kapital, Vol I
    • Part Eight: So-Called Primitive Accumulation
    May 4, 2015 at 12:30 in rm 320, LeConte Hall
    • Karl Marx, Das Kapital, Vol I
    • Part Five: The Production of Absolute and Relative Surplus-Value
    • Part Six: Wages
    • Part Seven: The Process of the Accumulation of Capital
    April 2, 2015 at 12:30 in rm 320, LeConte Hall
    • Karl Marx, Das Kapital, Vol I
    • Part Four: The Production of Relative Surplus-Value
    March 5, 2015 at 12:30 pm in rm 320, LeConte Hall
    • Karl Marx, Das Kapital, Vol I
    • Part Three: The Production of Absolute Surplus-Value
    February 12, 2015 at 12:30 pm in rm 320, LeConte Hall
    • Karl Marx, Das Kapital, Vol I
    • Part Two: The Transformation of Money into Capital
    January 27, 2015 at 12:30 pm in rm 320, LeConte Hall
    • Karl Marx, Das Kapital, Vol I
    • Part One: Commodities and Money
    October 9, 2014 at 7 pm at The Transmet Downtown
    Mediator: Dan Du
    • Maxine Berg, "In Pursuit of Luxury: Global History and British Consumer Goods in the Eighteenth Century," Past and Present (February 2004):85-142.
    • Selection from Robert Gardella, Harvesting Mountains: Fujian and the China Tea Trade, 1757-1937 (University of California Press, 1994).
    August 27, 2014 at 7 pm
    Mediator: Laura Briscoe
    • Thomas Piketty, Capital in the Twenty First Century (Cambridge: MA, Belknap Press, 2014).
    • March 6, 2014
      Mediator: Rachel Bunker
      • Selections from Walter Johnson, River of Dark Dreams: Slavery and Empire in the Cotton Kingdom (Cambridge: MA, Harvard University Press, 2013).
      December 11, 2013 at 7pm, Transmet Downtown
      • Allan Kulikoff, "The Transition to Capitalism in Rural America," The William and Mary Quarterly 46 (Jan. 1989): 120-144
      • Allan Kulikoff, "Households and Markets: Toward a New Synthesis of American Agrarian History," The William and Mary Quarterly 50 (Apr. 1993): 342-355
      September 11, 2013
      • Robin Blackburn, An Unfinished Revolution: Karl Marx and Abraham Lincoln (Verso Books: 2011)
      April 24, 2013 -- "Market Women and the Emergence of Capitalism in Africa"
      Mediator: Alisha Cromwell
      • Nkanyike B. Musisi, “Baganda Women Night Market Activities” in African Market Women and Economic Power, eds. Bessie House-Midamba and Felix K. Ekechi, (Westport, CN: Greenwood Press, 1995): 121-138.
      • Cheryl Johnson, "Class and Gender: A Consideration of Yoruba Women during the Colonial Period" in Women and Class in Africa, eds. Clarie C. Robertson and Iris Berger (New York: Africana Pub. Co., 1986): 237-254.
      • Rosemary Arnold, "Separation of Trade and Market: Great Market of Whydah” in Trade & Market in the Early Empires, eds. Karl Polanyi, Conarad M. Arensberg, and Harry Pearson (Henry Regnery Company, 1957): 177-186.
      February 20th, 2013 -- "Metabolic Rift"
      Mediator: Rachel Bunker
      • Jason W. Moore, "The Modern World-System as Environmental History? Ecology and the Rise of Capitalism" Theory and Society 32 (2003): 307-377.
      January 23, 2013 -- "Middle Class Ideologies"
      Mediator: Derek Bentley
      • Barbara Weinstein and Ricardo Lopez, et. al., "Introduction," in The Making of the Middle Class: Toward a Transnational History
      • Barbara Weinstein and Ricardo Lopez, et. al., "Conscripts of Democracy," in The Making of the Middle Class: Toward a Transnational History
      October 18, 2012 -- "Early America's Empire of Consumption"
      Mediator: Ben Smith
      • Catherin Cangany, "Fashioning Moccasins: Detroit, the Manufacturing Frontier, and the Empire of Consumption, 1701-1835," The William and Mary Quarterly 69:2 (April 2012), 265-304.
      • Andrew M. Schocket, "Thinking about Elites in the Early Republic," Journal of the Early Republic 25:4 (Winter 2005)
      September 11, 2012 -- David Cronenberg's "Cosmopolis" at CINE, 234 W. Hancock Ave
      Time: TBA

      April 11, 2012: "Jesus and the Market"
      Mediator: Hannah Waits

      • Linda Kintz, "God’s Intentions for the Multinational Corporation," in Between Jesus and the Market: The Emotions That Matter in Right-Wing America (Durham: Duke University Press, 1997), 217-236. [PDF]
      • William Connolly, "The Evangelical-Capitalist Resonance Machine," in Capitalism and Christianity, American Style (Durham: Duke University Press, 2008), 39-67. [PDF]
      March 21, 2012: Noel Ignatiev on C. L. R. James
      More info: Andrew Epstein
      • Noel Ignatiev, "The Worldview of C.L.R. James" in A New Notion (Oakland: PM Press, 2010)
      • C.L.R. James, "Every Cook Can Govern," in A New Notion (Oakland: PM Press, 2010)
      March 7, 2012: "Urban Social Movements"
      Mediator: Ashley Roseberry
      • Elizabeth Leeds, "Cocaine and Parallel Polities in the Brazilian Urban Periphery: Constraints on Local-Level Democratization," Latin American Research Review, Vol. 31, No. 3 (1996): 47-83
      February 5, 2012: "What Is Good Work?"
      Mediator: Nathan Wood
      • André Gorz, "The Latest Forms of Work," in Reclaiming Work: Beyond the Wage-Based Society (Cambridge, UK : Polity Press, 1999).
      • Howard Gardner, "What Is Good Work?" Tanner Lecture on Human Values, University of Utah, April 2008.
      January 14, 2012: "Were Slaveholders Capitalists?"
      Mediator: Alicia Cromwell
      Location: Hendershot's Coffee
      • Douglas R. Egerton, "Markets without a Market Revolution: Southern Planters and Capitalism", Journal of the Early Republic 16 (Summer 1996): 207-21.
      • Stephanie McCurry, "The Two Faces of Republicanism: Gender and Proslavery Politics in Antebellum South Carolina", Journal of American History, 78 (March 1992): 1245-64.
      • Robert Olwell, "Loose, Idle and Disorderly: Slave Women in the Eighteenth-Century Charleston Marketplace" in More Than Chattel: Black Women and Slavery in the Americas, ed. David Barry Gaspar and Darlene Clark Hine, (Indiana University Press, 1996), 97-110.
      November 14, 2011: "Postmodern Marxism"
      Mediator: Brad Wood
      • J.K. Gibson-Graham, "Class and the politics of Identity" in The End of Capitalism (As We Knew It): A Feminist Critique of Political Economy (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2006), 46-72.
      • J.K. Gibson-Graham, "Querying Globalization", ibid., pp. 120-148" [PDF]
      • Warren Montag, "Necro-Economics: Adam Smith and Death in the Life of the Universal," Radical Philosophy, V134, 1995, 7-18.
      • Jack Amariglio and David Ruccio, "Postmodernism, Marxism, and the Critique of Modern Economic Thought," Rethinking Marxism, V7, I3, 1994, 7-34.
      October 10, 2011: "Wealth Inequality and Racial Inequality in America"
      Mediator: Keri Leigh Merritt
      • Tim Wise, excerpts from Colorblind: The Rise of Post-Racial Politics and the Retreat From Racial Equity (City Lights, 2010)
      • Thomas M. Shapiro, introduction to The Hidden Cost of Being African American: How Wealth Perpetuates Inequality (Cambridge, 2004)
      • Thomas M. Shapiro, chapter 2 from The Hidden Cost of Being African American: How Wealth Perpetuates Inequality (Cambridge, 2004)
      • Thomas M. Shapiro, chapter 3 from The Hidden Cost of Being African American: How Wealth Perpetuates Inequality (Cambridge, 2004)
      September 7, 2011: "Geographies of Neoliberalism"
      Mediator: Derek Bentley
      • Nancy MacLean, "Southern Dominance in Borrowed Language: The Regional Origins of American Neoliberalism" (Ch. 2 in Jane Collins, Micaela di Leonardo, and Brett Williams, eds. New Landscapes of Inequality: Neoliberalism and the Erosion of Democracy in America, 2008)
      • James Ferguson, "De-moralizing Economies: African Socialism, Scientific Capitalism, and the Moral Politics of Structural Adjustment" (Ch. 3 from Global Shadows: Africa in the Neoliberal World Order, 2006)
      • Yves Dezalay and Bryant G. Garth, "The Paradox of Symbolic Imperialism: The Southern Cone as an Explosive Laboratory of Modernity" (Ch. 7 from The Internationalization of Palace Wars: Lawyers, Economists, and the Contest to Transform Latin American States, 2002)
      August 14, 2011: Wall Street
      • Karen Ho, Liquidated: An Ethnography of Wall Street.
      April 20, 2011: Doing God's Work
      Mediator: Hannah Waits
      • Cecília Loreto Mariz, "Cultural Strategies for Coping with Poverty," from Coping with Poverty (1994)
      • Elizabeth Brusco, "Columbian Evangelicalism from the Household Out," from The Reformation of Machismo (1995)
      • Optional Reading: R. Andrew Chesnut, "Pragmatic Consumers and Practical Products" (2003)
      • Optional Reference: Reinaldo Roman and Pamela Voekel, "Popular Religion in Latin American Historiography," in The Oxford Handbook of Latin American History, ed. Jose Moya (2010)
      April 6, 2011: The Political Economy of Scalping
      Mediator: Kurt Windisch
      • James Axtell and William C. Sturtevant, "The Unkindest Cut, or Who Invented Scalping," William and Mary Quarterly 37 (Jul. 1980): 451-72.
      • Lawrence Weiss and David C.Maas, "Primitive Accumulation, Reservations, and the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act," in State and Reservation: New Perspectives on Federal Indian Policy, ed. George Pierre Castile and Robert L. Bee (Arizona: 1992)
      Monday, March 9, 2011: The Prison/Industrial Complex
      Mediator: Andrew Epstein
      • Dylan Rodriguez, "Domestic War Zones and the Extremities of Power: Conceptualizing the U.S. Prison Regime," in Forced Passages (Minnesota Press: 2006)
      • Christian Parenti, "Big Bucks from the Big House: The Prison Industrial Complex and Beyond," in Lockdown America: Police & Prisons in the Age of Crisis (Verso: 1999)
      • Recommended Supplementary Reading:
      • Dylan Rodriguez, "Forced Passages: The Routes and Precedents of (Prison) Slavery," in Forced Passages
      February 16, 2011: Slavery vs. Capitalism on the Cotton Frontier
      Mediator: Franklin Sammons
      • Walter Johnson, "The Pedestal and the Veil: Rethinking the Capitalism/Slavery Question" (2004)
      • Joshua D. Rothman, "The Hazards of the Flush Times: Gambling, Mob Violence, and the Anxieties of Americas Market Revolution" (2008)
      • Edward E. Baptist, "Toxic Debt, Liar Loans, and Securitized Human Beings: The Panic of 1837 and the Fate of Slavery" (2010)
      November 17, 2010: Mine War!
      Mediator: Brad Wood
      • Excerpt from "Leaner and Meaner," in Steven Greenhouse's The Big Squeeze: Tough Times for the American Worker
      • To accompany the 29 minute film Mine War on Blackberry Creek, which will lead off the meeting.
      • Optional: Bob Jessup's "Towards a Schumpeterian Workfare State?" (1993) The theme for this meeting revolves around the demise of the so-called social contract between capital and labor which defined the so-called "Fordist" regime of capitalist accumulation.
      October 20, 2010: Money: The Medium of Exchange
      Mediator: Sean Vanatta
      7PM, Sean's house
      • Geoffrey Ingham, "Money," from Capitalism (2008)
      • Stephen Mihm, "The Western Bankers," from A Nation of Counterfeiters (2007)
      • Reader's choice from "Hard Times," Common Place v.10, n. 3.5 This month’s readings explore the troubled topic of money.
      October 15, 2010: Project Planning: Managing the Mess
      Mediator: Dr. Stephen Mihm
      3:00PM in the LeConte Hall Conference room
        Dr. Stephen Mihm, who is presently researching a book, tentatively entitled The Country’s Currency: A History of the Dollar from the American Revolution to the American Century, will lead a round table discussion on project planning and preparation. The talk will focus on strategies for wading through the clutter left by thousands of past researchers, and will offer graduate students an opportunity to address challenges they face in the early stages of project development. Dr. Mihm's work emphasises the cultural, business, and economic history of the United States, but the discussion will be of value to anyone who shivers at the idea of starting a new project.
      September 22, 2010: Capitalism and the Countryside
      Mediator: Tore Olsson
      • Mike Davis, "Preface" from Late Victorian Holocausts (2001)
      • James C. Scott, "Nature and Space" from Seeing Like a State (1998)
      • Angus Wright, "Technology and Conflict" from The Death of Ramon Gonzalez (1990, 2005)
      This set of three book chapters raise broad questions about the role of capitalism and the state in organizing land, environment, and the human exploitation of each.

      August 14, 2010: Killing for Coal
      Host: Kathi Nehls

      • Thomas G. Andrews, Killing for Coal: America's Deadliest Labor War (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2008)
The University of Georgia | Franklin College of Arts and Sciences | Department of History
The University of Georgia Franklin College of Arts and Sciences Department of History