HOPE Conferences

HOPE conferences are sponsored by the journal History of Political Economy (published by Duke University Press) and the Center for the History of Political Economy at Duke University. The conferences are small, invitation-only events on topics chosen to advance the cutting edge of research in the history of economics. All topics are open for consideration, and topics may engage any historical period or community of economists. Most HOPE conferences are organized by scholars outside Duke in collaborations with historians of economics at Duke. Conferences are generally held at Duke or in Durham, and in the spring.

We welcome proposals for conferences. The procedure for proposing a HOPE conference starts with a simple inquiry to any member of the HOPE group at Duke (Bruce Caldwell, Kevin Hoover, Jennifer Jhun, Steve Medema, or Roy Weintraub). A possible conference should be described in one or two paragraphs. If the HOPE group finds the proposal sufficiently interesting, a fuller prospectus will be invited. The prospectus should describe in some detail the topic of the conference, its intellectual context, the questions to be addressed, and its value-added to the history of economics. If possible – and this will certainly need to be done eventually – the prospectus should identity potential participants and their possible role in the conference. (There is no need to have actually contacted potential participants at this stage.) The HOPE group may engage the proposers in further discussions on the basis of the prospectus before a proposal is accepted and a conference date set.

HOPE conferences are funded from a grant from Duke University Press, which is typically sufficient to cover necessary expenses (meals and lodging, but not travel). Additional funds raised by the outside organizers are welcome and may often be useful. Outside organizers will work closely with the managing editor of HOPE and a member of the HOPE group who will act as the local organizer. The outside organizers will also generally serve as guest editors of the conference volume.

The planning horizon for HOPE conferences is usually three years out and there are often several proposals under consideration at the same time. Thus, it is a selective process. The process is informal and there are no specific deadlines – but the earlier the better.

For details on organizing a HOPE conference, please see our guide for HOPE conference organizers.

The 2020 conference, which was organized by Jeff Biddle (Michigan State University) and Marcel Boumans (Utrecht University), explored the history of statistical inference in twentieth-century economics. The topic of the 2021 conference is women in the history of economics. It is being organized by Evelyn Forget (University of Manitoba), John Singleton (University of Rochester), and Cleo Chassonnery-Zaïgouche (University of Cambridge). A list of published conference volumes, each of which appears as a supplement to a volume of HOPE, can be found on our website.