CFP: Women, Money and Markets (1600-1900) ‘Petty Finance’

Third Annual Conference on June 13th and 14th 2019  
University of Sussex

Keynote speakers:

Alannah Tomkin  
University of Keele 
Professor of Social History and PI of the Small Bills project.

D’Maris Coffman  
University College London 
Professor in Economics and Finance of the Built Environment

Deadline for submissions: March 1st 2019  
Conference Organisers: Dr Emma Newport (University of Sussex) and Dr Joyce Goggin (University of Amsterdam) 

For submissions and/or enquiries regarding the programme, please send them to:

The conference will address themes including consumerism, shopping, global trade, domestic trade, markets (literary and otherwise), currency, and varying practices of exchange. The conference is interdisciplinary in nature, bridging literature, material culture, gender studies and economic history, and aims to relate the debates of the period to modern day issues about the presence and position of women in the economy and media. 

To celebrate the first year of the AHRC funded project, “Small bills and petty finance: co-creating the history of the Old Poor Law”, a joint investigation led by the Universities of Keele and Sussex, this year’s conference theme is ‘Petty Finance’. ‘Petty Finance’ not only refers to the perceived marginalisation of women’s finances in traditional economic histories and literature and its historically ‘petty’ stature amongst academics, but also to the little-used records of female financial practice, including household bills, gambling records and so on, to which the ‘Small Bills and Petty Finance’ project is drawing attention and increasing ease of access through digitisation. 

In keeping with the ‘Petty Finance’ theme, we invite exploration, whether literary, historical or economic, of the experiences of women across the social spectrum. We welcome submissions on a wide range of topics connected with women’s involvement in the marketplace and finance, but of especial interest to the conference are women involved in the receipt or delivery of relief; volunteerism; working class experience; trading networks; social and/or economic bonds forged between the poor and the non-poor; attitudes and emotions associated with wealth and poverty; women’s engagement in banking, finance, gambling, or exchange, especially as documented through bills, petty finance documents or other under-used sources. 

More broadly, we welcome submissions in the form of individual papers, panels and roundtable discussions on the following themes: 

* The varying practices of women associated with currency, global and/or domestic markets and marketability  
* Material practices associated with value, exchange and/or female creativity  
* Women as investors, risk-takers or gamblers  
* Women as producers and/or consumers in the literary or other marketplaces (including, but not limited to, food, clothing, agriculture and raw materials)  
* Representations of women at work or women’s involvement in:  
* Trade and industry; professional services (such as law, finance, hospitality and the media); domestic service; the rural economy  
* The place of women in the literary marketplace (past and present) 

We particularly welcome cross-cultural considerations of the above issues. 

Please send 300-word abstracts to with an indication of your proposed format (individual paper, panel, roundtable, etc.).  

If you are submitting a proposal for a panel, please include an abstract for each paper (up to 300 words each). Please indicate if you would like your paper to be considered for the edited volume that will be published after the conference.

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