Call for Papers

Money, Power and Print: An Interdisciplinary Colloquium on the Financial Revolution


Dublin, Ireland

4-6 June 2020

This colloquium, the ninth in a biennial series and the first to be held in the Republic of Ireland, invites scholars from a variety of disciplines to enrich their mutual understanding of the intersections between public finance, politics, and print during a period some scholars call the ‘financial revolution’ from around 1688 to 1776. The subject matter has been broadened slightly for 2020 to include the histories of personal credit and central banking.

Papers for the colloquium should be grounded in one of the following five general areas:

· the operations, theoretical and practical, of institutions such as banks (including central banking), joint-stock companies, public debt, and/or paper money

· the effect of diverse understandings of emerging financial instruments and theories upon contemporary political debates as demonstrated in the literature and legislative debates of the period

· the influence of the successes and failures of specific legislative and/or financial proposals on the development of political and economic programs throughout this period

· the impact of literature and legislative debates of the period on people’s perceptions of the financial revolution and/or its political consequences

· the evolution of personal credit and attitudes towards it, and their impact on the course of the financial revolution

Money’ is used broadly to cover the core economic components of the financial revolution. ‘Power’ is taken to mean the contest between royalty, aristocracy, gentry, merchants, financiers, and other formal or informal groupings for influence and standing. ‘Print’ refers to how the interplay of money and power were explained, analysed, explicated, and misrepresented (whether deliberately or not) in newspapers, pamphlets, novels, plays, illustrations, and other printed material intended for circulation.

In all cases, consideration should be given to the degree to which the print material under discussion shaped the development of institutions and the implementation of financial policies, and influenced political discourse.

Although primarily focussed on the ‘financial revolution’ in Britain (in the widest geographical sense), the colloquium welcomes papers which comparatively explore public finance in Britain alongside that of the Continent. Colloquium participants tend to adopt an empirical, rather than a statistically driven, approach to historical enquiry.

We recommend that all participants read selected excerpts from classic texts on the ‘financial revolution’ as well as excerpts from more recent works that deal with the ‘credible commitment’ thesis. (Such readings will be assigned and made available in advance of the meeting.) Reading selections from these classic and recent works of scholarship on our topic help us to gain a shared basis for dialogue, and underpin our comparative discussions.

Papers will be distributed in advance and presented in two-hour sessions, at which all colloquium participants are present. Presenters will have five minutes to summarise their papers. The remainder of each session will be given over to questions and discussion, in which the goal is to enrich our mutual understanding by eliciting insights from all of the disciplines represented at the table. Authors are therefore expected to write for a non-specialist audience, avoiding jargon, making concepts from their own discipline readily accessible to all those present, seeking to identify areas of general interest, and focusing on questions on which scholars of various disciplines will have something to contribute.

Papers should be written in English. Graduate students and emerging scholars are particularly encouraged to submit proposals.

Initial expressions of interest of 250 words or fewer are due no later than 15 April 2019. Submitted abstracts will be used in the proposal to apply for funding to finance this event, and individual stipends are contingent on funding received. Those whose initial proposals seem likely to be a good fit for the colloquium will be asked to get a comprehensive outline of the paper to the conference organisers by 15 December 2019. The final decision about which papers to include will be made in mid-February 2020, and those selected are asked to supply a rough draft of 4,000-5,000 words six weeks prior to the conference. After the colloquium, we expect to publish selected papers in a special edition of Special Issue of Financial History Review.

Expressions of interest, questions, and submissions should be directed to:

Charles Larkin:

Anne Murphy:

Natalie Roxburgh:

Adrian Leonard:

Please feel free to circulate widely.