Legal History: History of Capitalism in the Americas





This year-long seminar focuses on the history of modern capitalism. As modern capitalism becomes dominant across the globe, the need to understand it increases. Is it a form of market organization, a material or social phenomenon, an epistemological development, a set of legal categories, or a mode of governance? This seminar explores modern capitalism as an historical form of political economy, developed over the last three centuries, that may partake of all these dimensions. The seminar is designed to include both students who are interested in the in-depth study of capitalism as a political economic form, and faculty/scholars already engaged in that research who seek a forum for presenting works-in-progress. Student participants will be required to submit a final paper of twenty-five to thirty pages. Law students may write papers that satisfy Option 1 of the JD Written Work Requirement in conjunction with the seminar. Cross-registrants are encouraged to apply.

The seminar will include sessions focused on influential works that have contributed a working vocabulary to current debates over capitalism. In alternating sessions, we will discuss new research by faculty, associated scholars, and guests. The seminar will run biweekly during the Fall 2015 and Spring 2016 semesters. This seminar is cross-listed with the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and is offered in conjunction with the annual workshop sponsored by the Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History. In addition to law students, participants will include graduate students, Warren Center fellows, and guest speakers.