Southern Capitalisms

In 2016, I co-organized the Southern Capitalisms conference at Johns Hopkins University.

Building on recent interest in the history of capitalism, this conference brought together graduate students from a wide range of institutions and disciplines to explore the ways in which the “South” and “Capitalism” have mutually constituted each other across time and space. Among the questions addressed by the conference were: What silences do historians create by focusing on capitalism? The South? What types of economic and cultural work do geographic categories like “the South” and/or “the Global South” perform in relation to capitalist development? What benefits do concepts like “the South” bring for historians of capitalism? How do space, capital, and power relate and reinforce one another in ways that penetrate and exceed the perceived borders of “the South”? While probing the utility of conceiving of “the South” and people who live there through the lens of capital, this conference also draws on scholarship on “the South” (including “the global South”) to explore capitalism’s limitations.

In addition to assembling the program, I assisted in fundraising over $12,000 in conference support from multiple departments, programs, and centers at Johns Hopkins, including the Institute for Applied Economics, Global Health, and the Study of Business Enterprise, the Racism, Immigration, and Citizenship Program, the Center for Africana Studies, The Arrighi Center for Global Studies, the Department of History, the Department of Political Science, the Program in Latin American Studies, and The Office of the Vice Dean for Humanities and Social Sciences.

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