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PhD Conference of Economic, Social and Environmental History, Laura Wurm

Laura Wurm recently attended the PhD Conference of Economic, Social and Environmental History in Vienna, read her account here.

I recently presented at the Viennese PhD Conference of Economic, Social and Environmental History at Vienna University of Economics and Business, which was launched to give PhD students a chance to receive feedback on their projects and to network.

The vast set of around 30 participants consisted of PhD students who presented, and professors as well as more advanced PhD students and postdocs from the fields of history and economics who provided feedback.

Each presenting PhD student had to hand in a paper beforehand and was given 20 minutes to tell the audience more about his or her project(s).

To ensure a high level of interaction, each participant had to read all papers and to also prepare a 10-minute-comment on one presentation. I commented on a project dealing with migration in medieval urban centres.

I presented my first project idea evolving around the Viennese ban in commodity futures trading, which came into force in May 1903. The plan is to assess the effects of this ban on spot prices, and to compare the Viennese setting to other trade locations within the Austro-Hungarian Empire. For doing so, the policy regimes around the time are to be studied in detail, which also requires scrutinised archival work and discourse analysis.

I received valuable feedback of both historical and econometric nature and learned more on the importance of working to bridge the gap between economics and history. Economic history itself is a field of interdisciplinary and cross-sectoral work, which was underlined in the senior comments.

The PhD Conference of Economic, Social and Environmental History was a fascinating experience for my future work, and I would be honoured to join again.

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