Latest Entries
Calls for Papers

Announcing UT essay competition on the financial crisis in higher ed

Editors’ Note: This announcement comes from HistPhil contributor Thomas Adam. Note that the winning essay will appear in an edited volume whose introduction will be written by HistPhil‘s own Stan Katz.  The Department of History at the University of Texas at Arlington is announcing its annual Webb/Smith Essay Competition as part of the 52nd annual Walter … Continue reading

New Works in the Field / Philanthropy and Historical Research

Next Week’s ISTR Conference in Stockholm (June 28-July 1)

The 12th International Conference of the International Society for Third-Sector Research (ISTR) is taking place next week (June 28-July 1) at Ersta Skondal University College in Stockholm, Sweden. The theme is “The Third Sector in Transition: Accountability, Transparency, and Social Inclusion.” Below, I am including events that would be of particular interest to HistPhil readers. Of … Continue reading

Current Events and Philanthropy / From the Editors

Philanthropy Scholarship at Ongoing Policy History Conference (Nashville, TN)

From today until Saturday, June 4th, the ninth biennial Policy History Conference is taking place at the Loews Vanderbilt Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee. And just this moment, a wonderful group of scholars has gathered to discuss private foundations and public policy: ______________________________ Private Foundations and Public Policy: How Modern Philanthropy Has Shaped Credit, Labor, and Population Policies (3:15pm-4:45pm) Chair … Continue reading

Philanthropy and Historical Research

An Interview with National Philanthropic Trust’s Eileen Heisman on NPT’s new History of Modern Philanthropy website

Editors’ Note: On Tuesday, National Philanthropic Trust (NPT) unveiled a new History of Modern Philanthropy website at HistoryofGiving.org, a digital resource that covers the last 500 years of global philanthropy. The digital exhibition highlights 200 moments in global philanthropy illustrated by almost 100 rare media assets, including documents, audio and video. Below is an edited … Continue reading

The Green Revolution

The Green Revolution, Energy, and Philanthropy

Editors’ Note: John Perkins contributes to HistPhil’s forum on the Green Revolution. Scholarship over the past 20 years has produced a much richer understanding of the Green Revolution, but one critical angle has received little attention: the role of energy. This post will sketch the important issues connecting energy with the Green Revolution and explain why they … Continue reading

Current Events and Philanthropy / Philanthropy and Historical Research / Philanthropy and the State

Edwin Embree as Exemplar: How one Philanthropic Leader Confronted Racial Prejudice during the Second World War

Editors’ Note: Alfred Perkins highlights the leadership of Edwin Embree, who served for two decades as president of the Julius Rosenwald Fund, in advocating for the rights of Japanese-Americans during the Second World War. The current presidential campaign has brought again to the surface the hostility to cultural differences long an element in the American emotional … Continue reading

New Works in the Field

Alice O’Connor on Erica Kohl-Arenas’ THE SELF-HELP MYTH (2016)

Editors’ Note: Alice O’Connor reviews Erica Kohl-Arenas’ The Self-Help Myth: How Philanthropy Fails to Alleviate Poverty (University of California Press, 2016). Kohl-Arenas recently participated in the inaugural HistPhil Exchange with Linsey McGoey. Erica Kohl-Arenas opens her important and sharply-observed new book with a field note from her visit to organized philanthropy’s grand palaver, the Annual Meeting … Continue reading

New Works in the Field / Philanthropy and Historical Research / Philanthropy and the State

A Review of Rhodri Davies’s PUBLIC GOOD BY PRIVATE MEANS (2016)

Editors’ Note: On HistPhil earlier this year, Rhodri Davies discussed his new book, Public Good by Private Means: How philanthropy shapes Britain (2016). Here, Andrew Purkis reviews the manuscript.    This is a delightful series of wise reflections about key issues for philanthropy, particularly in the UK, informed by a historical perspective. It contributes more to stimulating thinking about the future … Continue reading

Philanthropy and Historical Research / Philanthropy and the State

How the State Learned to Give Like a Foundation

Editors’ Note: Claire Dunning continues HistPhil’s forum on philanthropy and the state. Philanthropy often takes cues from the state. As much as philanthropists celebrate their nimbleness and independence, they operate, of course, within a regulatory framework. Scholars have charted the ways in which philanthropies—from across the political spectrum—have positioned themselves vis-à-vis governments to compensate for … Continue reading

New Works in the Field / Philanthropy and Historical Research

How 19th Century Indian Philanthropy Changes the Narrative of American Giving

Editors’ Note: Anelise Shrout contributes a new post on 19th century Cherokee and Choctaw transnational philanthropy and how it re-shapes our understanding of the giving of marginalized groups. The people gathered at Fort Gibson in the Western Cherokee Nation in March of 1847 were a diverse group. Cherokees, U.S. soldiers, local missionaries and traders passing through … Continue reading

HistPhil Exchange

The Possibility of the Free Gift, the Dramaturgy of the Program Officer, and the Revival of the Walsh Commission: A HistPhil Exchange

Editors’ Note: This is the first installment of HistPhil Exchange, our new series in which the editors ask two members of the HistPhil community to trade emails and discuss prominent issues in their work. (We were inspired by Slate‘s “Breakfast Table” posts). We hope it will be the first of many. The participants in this inaugural … Continue reading

Current Events and Philanthropy / Philanthropy and the State

Charity’s No Stranger to Political Advocacy

Editors’ Note: Andrew Purkis concludes this week’s focus on governmental reform of charities within the UK, as part of HistPhil’s forum on philanthropy and the state. The other two pieces on this subtopic were authored by Rhodri Davies and Peter Grant. England has a proud history of non-party political campaigning for charitable causes, with roots deep in the … Continue reading

Current Events and Philanthropy / Philanthropy and the State / Philanthropy in the News

Crisis and Response: What History Tells us about the Challenges Facing UK Charities

Editors’ Note: Rhodri Davies continues this week’s focus on governmental reform of charities within the UK, as part of HistPhil’s forum on philanthropy and the state. The charity sector in the UK is currently going through a torrid time. A series of issues with the way charities operate and fundraise have recently come to the … Continue reading

Current Events and Philanthropy / Philanthropy and the State / Philanthropy in the News

Charities in the Firing Line

Editors’ Note: As part of HistPhil’s forum on philanthropy and the state, this week we bring you a series of posts on the situation in the UK, where a series of controversies in the charitable sector has led to calls for increased governmental regulation. Peter Grant opens the discussion. Both charities in general and fundraisers in particular have … Continue reading

Philanthropy and the State

Welfare Reform and the Relationship between Foundation Funding and State-level Policy

Editor’s Note: Jennifer Mosley and Joseph Galaskiewicz continue HistPhil’s forum on philanthropy and the state. Philanthropic foundations are independent when it comes to revenue. That seemingly neutral fact has led to two assumptions that govern how we tend to think about their interaction with the policy environment. First, foundations are typically seen as having unusual … Continue reading

Oral History/Testimonies

The Filer Commission and the Birth of NCRP

Editors’ Note: Pablo Eisenberg provides a first-hand account of the improbable creation of the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy out of the Filer Commission on Private and Public Needs. In retrospect, it seems surprising that the Filer Commission on Private Philanthropy and Public Needs, established in 1973, the most prestigious study of its kind in … Continue reading

Philanthropy and the State

Philanthropy and the State: Divisions of Labor and Authority

Editors’ Note: For the last weeks, HistPhil has hosted a forum on the Green Revolution and we thank its contributors: Gary Toenniessen, Marci Baranski, Helen Anne Curry, Gilbert Levine, Ruth Levine, Tore Olsson, and Jonathan Harwood. With the below piece, Emma Saunders-Hastings launches the new forum on philanthropy & the state. She argues that the distribution of public authority (rather than division of labor) should … Continue reading

New Works in the Field / Philanthropy and Historical Research

Tata Philanthropy and the Making of Modern India

Editors’ Note: Scholars have often engaged the rise of modern philanthropy in the developing world through the tensions between indigenous traditions and cosmopolitan practices. Mircea Raianu explores the place of Tata philanthropy in modern India to complicate that dichotomy. What is the relationship between corporate philanthropy and the modern nation-state? Or, to put it another way, … Continue reading