Conferences

Following the New Humanities Track at ARNOVA’s annual conference

Editors’ Note: This year, for the first time, the annual ARNOVA conference will feature a separate Humanities track. This allowed humanities-trained scholars to review panels and ensured that those panels were scheduled at different time slots so they did not compete with each other. The Humanities track represents a concerted effort on the part of … Continue reading

A “thoroughly satisfactory and permanent remedy”: the Twentieth Century Invention of the American University Endowment
Philanthropy and Education / Philanthropy and Historical Research

A “thoroughly satisfactory and permanent remedy”: the Twentieth Century Invention of the American University Endowment

Editors’ Note: Swelling college and university endowments have attracted increased scrutiny and criticism; the recently released House GOP tax plan even included a tax on the investment income of college and university endowments with assets of $100,000 or more per full-time student. In this post, Bruce Kimball outlines the origin of such large university endowments. It is … Continue reading

Islamic Charity & the Paradox of ‘Obligated Voluntarism’: A Comparison of Christian and Muslim Charitable Giving
Philanthropy and Historical Research

Islamic Charity & the Paradox of ‘Obligated Voluntarism’: A Comparison of Christian and Muslim Charitable Giving

Editors’ Note: Previously published on Maydan, this essay by Christopher B. Taylor compares the Christian view of charitable giving in the United States and Islamic charitable giving in India. Taylor concludes by urging readers to view charity as a blend of both perspectives.  Ahmed was the clerk of a firearms store on one of the main roads … Continue reading

The Hidden Histories of Regional Philanthropy: The Case of the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health
New Works in the Field

The Hidden Histories of Regional Philanthropy: The Case of the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health

Editors’ Note: Bill Bush discusses the history and impressive impact of the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health. The concept of “wellness” has become a widely accepted, if loosely defined, feature of the everyday cultural landscape of American society. Central to that wellness ideal is mental health, itself a concept readily found in news coverage of … Continue reading

The Return of Hookworm and the Limits of Public Health Philanthropy
Current Events and Philanthropy / Philanthropy and the State

The Return of Hookworm and the Limits of Public Health Philanthropy

Editors’ Note: HistPhil co-editor Benjamin Soskis reflects on a recent article in the Guardian on the return of hookworm to the American South. There’s been no shortage of news stories over the last several months that delivered a punch to the gut of our national self-regard, challenging Whiggish notions of moral progression that still color … Continue reading

Graduate Seminar on the History of Philanthropy
From the Editors / Philanthropy and Historical Research

Graduate Seminar on the History of Philanthropy

Editors’ Note: Prompted by an emailed request from University of Minnesota doctoral student Reba Juetten, I have updated a syllabus on the history of philanthropy that I drafted in 2015 and whose introduction I include on my personal website. Never used, it has remained a dream course that I would love to teach one day. … Continue reading

Giving Like Newton
Philanthropy / Philanthropy and Historical Research / Uncategorized

Giving Like Newton

Editors’ Note: With today’s philanthropies in mind, Michael E. Hartmann explains the relevance of a recently-published Science Advances article on past knowledge and future breakthroughs in science and technology.  What’s new? It’s a common question for us all. You’ve heard it. You’ve asked it. It’s often a useful way of jumpstarting conversation. It was also commonly asked of … Continue reading

“Contraband Humanitarianism”: German Charity on the Kenyan Coast
Book Forum on German Philanthropic History / New Works in the Field

“Contraband Humanitarianism”: German Charity on the Kenyan Coast

Editors’ Note: Nina Berman wraps up HistPhil‘s book forum on German philanthropic history. The chapter I wrote for German Philanthropy in Transatlantic Perspective is part of a larger ethnographic project that I conducted over much of the past decade in an Indian Ocean community in Kenya. That study explores material changes and social relations in Diani, an … Continue reading

The German Philanthropic Experience after 1945
Book Forum on German Philanthropic History / New Works in the Field

The German Philanthropic Experience after 1945

Editors’ Note: Volker Berghahn continues HistPhil‘s book forum on German philanthropic history. Berghahn contributed to the edited volume, German Philanthropy in Transatlantic Perspective, which Gregory Witkowski introduced in yesterday’s post.  In his recent book, Philanthropy, Civil Society and the State in German History, Thomas Adam endeavors to correct several misperceptions that he found in the literature … Continue reading

German Philanthropy in Transatlantic Perspective: A Brief History
Book Forum on German Philanthropic History / New Works in the Field

German Philanthropy in Transatlantic Perspective: A Brief History

Editors’ Note: HistPhil continues its book forum on German philanthropic history with a post from Gregory R. Witkowski, the co-editor of the recently published volume, German Philanthropy in Transatlantic Perspective.  Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America casts a long shadow on discussions of the role of charitable giving, associations, and civil society in a democracy.  … Continue reading

“Je mehr sich etwas aendert”: From Nineteenth-Century German Housing Cooperatives to Twenty-First-Century Social Entrepreneurship
Book Forum on German Philanthropic History / New Works in the Field

“Je mehr sich etwas aendert”: From Nineteenth-Century German Housing Cooperatives to Twenty-First-Century Social Entrepreneurship

Editors’ Note: Thomas Adam, author of Philanthropy, Civil Society, and the State in German History, 1815-1989 (reviewed yesterday by Stefan Toepler), continues HistPhil‘s week-long book forum on German philanthropy history. The last two decades have seen the rise of social enterprises and social entrepreneurship in which profit-seeking ventures are combined with philanthropic forms. This “new … Continue reading

Re-considering Tocqueville through a Wilhelmine Lens: A Review of Adam’s PHILANTHROPY, CIVIL SOCIETY, AND THE STATE IN GERMAN HISTORY, 1815-1989
Book Forum on German Philanthropic History / New Works in the Field

Re-considering Tocqueville through a Wilhelmine Lens: A Review of Adam’s PHILANTHROPY, CIVIL SOCIETY, AND THE STATE IN GERMAN HISTORY, 1815-1989

Editors Note: The last year witnessed the publication two important books on the history of modern German philanthropy, Thomas Adam’s Philanthropy, Civil Society, and the State in German History, 1815-1989 and German Philanthropy in Transatlantic Perspective, edited by Gregory Witkowski and Arnd Bauerkämper. The coincidence of these two works signals a contemporary flowering of scholarship on the … Continue reading

How Can Foundations Change Public Policy? The Case for Funding Grassroots NGOs
New Works in the Field / Political Scientists and Philanthropy

How Can Foundations Change Public Policy? The Case for Funding Grassroots NGOs

Editors’ Note: Continuing the forum on philanthropy and political science, Leah Stokes details how the funding strategies of the Energy Foundation led to policy innovation.  Foundations are often interested in catalyzing policy change. In the United States, however, this is a difficult task to accomplish. The political system is fragmented, with many policy venues. Individual politicians … Continue reading

Julius Rosenwald was not a Hero
Philanthropy and Democracy / Philanthropy and Inequality / Philanthropy in the News

Julius Rosenwald was not a Hero

Editors’ Note: In response to a recent SSIR piece describing Julius Rosenwald as a philanthropic hero, HistPhil co-editor Maribel Morey reflects on the distinction between an effective philanthropist and a heroic figure.  “Julius Rosenwald is one of our philanthropic heroes.” This is how Bridgespan’s William Foster, Gail Perreault, and Elise Tosun begin their essay on “Ten Ways to Make … Continue reading

What’s New, Philanthropy? Novelty as an Analytic Category in Callahan’s The Givers
Book Forum on Callahan's The Givers / New Works in the Field

What’s New, Philanthropy? Novelty as an Analytic Category in Callahan’s The Givers

Editors’ Note: Benjamin Soskis wraps up HistPhil’s book forum on David Callahan’s The Givers. Although it has gotten much more attention for its commentary on the contemporary philanthropic scene, David Callahan’s The Givers also makes some important arguments about philanthropic history (for more on my thoughts on the book, see my review in the American … Continue reading

Reckoning with the Allocation of Voice and Power in America: A Review of Callahan’s THE GIVERS
Book Forum on Callahan's The Givers / New Works in the Field

Reckoning with the Allocation of Voice and Power in America: A Review of Callahan’s THE GIVERS

Editors’ Note: Kristin Goss continues HistPhil’s book forum on David Callahan’s The Givers. Michael Bloomberg is a media titan, former big city mayor, and billionaire philanthropist who is deeply worried about global climate change, as well as about the well-funded denialists and business interests hindering action to halt it. In recent years, Bloomberg has pledged … Continue reading

Philanthropy in a Neoliberal Age II: Katz on Callahan’s THE GIVERS
Book Forum on Callahan's The Givers / New Works in the Field

Philanthropy in a Neoliberal Age II: Katz on Callahan’s THE GIVERS

Editors’ Note: HistPhil co-editor Stanley N. Katz continues HistPhil’s book forum on David Callahan’s The Givers. THE GIVERS is one of the most useful and readable books recently published on the topic of philanthropy. It is especially well-informed on both the institutions and individuals who compose the new world of mega-philanthropy, which is the actual subject … Continue reading

Philanthropy in a Neoliberal Age: A Review of David Callahan’s THE GIVERS
Book Forum on Callahan's The Givers / New Works in the Field / Philanthropy and Democracy

Philanthropy in a Neoliberal Age: A Review of David Callahan’s THE GIVERS

Editors’ Note: David Callahan’s The Givers: Wealth, Power, and Philanthropy in a New Gilded Age has been one of the more widely anticipated and widely discussed  books on philanthropy in recent memory (see, for instance, reviews and coverage here, here, here, and here). At HistPhil, we were keenly interested not only in the content of the book but … Continue reading

Chuck Feeney and the Complex Tri-Partite History of “Giving While Living”
New Works in the Field / Philanthropy

Chuck Feeney and the Complex Tri-Partite History of “Giving While Living”

Editors’ Note: The following is adapted from the introduction to a paper just published by the Atlantic Philanthropies, written by HistPhil co-editor Benjamin Soskis, on the history of “Giving While Living,” examined through the story of Chuck Feeney and the Atlantic Philanthropies. The paper is itself an excerpt from a larger monograph that analyzes the issue of … Continue reading

Political Scientists and Philanthropy

Are Foundations Part of the Resistance? Challenges to Elite Donors in a Neo-Populist Age

Editors’ Note: This post by Kristin A. Goss and Jeffrey M. Berry contributes to the live forum on political science and philanthropy, guest-edited by Sarah Reckhow and Delphia Shanks-Booth. Continuing the forum’s leading discussion of elite philanthropy and populism in the United States, the authors preview their ongoing research of foundations’ responses to new White House initiatives.    The neo-populist wave that … Continue reading