Stefano Fenoaltea (1943-2020) passed away on 14th September 2020. He played a central role in introducing cliometrics in Italy. His research project, to which he devoted more than 50 years – almost all of his entire brilliant career – provided new ideas, put forward challenging new interpretations of Italian economic history during the Liberal Age, while, at the same time, bringing about a new methodological fresh air.
Economic historians should not disregard the minutiae of the reconstruction of the dynamics of individual industries, too, his deep and wise use of historical sources. Fenoaltea’s methodological lesson is not just about Italy’s economic history. All quantitative economic historians, regardless of the countries covered by their research, should study the analytical method he employed to deal with sources – and his acumen in using economic theory to understand them. Historical production series was definitely his field but it showed his logical and theoretical mastery also in other topics such as slave governance in antiquity and in the New World.
Fenoaltea’s deep methodological awareness led him to develop a thorough reflection on methodology itself. He refused methodological platitudes and framed his scientific activity within a large cultural background, claiming the importance of European classical studies. He felt strongly the need for a genuine cross-fertilization of economics and economic history with other disciplines, such as anthropology, sociology and philosophy.
On this background the Associazione per la Storia Economica (ASE) and Fondazione Luigi Einaudi, two institutions that took great advantage from Fenoaltea’s scientific engagement over the last years of activity, are organizing a joint workshop to reassess Fenoaltea’s legacy, not least to promote it among younger scholars, whom will be provided special attention in the selection process.
The workshop will be held on-line on 12th November 2021.
The Annals of the Fondazione Luigi Einaudi. An Interdisciplinary Journal of Economics, History and Political Science and Rivista di Storia Economica will both and simultaneously publish two monographic issues on “Economics, History and Economic History in Stefano Fenoaltea’s cliometrics” with papers presented at the workshop. Articles submitted to the joint workshop will be collectively reviewed by the two journals. Once accepted, papers will be published in one of the journals based on the topic and perspective. Both journals will promote an online grouping of all accepted papers.
The workshop will cover topics belonging to Fenoaltea’s research activity. The following list is only partial. It may be useful for contributors to assess the relevance of their proposals:
- The reinterpretation of Italy’s history during the Liberal Age;
- The Giolittian age: society, politics and the economy;
- Italy and world economy (1861-1913);
- Economic development in regional perspectives;
- Methods for reconstructing historical National Accounts;
- The methodology of economic history;
- Slavery and open fields in comparative perspective;
- Progress and decline in economic history;
- Humanities, science and quantitative economic history;
- Post-modernism and economic history;
- Economics, History and Anthropology;
- Economic History of the ancient world.
We invite scholars to submit an abstract of the paper they would be interested in presenting at the workshop (500 words max., 3 to 5 keywords) by May 31th to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
Workshop organizers (who will also act as editors of the special issues) Alberto Baffigi and Giovanni Vecchi, will send notifications of acceptance or rejection by June 30th. Full papers are due October 31th, 2021.