University of Rochester

Economic Historian Stanley Engerman Honored for Contributions

June 6, 2001

The research of Stanley L. Engerman, economic historian and John H. Munro Professor of Economics and professor of history at the University of Rochester, will be celebrated this weekend with a conference framed by his groundbreaking work studying economic growth in the Americas.

Engerman's research is acknowledged internationally for its impact on economics and history, especially the history of slavery. Of the 17 books and more than 100 articles he has co-authored or co-edited, his analysis with Nobel Laureate Robert W. Fogel on the economic underpinnings of slavery, titled Time on the Cross: The Economics of American Negro Slavery (1974), remains a landmark study for its reinterpretation of data about the daily lives of slaves and the economics of the plantation.

Fogel will be among 40 invited participants from the United States and Europe who will take part in the conference June 8, 9 and 10. Other presenters will include Seymour Drescher of the University of Pittsburgh; Lance E. Davis of California Institute of Technology; Peter Temin of Massachusetts Institute of Technology; David Landes of Harvard University; and Pulitzer Prize-winning historian David Brion Davis of Yale University.

On the Rochester faculty for 38 years, Engerman is past president of the Economic History Association and the Social Science History Association. A member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, he has been a member of many academic editorial and advisory boards.

"There are few economists who have contributed as much in a field as has Engerman in economic history," said Ronald W. Jones, chairman of the University's Department of Economics. "His office serves as a meeting place for scholars from around the globe, both to solicit advice from the master himself and to avail themselves of his enormous collection of relevant books, articles, and pamphlets."

His career includes a long collaboration with Fogel, as well as joint projects with leading historians and economic historians. He co-edited, with the late Robert Gallman, the three-volume Cambridge Economic History of the United States (1996, 2000) and co-edited with Seymour Drescher, A Historical Guide to World Slavery (1998). In addition to Time on the Cross, which won the 1975 Bancroft Prize for American history, Engerman's co-edited works include Between Slavery and Free Labor: The Spanish-Speaking Caribbean in the Nineteenth Century (1985); British Capitalism and Caribbean Slavery (1987); The Lesser Antilles in the Age of European Expansion (1996); and Slavery: A Reader (2001).

"Professor Engerman is legendary for his generosity in supporting research in the economic history and the history communities through his comments about ongoing work," said Frank D. Lewis, professor of economics at Queen's University in Ontario. "This advice has significantly advanced the level of scholarship and pointed to important new lines of inquiry."

A graduate of New York University with a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in business administration, Engerman received his doctorate from Johns Hopkins University in 1962. He joined the University of Rochester faculty in 1963, and became professor of economics and of history in 1971. He has received a Guggenheim Fellowship as well as fellowships from the National Science Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities. He was elected Pitt Professor of American History and Institutions at the University of Cambridge for 1998-99.

At the latest meetings of the American Economic Association, Engerman was honored with two different sessions devoted to his work. "This conference serves as a further tribute to his academic achievements," said Jones