Economic Enchantments

Anat Rosenberg, Kristof Smeyers, and Astrid Van den Bossche discuss the fresh historiographies of capitalism offered by studies of enchantment and magical thinking. They talk about their research network for scholars interested in the historical role of enchantment as a tool, structure, or foundation for the organization and the development of modern markets, economic institutions, and economic relationships.

Anat Rosenberg is a senior lecturer at the Harry Radzyner Law School, Reichman University, Israel. Her work concerns the cultural legal history of capitalism, liberalism and consumption in Britain, and methodologies of law and the humanities. She is author of Liberalizing Contracts: Nineteenth Century Promises Through Literature, Law and History (Routledge, 2017), and The Rise of Mass Advertising: Law, Enchantment and the Cultural Boundaries of British Modernity (Oxford UP, 2022).

Kristof Smeyers is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Ruusbroec Institute, University of Antwerp. His research interests are magic, the supernatural and the occult, and their connections to the histories of religion, science and folklore, as well as their historiography and their archive history.

Astrid Van den Bossche is Lecturer in Digital Marketing and Communications at the Department of Digital Humanities, King’s College London. She is particularly interested in scepticism and humour as forms of engagement with promotional culture, and the application of computational methods in historical studies.

The image for this episode is a Public Domain Image of Great Market Hall, Budapest