Enterprising Cultures

How does personal identity shape our lives as entrepreneurs, workers, and consumers in a thoroughly business-oriented society?

Students in classroomExplore American capitalism across three centuries to better understand contemporary barriers and opportunities. Discover how entrepreneurs, firms, financiers, managers, workers, and consumers of all kinds have understood, misunderstood, and navigated the nation’s evolving business culture.

You can expect to:

  • Develop skills in analyzing historical artifacts, especially primary documents, and reaching informed conclusions about those artifacts.
  • Learn how culture, social structure, diversity, or other key elements of historical context have an impact on individual perception, action, and values.
  • Hone analysis, discussion, and writing skills.
  • Work in teams to interpret and present findings about the evolution of U.S. business and business culture.

Community Course

HIST136 – Moneyland: Business in American Culture. Explores how and why Americans have excelled at commerce, industry, and services while our cultural leaders and tastemakers - ministers, novelists, playwrights, cartoonists, public intellectuals, movie producers - often have criticized firms and business leaders of being avaricious, anti-social, dehumanizing, and undemocratic. (3 credit course, fulfills General Education requirements of I-Series and History and Social Sciences)

Instructor

Image of David Sicilia Professor David Sicilia is an Associate Professor in the Department of History and the Henry Kaufman Fellow in Business History at the Robert H. Smith School of Business, and leads the Enterprising Cultures community.  He has taught at College Park since 1994.  Author or co-author of many articles and six books on business and economic history, he has lectured and appeared on major media outlets in Asia, Latin America, and Europe, and was a Fulbright Teacher-Scholar at the Copenhagen Business School. 

His current book projects explore the transfer of technology to and within East Asia at the turn of the twentieth century and the international development of modern public relations after World War II.