|Timothy L. Alborn
Department of History
City University of New York
250 Bedford Park Blvd West, Bronx, NY 10468
telephone: 718-960-8675 (O); 718-440-9869 (H)
Professor of History, Lehman College, 2010-present
Associate Professor of History, Lehman College, 2003-2009
Assistant Professor of History, Lehman College, 1999-2002
Adjunct Professor of Business, University of Puget Sound, fall 1998
Associate Professor of History and Social Studies, Harvard University, 1996-98
Assistant Professor of History and Social Studies, Harvard University, 1991-96
Dean, Division of Arts and Humanities, Lehman College, 2009-present
Chair, Department of History, Lehman College, 2005-2009
Department of History, Graduate Center, City University of New York, 2000-present
Masters Program in Liberal Studies, Graduate Center, CUNY, 1999-present
Doctor of Philosophy, Harvard University 1991. History of Science.
Dissertation: "The Other Economists: Science and Commercial Culture in Victorian England." Fields in Science and Religion, History of Biology, and History of Economic Thought
Bachelor of Arts, Harvard College 1986. Summa cum laude in history and science.
Academic and Professional Honors
American Council of Learned Societies, Charles Ryskamp Fellowship, 2004-2005.
National Endowment for the Humanities "Extending the Reach" Fellowship, Spring 2001
Regulated Lives: Life Insurance and British Society, 1840-1920. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2009
Conceiving Companies: Joint-Stock Politics in Victorian England. London: Routledge, 1998
Articles and chapters
“Dirty Laundry: Exposing Bad Behavior in Life Insurance Trials, 1830-1890.” In Margot Finn, Michael Lobban, and Jenny Bourne Taylor (eds.), Spurious Issues: Legitimacy in Law, Literature, and History, 1680-1900 (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010), 148-172
“Economics and Business.” In Francis O’Gorman (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Victorian Culture (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010), 61-79
“Capital/Credit.” In Jeffrey Schnapp (ed.), Speed Limits. Milan: Skira, 2009), pp. 114-121
"Quill-driving: British Life Insurance Clerks and Occupational Mobility, 1800-1914," Business History Review 82 (2008): 31-58
"Normal Bodies, Normal Prices: Interdisciplinarity in Victorian Life Insurance," Romanticism and Victorianism on the Net no. 49 (February 2008). Accessible at http://www.ron.umontreal.ca/
"A License to Bet: Life Insurance and the Gambling Act in the British Courts," Connecticut Insurance Law Review 14 (2008): 1-20. Republished in Geoffrey Clarke (ed.), The Appeal of Insurance (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2010), 107-126
"'A Useful Lesson of Contentment': Pedagogies of Failure in Mid-Victorian Market Culture." In Martin Daunton and Frank Trentmann (eds.), Worlds of Political Economy: Knowledge and Power in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004), pp. 95-114
"Postnational Insurance on the Eve of Destruction," Connecticut Insurance Law Review 10 (2003): 73-101
"The First Fund Managers: Life Insurance Bonuses in Victorian Britain," Victorian Studies 45 (2002): 67-92. Revised version in Nancy Henry and Cannon Schmitt (eds.), Victorian Investments: New Perspectives on Finance and Culture (Indiana: Indiana University Press, 2008), pp. 58-78
"Senses of Belonging: The Politics of Working-Class Insurance in Britain, 1880-1914," Journal of Modern History 73 (2001): 561-602
"Insurance against Germ Theory: Commerce and Conservatism in Late-Victorian Medicine," Bulletin of the History of Medicine 75 (2001): 406-445
"Boys to Men: Moral Restraint at Haileybury College." In Brian Dolan (ed.), Malthus, Medicine and Morality: 'Malthusianism' after 1798 (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2000), pp. 33-55
"Age and Empire in the Indian Census," Journal of Interdisciplinary History 30 (1999): 61-89
"Coin and Country: Visions of Civilisation in the British Recoinage Debate, 1867-1894," Journal of Victorian Culture 3 (1998): 252-281
"Persuading by the Numbers: The Balance Sheet in Late Victorian Financial Journalism," in John Davis (ed.), New Economics and its Writing (Durham: Duke University Press, 1998), 212-230
"The Business of Induction: Industry and Genius in the Language of British Scientific Reform, 1820-1840," History of Science 34 (1996): 191-221
"The Moral of the Failed Bank: Professional Plots in the Victorian Money Market," Victorian Studies 38 (1995): 199-225
"A Plague upon your House: Epidemic Disease and Commercial Crisis in Victorian England," in Sabine Maason, Everett Mendelsohn, and Peter Weingart (eds.), Biology as Society, Society as Biology: Metaphors (London: Kluwer, 1995), 281-310
"A Calculating Profession: Victorian Actuaries among the Statisticians," Science in Context 7 (1994): 433-468. Also published in Michael Power (ed.), Accounting and Science: Natural Inquiry and Commercial Reason (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996), pp. 81-119
"Economic Man, Economic Machine: Images of Circulation in the Victorian Money Market," in Philip Mirowski (ed.), Natural Images in Economics: Markets Read in Tooth and Claw (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994), 173-196
"Commercial Therapeutics and the Banking Profession in early Victorian England," Perspectives on the History of Economic Thought 4 (1990): 105-116
"Thomas Chalmers's Theology of Economics," Perspectives on the History of Economic Thought 3 (1990): 29-39
"Negotiating Notation: Chemical Symbols and British Society, 1831-1835," Annals of Science 46 (1989): 437-460
"Peirce's Evolutionary Logic: Continuity, Indeterminacy, and the Natural Order," Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 25 (1989): 1-28
"The 'End of Natural Philosophy' Revisited: Varieties of Scientific Discovery," Nuncius: Annali di Storia della Scienza 3 (1988): 228-250
Thomas A. Stapleford, The Cost of Living in America: A Political History of Economic Statistics, 1880-2000. Forthcoming in Isis
James Taylor, Creating Capitalism: Joint-Stock Enterprise in British Politics, 1800-1870. Victorian Studies 50 (2007): 147-149
H.V. Bowen, The Business of Empire: The East India Company and Imperial Britain, 1756-1833. Journal of Economic History 67 (2007): 254-256
Jo Anne Yates, Structuring the Information Age: Life Insurance and Technology in the Twentieth Century. Journal of Interdisciplinary History 37 (2007): 482-484
"Were the Victorians ever Modern?" (essay review of Richard Price, British Society 1680-1880). Journal of Victorian Culture 12 (2006): 154-160
Robin Pearson, Insuring the Industrial Revolution. Business History Review 79 (2005): 442-444
Simon Cordery, British Friendly Societies, 1750-1914. Victorian Studies 46 (2004): 104-105
Tom Baker and Jonathan Simon, eds. Embracing Risk: The Changing Culture of Insurance and Responsibility. In Journal of Interdisciplinary History 33 (2003): 602-604
Regenia Gagnier, The Insatiability of Human Wants: Economics and Aesthetics in Market Society (essay review). In Victorian Studies 44 (2002): 639-646
Clive Trebilcock, Phoenix Assurance and the Development of British Insurance. In Connecticut Insurance Law Journal 7 (2001): 307-313
Ron Harris, Industrializing English Law. Posted on EH-Net [economic history], June 2001
Geoffrey Clark, Betting on Lives: The Culture of Life Insurance in England 1695-1775. In Business History Review 74 (2000): 541-543
Laurie Dennett, A Sense of Security: 150 Years of Prudential. In Business History Review 73 (1999): 568-570
Mary Poovey, A History of the Modern Fact. Posted on EH.NET, September 1999
Jonathan Boswell and James Peters, Capitalism in Contention: Business Leaders and Political Economy in Modern Britain. In Journal of Interdisciplinary History 30 (1999): 317-319
Kristine Bruland and Patrick O'Brien (eds.), From Family Firms to Corporate Capitalism. In Business History Review 72 (1998): 331-332
Theodore Porter, Trust in Numbers and M. Norton Wise, ed., The Values of Precision. In Technology and Culture 38 (1997): 259-261
Youssef Cassis, City Bankers 1880-1914. In Victorian Studies 39 (1996): 426-427
Richard Yeo, Defining Science. In Metascience n.s. 5 (1994): 22-24
"The Invisible Agenda of The Invisible Hand " (essay review of B. Ingrao and M. Israel, The Invisible Hand: Economic Equilibrium in the History of Science). In Research in the History of Economic Thought and Methodology 12 (1994): 130-137
M. Bulmer, K. Bales and K.K. Sklar (eds.), The Social Survey in Historical Perspective 1880-1940. In Victorian Studies 36 (1993): 496-497
Albert Moyer, A Scientist's Voice in American Culture: Simon Newcomb and the Rhetoric of Science. In Science 258 (1992): 333-334
Ian Hacking, The Taming of Chance. In Isis 83 (1992): 366-367
Philip Mirowski, More Heat than Light. Economics as Social Physics: Physics as Nature's Economics. In Isis 82 (1991): 258-259
Robert Richards, Darwin and the Emergence of Evolutionary Theories of Mind and Behavior. In Journal of the History of Biology 22 (1989): 361-367
Encyclopedia and dictionary entries
Article on “Empires” in Roland Robertson and Jan Aart Scholte (eds.), Encyclopedia of Globalization (New York: Routledge, 2007), 377-381
Articles on Sir John Lubbock (Lord Avebury), Sir John William Lubbock, and Joseph Fletcher, The New Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford University Press).
Articles on business and corporate structure, the census, empire, gold rushes, gold standard, insurance, and railways. In James Eli Adams, ed., Encyclopedia of the Victorian Era (Danbury, CT: Grolier Academic Reference, 2004), I: 186-189, 221-224; II: 58-62, 167-170, 273-275; III: 297-300.
Entries on James W. Gilbart and James Wilson, The Biographical Dictionary of British Economists (Bristol, UK: Thoemmes Press, 2004)
Works in progress
Before the Gold Rush: Britain’s Most Precious Metal, 1750-1850. Book manuscript on the scientific, cultural and monetary history of gold in Great Britain during the century before the gold rushes of 1849-52.
“Money and the Problem of Value,” in Martin Hewitt (ed.), The Victorian World (forthcoming, Routledge).
“An Irish El Dorado: The Victorian Rediscovery of Gold in County Wicklow,” under review, Journal of British Studies.
Selected Conference and Colloquium Papers
“Retrospecting: Seeking Gold in Online Databases,” North American Conference on British Studies, Louisville, November 2009
“The Perverse Economics of Life Insurance Insolvency in Nineteenth-Century England,” invited lecture, Wharton School of Business, October 2009
“An Irish El Dorado: The Victorian Rediscovery of Gold in County Wicklow,” Conference on “Victorian Disruptions,” University of South Carolina, October 2008 (plenary address)
"Fraudulent Self-Murder: Contesting Suicide Claims in Victorian Life Insurance," North American Conference on British Studies, San Francisco, November 2007
"Life Insurance and Multiple Modernities in the Nineteenth Century," Mellon conference on Economic Modernization, Yale University, September 2007. Also delivered at Center for Humanities at Temple, October 2007
"Interrogating the Body: The Prosecution of Victorian Insurance Examinations," North American Victorian Studies Association annual conference, Purdue University, August 2006
"Victorian Collaborations," keynote presentation, Northeast Victorian Studies Association annual conference, Washington, DC, April 2005
"Dirty Laundry: Exposing Bad Behaviour in Life Insurance Trials, 1830-1890," invited presentation for the conference Legitimacy & Illegitimacy: Law, Literature & History, c. 1780-1914, Huntington Library, Pasadena, CA, January 2005
"Quantifying the White Man's Burden: Vital Statistics and Insurance in British India," Northeast Conference on British Studies, Tufts University, November 2003
"The Thrift Wars: Savings Banks and Life Assurance in Victorian Britain." International Economic History Society conference, Buenos Aires, July 2002
"Time's Thievish Progress: Anglo-American Finance and the End of Atonement, 1850-1870," Royal Historical Society conference "On Time", Liverpool, UK, September 1999
"Insurance against Germ Theory: Commerce and Conservatism in Late-Victorian Medicine", Society for the Social History of Medicine conference on "Medical Professionals: Identities, Interests And Ideology", Glasgow, UK, July 1999
"'A Real Salvation Army': Late-Victorian Insurance Salesmen In and Out of Uniform," Victorian Studies conference on "Wealth, Poverty and the Victorians", Leeds, UK, July 1999
"Providence Postponed: Gambling, Luxury and Late-Victorian Life Assurance," Monetary History Group seminar, London, UK, November 1998
"Wasted Work: Doctors and Bodies in Early Victorian Life Insurance," History of Science Society Annual Meeting, Kansas City, MO, October 1998
"Two Kinds of Compulsion: National Insurance and the Market Ideal in Britain, 1900-1920," North American Conference on British Studies, Monterey, CA, October 1997
"Unco-operative Friendly Societies: Destabilizing the Local in British Vital Statistics, 1780-1860," Joint conference of the History of Science Society and the British Society for the History of Science, Edinburgh, UK, July 1996
"Malthus and the Moral Restraint of East India Patronage," Interdisciplinary Nineteenth Century Studies conference on "The Nineteenth Century City: Global Contexts, Local Productions", Santa Cruz, CA, April 1995
"Private Finance, Public Science: J.W. Lubbock and the Antinomies of Scientific Reform in the 1830s," presented at the conference "Science and British Culture in the 1830s," Trinity College Cambridge, July 1994
Related professional experience
I have refereed articles for Victorian Studies, Journal of Victorian Culture, Business History, Business History Review, Victorian Literature and Culture, Nineteenth Century Contexts, and Social History of Medicine and book manuscripts for Harvard University Press, University of Chicago Press, Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press, and Pickering and Chatto.
I have served on grant panels for the National Endowment for the Humanities in 2003 and 2008, for the Council on European Studies in 2007, and as a referee for the National Science Foundation in 1996.
Gale Digital Collections
Member, Advisory Board, 19th Century UK Periodicals
Center for European Studies, Harvard University
Associate, 1996-1999. Member, Steering Committee, 1997-98. Chair, Study Group on Politics and Enterprise in Europe, 1998
Forum for History of Human Science
Vice Chair, 1995-1999; Member, Steering Committee, 1988-90.
The Forum was established in 1988 within the History of Science Society to facilitate discourse among various subdisciplines within the history of human sciences.
Department of History, Lehman College, City University of New York
Undergraduate and MA-level courses on modern European history, British history, European imperialism, research methods, history of science, and American business history
City University of New York Graduate Center
Faculty member, Ph.D. program in History; seminars on Modern British History; Literature of Modern European History; research paper workshop.
Faculty member, MA program on Liberal Studies; seminars on Science and Society and The Enlightenment
School of Business and Public Administration, University of Puget Sound
Taught "Personal and Professional Ethics" to undergraduate business majors, as part of the university's "Comparative Values" program.
Department of History, Harvard University
Undergraduate lecture courses on British economic history, 1750-1914, British history 1688-1783, and nineteenth-century Britain; undergraduate seminars on Western intellectual history, modern British historiography, and the British empire. Supervised reading and qualifying exams with graduate students, 1995-98.
Committee on Degrees in Social Studies, Harvard College
Sophomore tutorial section, introductory course on European social thought (Social Studies 10); junior tutorial on law and society (Britain and the United States). Advised senior theses on legal positivism, critical race theory, the sociology of leisure, and medical sociology.
Department of Economics, Harvard University
Supervisor, dissertation on the Economics of the Family in Victorian England (defended Oct. 1995).
Committee on Degrees in History and Science, Harvard College.
Individual tutoring, juniors and seniors, 1987-1992; section leader, Epidemic Disease and Society, fall 1988 (taught by B.G. Rosenkrantz and A. Brandt); planned and taught junior seminar on Science and Imperialism, 1750-1900, spring 1989.
Committee on Degrees in History and Literature, Harvard College.
Planned and co-taught sophomore tutorial, 1989-1990: Selected themes in English and American history and literature.
City University of New York Graduate Center, Department of History
Member, Executive Committee, 2002-2004, 2005-2008.
Responsible for final curricular and faculty appointment decisions, and student appeals. Helped draft Departmental self-study, 2008.
Member, Admissions Committee, 2001-2002, 2008.
Member, committees to evaluate qualifying examinations, dissertation proposals, and dissertations, 2001-present.
Member, sub-committee of History Dept. chairs on CUNY IRB policies
Lehman College, City University of New York
Dean, Division of Arts and Humanities, 2009-present
Responsible for administering ten departments (African & African American Studies, Art, English, History, Journalism Communications & Theatre, Languages & Literatures, Latin American Studies, Music, Philosophy, Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences)
Chair, Department of History, 2005-2009
Ran searches for three tenure-track professors and one lecturer
Supervised revision of curriculum in undergraduate major and MA program
Responsible for appointment of part-time faculty
Chaired departmental personnel and budget committee
Served on college promotion committee (Spring 2007) and college tenure
Member, search committees, 2009-10:
Dean of Continuing Education
Associate Director of Online Education
Professor of African History (African and African American Studies)
Member, Student Evaluation of Teaching committee, 2008-10
Member, search committees, 2006-7:
Grants office associate director
Professor of Social Studies Education (Dept. of Middle and High School Education)
Professor of African History (African and African American Studies)
Member, Senate Committee on Graduate Studies, 2006-9 (chair, 2007-9)
Responsible for assessing and recommending curricular changes and new programs
Member, student appeals subcommittee
Member, Bell Schedule Committee, 2006-7
Responsible for revising schedule of classes at Lehman to enable a more efficient use of classroom space and to better accommodate student demand
Member, Advisement Scheduling Committee, 2005-present
Responsible for setting summer advising hours
Area 6 Liaison, General Education Advisory Council, 2005-8
Responsible for approving new distribution area courses
Responsible for setting curricular parameters in general education program
Active participation in biannual workshops
Participant, Bridging the Colleges (monthly workshop sponsored by Lehman, Bronx Community, and Hostos Community Colleges), 2005-2006.
Monthly workshops on common curricular concerns across the colleges
Observed classes taught at Hostos and Bronx Community Colleges
Presented findings at General Education Symposium, Queensborough CC
Member, committee for rolling out Turn-It-In.Com, Fall 2005.
Member, Professional Education Advisory Council, 2001-4
Discusses strategies for complying with NCATE certification
Member, Senate Committee on Campus Life and Facilities, 2001-4
Responsible for responding to student and faculty concerns regarding student activities, space, and buildings and grounds.
Committee on Degrees in Social Studies, Harvard College
Assistant head tutor, 1993-94
Responsible for co-ordinating senior thesis advising
Head of junior tutorial, 1995-98
Responsible for assigning tutorials and advising juniors in the concentration.
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