Next UM President’s Lecture to Highlight ‘The Ups and Downs of Capitalism’

March 04, 2015

MISSOULA – A distinguished speaker, historian and professor will deliver the next installment of the 2014-15 President’s Lecture Series at the University of Montana.

Joyce Appleby, professor emerita in the UCLA department of history, will present “The Ups and Downs of Capitalism” at 8 p.m. Monday, March 16, in the Dennison Theatre. The event is the Lucile Speer Memorial Lecture in collaboration with the Phi Beta Kappa Association of Montana.

Appleby also will lead a seminar earlier that day, titled “How Europeans Became Curious,” from 3:10 to 4:30 p.m. in Gallagher Business Building Room 123. The lecture and seminar are free and open to the public.

Appleby graduated from Stanford University in 1950 and then worked as a journalist for several years. In 1966, she received her doctorate degree in history from the Claremont Graduate School. From 1967 to 1981, she taught at San Diego State University. She was appointed professor of history at UCLA in 1981 and taught there until her retirement in 2001.

Her research and teaching interests encompass early American history, 17th- and 18th-century England and France, historiography, economic history and the history of women. Appleby’s 2011 book, “The Relentless Revolution: A History of Capitalism,” outlines the decisive effects of economic forces in history. Her lecture at UM will highlight the historical context and current manifestations of the modern world’s love-hate relationship with capitalism.

Appleby has had a career replete with the highest honors that the history profession can bestow. From 1977 to 1978, she was a Fellow Commoner at Churchill College, Cambridge, England. In 1980, she was named to the council of the Institute of Early American History and Culture at Williamsburg, serving as chair from 1983 to 1986. She also served on the editorial boards of the American Historical Review and the William and Mary Quarterly. In 1984 Appleby delivered the Becker lectures at Cornell University. From 1990 to 1991, she was the Harmsworth Professor of American History at Oxford University and a fellow of Queens’ College. In 1991, she served as the president of the Organization of American Historians and in 1997 as the president of the American Historical Association. 

In retirement Appleby remains a prolific researcher and editor. Among her many professional activities, she co-directs the History News Service with James Banner, an informal association that distributes op-ed essays to more than 300 newspapers weekly. She writes op-ed essays and dedicates much time to the living wage movement in Los Angeles.

The President’s Lecture Series at UM consists of 10 talks on vital topics by distinguished guest speakers throughout the academic year. For more information on the series, visit or call UM history Professor Richard Drake at 406-243-2981.

Contact: Richard Drake, UM history professor and lecture series organizer, 406-243-2981,