DEREK HOFF

Curriculum Vitae

DEREK HOFF portrait
  • Associate Professor (Lecturer), Management Department

Teaching

Current Courses

Spring 2018

Fall 2017

Courses I Teach

  • BUS 3930 - History of American Business 20th Century .
    President Calvin Coolidge once said that the “chief business of the American people is business.” His statement does not necessarily mean that the history of the America is the history of American business, of course, but it does suggest that we will be examining topics central to the American past. The modern business corporation is a dominant institution in American life, and a historical perspective on it is essential for understanding contemporary American society. This course takes a broad approach to “business history.” It examines not only the obvious triumph of the corporation as the dominant form of business organization (and the more recent finance-ization of the American economy), and some of the iconic leaders in American business history, but also underlying economic trends and ideas, technological shifts, public policies, business–government relations and competing concepts of governance, the changing desires of individual Americans, the transformation of Americans into “citizen consumers,” and the difficulty of ensuring “security” for citizens in a market society. We will examine how patterns of domestic economic activity changed over time, how different forms of activity were sponsored and/or regulated by the state, how the U.S. deindustrialized and became a service economy after World War II, how both private and public life in America became reorganized around the maintenance of mass consumption, and various critiques of consumption and the twentieth-century mixed economy. Along the way we will examine the ideas and decisions of corporate managers, union leaders, interest groups, economists and other intellectuals, and elected officials.
  • HIST 1700 - American Civilization.
    HIST 1700 explores the emergence and development of the United States of America. It seeks to encompass the history of American culture, foreign relations, social movements, and economic, scientific, ecological, and technological developments, but its focus will be on the political battles—and the ideas about society, economy, and governance underneath them—that have defined the nation.
  • HIST 3910 - History of Global Capitalism .
    HIST 3910, The History of Global Capitalism, will be run as a combination seminar and lecture class. We will explore a topic of unparalleled importance: the evolution of capitalism in the past 500 years and — in merely the past half century — its nearly complete triumph around the globe as the dominant arrangement through which to organize societies. The study of capitalism attracts scholars from a wide variety of fields, so in this class you will encounter economic historians, intellectual historians, labor historians, sociologists, and political scientists — among others. We will study market dynamics; the histories of international trade, business actors from seventeenth-century Dutch traders to Henry Ford to Jack Ma, and the corporation and other forms of business operation; governance structures; social relations; and intellectual ideas about capitalism. The United States will certainly receive its fair share of attention, but the course seeks to offer a truly global history.
  • HIST 4390 - History of American Conservatism .
    The History of Conservatism in America will be run as a seminar, not a lecture class. Thus I expect everyone to do most of the reading most of the time, to read well, and to participate actively and thoughtfully. I am happy to have as many students as allowed, but if you not normally complete class readings on time, or do not like participating in class discussion, you may want to consider another class. I do not plan to give quizzes, but I reserve the right to do so if I feel that students are not reading adequately. We will trace the evolution of American conservative thought from the eighteenth century to the present day. Some guiding questions include: what is conservatism in the American context and how has it changed over time? What are the historical “problems” surrounding American conservatism? How does American conservatism differ from its European counterparts? What do traditionalists, neoconservatives, libertarians, and theocons have in common? Where do they disagree? As we explore these broad questions, we will study conservative and libertarian involvement in important historical movements such as the creation of the American nation, abolitionism, feminism, and anticommunism. We will also explore the conservative response to liberal moments such as the Progressivism, the New Deal, and the Great Society. Finally, we will explore contemporary conservative perspectives on assorted issues, including race relations, religion, foreign policy, abortion, the welfare state, and the presidencies of Clinton and Obama.
  • HIST 4740 - American Economic History .
    This class covers major topics in American economic history. We will review the economic history of early America, but our focus will be on the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Among the issues studied closely are the growth of the national economy in the Early Republic, slavery, the Civil War, the rise of big business, the growing role of the government in the economy in the Progressive Era, the Great Depression, the world wars, the long post–World War II boom and its end, class, race, and gender, and America’s shifting place in the global economy. No prior coursework in economics is required.
  • HONOR 2212 - American Institutions.
    HONOR 2212 explores the emergence and development of the United States of America. It seeks to encompass the history of American culture, foreign relations, social movements, and economic, scientific, ecological, and technological developments, but its focus will be on the political battles—and the ideas about society, economy, and governance underneath them—that have defined the nation.