Tuesday 30 November 17:00 - 18:30

Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre
SOAS University of London


The Penrose Lectures 2021


Please register to attend at SOAS or virtually through Zoom. Please note a reception follows the lecture at SOAS

Professor Mary O’Sullivan, University of Geneva will deliver two lectures:

Profit, Power and Patents in Late 18th Century Capitalism

5.00pm 30 November 2021, Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre and live stream via Zoom

Capitalism and Crisis: the Real Problem of the Great Depression

5.00pm 1 December 2021, Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre and live stream via Zoom

Mary A. O’Sullivan is Professor of Economic History at the University of Geneva in Switzerland. Her research focuses on the history of capitalism, with particular attention to enterprises, industries and financial institutions, as well as the history of economic thought with regard to profit, finance and capital. O’Sullivan was a Fellow of the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin for 2016-2017, she served as the president of the Business History Conference in 2017-2018 and she is a Research Member of the European Corporate Governance Institute.  She is currently working on a project on the history of profit and some of her recent publications on this theme are “The Intelligent Woman’s Guide to Capitalism”, Enterprise and Society, vol. 19, no. 4, Winter 2018 as well as “History as Heresy: Unlearning the Lessons of Economic Orthodoxy”, Economic History Review, 2021. Her most recent book, Dividends of Development: Securities Markets in the History of U.S. Capitalism, 1866-1922, published by Oxford University Press, was awarded the Alfred and Fay Chandler Book Award in Business History in 2019.

The Penrose Lectures

The Penrose Lectures were established in memory of Professor Edith Penrose who made an outstanding contribution to social science. Her work on innovation, international corporations, the theory of the firm, organisation and economic development has left a lasting legacy on the disciplines of economics and management. Penrose was also an inspirational teacher of students at all levels - undergraduate, postgraduate, PhD, MBA - and a major contributor to important public policy issues and debates. In keeping with her legacy, the Penrose Lectures have been established to honour her contribution. The lectures are held each year on a subject in economics, management or political economy. 

Edith Penrose

Edith Penrose was appointed to a Chair in Economics at SOAS in 1964 having previously held a joint  Readership in Economics at LSE and SOAS. After retiring from SOAS in 1978 she was appointed  Professor of Political Economy at INSEAD, Paris. As well as being  a pioneer in the disciplines of  economics and management, Penrose was also the first woman to hold a professorial position in economics at SOAS. In recognition of her work and legacy, the Penrose Lectures provide a platform for outstanding scholars to communicate their research work to faculty, students, practitioners and the wider public. A biography of Edith Penrose has been published by Oxford University Press: Penrose, A (2017) No Ordinary Woman: The Life of Edith Penrose, OUP, Oxford.

Virtual Event Access:

If you have registered to attend virtually you will receive a Zoom link a few days before the event. You will need to have a Zoom account to view this lecture. Please see further information regarding creating a Zoom account here.


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