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Richard Sylla, Henry Kaufman Professor of The History of Financial Institutions and Markets and Professor of Economics, Department of Economics, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, New York University


The financial crisis and the ensuing economic recession of 2007–2009 serve to remind us that such crises and downturns have been recurring events in American history. They have occurred on average once every fifteen to twenty years since 1789. In this seminar we will study the causes of some major financial crises—those of 1792, 1837–1839, 1873, 1893–1895, 1907, 1929–1933, 1989–1990, and 2007–2009—and will explore the social, political, and economic consequences of the crises. We will discuss the typical pattern of most of the crises, differences among them, and issues such as whether legislative and regulatory responses to a crisis make subsequent crises more or less likely. Participants will gain a better understanding of the complexities of our financial system, how it developed over two centuries, and how periodically it has crashed on the rocks of excessive risk taking and speculation.


Readings are sent by the Institute to seminar participants. Readings may include:

Bruner, Robert, and Sean Carr. The Panic of 1907: Lessons from the Market’s Perfect Storm. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 2007.

Kindleberger, Charles P., and Robert Aliber. Manias, Panics, and Crashes: A History of Financial Crises. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 2005.

Sylla, Richard, Robert E. Wright, and David J. Cowen. “Alexander Hamilton: Central Banker: Crisis Management during the US Financial Panic of 1792.” Business History Review 83 (2009).

Travel & Accommodations

There are several options for traveling to and from New York City. New York University (NYU) is located at Washington Square Park in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of the borough of Manhattan. For travel directions and a campus map, visit the New York University website. As parking is not available on campus, participants who drive will need to park in public parking lots.

Workshop participants will be housed in on-campus residence halls. Participants will have their own room, but share bathrooms and common space on each floor. Participants should plan to bring laptops, as computer access on campus will be limited.

The university provides basic bedding and towels only. Please note that participants should plan to bring alarm clocks, shower shoes, hangers, irons, and hair dryers. There are a few communal kitchenettes located in the building but not within each suite. However, participants should bring their own utensils. Housekeeping services are provided throughout the week.


Meals will be served in a university cafeteria in space shared by other programs. All on-campus meals will be paid for by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.

Travel Reimbursement

Participants are responsible for making their own travel arrangements to and from the seminar. Each seminar participant will receive reimbursement of travel expenses up to $400. Please read our complete travel reimbursement policy before applying.

Graduate Credit

The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History is proud to announce its agreement with Adams State University to offer three hours of graduate credit in American history to participating seminar teachers. For more information click here.

Course Reviews from Summer 2013 Participants

“Professor Sylla was amazing and the master teacher was truly helpful as well. I can’t emphasize just how much I gained in regards to content from the course. The amount of detail and depth that Prof. Sylla was able to convey was astounding. The guided field trips were also useful in terms of gaining additional context/understanding. I am extremely humbled to have been a part of such an amazing program.”


Email the Teacher Seminars department or call 646-366-9666.

July 20th, 2014 5:00 PM   through   July 26th, 2014 9:00 AM
New York University
New York, NY
United States

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Seminar Fee
Attending $50.00
Not Attending $0.00

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