Affiliate(s): Southwestern Social Science Association

With an audience of more than 200 professors and students packing a ballroom at the Austin Hyatt Regency, Dr. Anne McCants delivered the plenary address “History and Social Science in an Age of Uncertainty” during the association’s 97th annual meeting in April. Focusing on how the humanities and social sciences help us understand everyday life in the past and give us insight into our many challenges in the present, the talk drew widespread praise for its breadth, analytical depth, and humor.

Dr. McCants is a Margaret MacVicar Faculty Fellow and Professor of History at MIT, with research and teaching interests in the economic and social history of the Middle Ages and Early Modern Europe, as well as in the application of social science research methods across the disciplines.  She is the author of Civic Charity in a Golden Age: Orphan Care in Early Modern Amsterdam (1997), and numerous articles that range across her research interests in historical demography, material culture, early modern trade and consumption, the provision of charity, and the standard of living in the Dutch Republic.

This work has appeared in the Economic History Review, Explorations in Economic History, Family History, Historical Methods, the Journal of Economic History, the Journal of Interdisciplinary History, the Journal of World History, Social Science History, and the Oxford Handbook of Early Modern European History. She received her PhD in History from the University of California at Berkeley.