MARY A. O’SULLIVAN is Professor of Economic History at the University of Geneva in Switzerland. Her research focuses on the history of capitalism and the history of economic thought with a particular interest in profit, work, wages and technology, and capital. O’Sullivan was a Fellow of the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin for 2016-2017, and a member of its Beirat (scientific board) from 2017 to 2023. She served as the president of the Business History Conference in 2017-2018 and her 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. O’Sullivan was invited to give the Eli F. Heckscher Lecture at the Stockholm School of Economics in 2019, the Tawney Lecture to the Economic History Society in 2021, as well as the Penrose Lectures at SOAS University of London in 2021. Her current research focuses on the history of profit and she was recently awarded an SNSF Advanced Grant for a 5-year research project, The Fabric of Profit: European Textiles in Global Perspective, 1750-1850, which will run from June 1st, 2023 – May 31st, 2028




LORENZO AVELLINO is a post-doctoral researcher at the Paul Bairoch Institute of Economic History at the University of Geneva. His research interests include labour history, the history of political economy, the history of technology and the history of textiles. In 2023, he defended his doctoral thesis in economic and social history at the University of Geneva, co-directed with the Università degli studi di Milano, and entitled : "On the misunderstood meaning of Freedom": labour, quality and theft in Lombard silk manufacturing, 17601860. He is particularly interested in the influence of “economic enlightenment” on economic policies in the Duchy of Milan, on fraudulent practices by textile capitalists and workers, as well as on silk quality and techniques for measuring and controlling it.



Léa.jpgLEA MEYER is a Ph.D. candidate in Economic and Social History at the Paul Bairoch Institute of Economic History of the University of Geneva under the supervision of Mary O’Sullivan. She obtained a Master’s degree in Political Economy of Capitalism in 2023 from the University of Geneva. Her research focuses on the European wool industry from a global perspective during an important period of transformation from 1750 to 1850. She is also interested in the organization and dynamics of commodity chains and their relationship with the distribution of profits and wages within and across state




1699042469371.jpgFELIPE SOUZA MELO is a post-doctoral researcher at the Paul Bairoch Institute of Economic History at the University of Geneva. He holds a Ph.D. in history and civilization from the European University Institute (2023) and a master's degree in economic history from the University of São Paulo (2017). He is broadly interested with the history of the production, marketing, shipping, and consumption of raw cotton in the early modern period. He works specifically with the mercantile groups in the Atlantic that made possible the transfer of cotton to Europe. He is also interested in the mechanisms used by merchants to commercialize cotton textiles in the Atlantic markets.

Contact: fabric-of-profit [at]