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    Since When Is Bankruptcy a Crime? Duquesne Forum Takes a Look

    With continuing global economic struggles headlining the news, this year's Duquesne University History Forum will take a look back at the early history of bankruptcy. Dr. Julie Hardwick will present Hanging Bankrupts: The Early History of Credit, Crime and Capitalism on Thursday, Sept. 20, at 7:30 p.m. in the Africa Room of the Union.

    The event is free and open to the public, and a reception will follow.

    The lecture will address how bankruptcy became a capital crime-a felony punishable by death-in France in the late 1500s. Other European countries enacted similar laws as governments attempted to manage the rapid expansion of credit. Hardwick will explain how the security of the rights of creditors was essential to transformation of the economy known today as capitalism. She also will discuss how expanded use of credit presented commercial opportunity, financial peril and legal jeopardy.

    Hardwick is a history professor and the director of the Institute for Historical Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. She has published two books: Family Business: Litigation and the Political Economies of Daily Life in 17th-Century France, and The Practice of Patriarchy: Gender and the Politics of Household Authority in Early Modern France.

    The Department of History's annual forum has provided a venue for scholars to address topics of civic and academic interest for more than four decades. Attendance satisfies Act 48 credit requirements.

    For more information, visit or call 412.396.6470.

    Duquesne University

    Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic research universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. The University is nationally ranked by U.S. News and World Report and the Princeton Review for its rich academic programs in nine schools of study for nearly 10,000 graduate and undergraduate students, and by the Washington Monthly for service and contributing to students' social mobility. Duquesne is a member of the U.S. President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction for its contributions to Pittsburgh and communities around the globe. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Princeton Review's Guide to Green Colleges acknowledge Duquesne's commitment to sustainability.