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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  http://www.duq.edu/historyforum or call 412.396.6470.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.