Graduate Student


Tim Barker

PhD Candidate in History

Tim BarkerHow to Pay for the War: The Political Economy of Military Keynesianism in the United States, 1945-1979

Tim studies modern U.S. history, with a focus on the connections between ideology, political economy, and social science. Current research interests include the political career of macroeconomics, competing conceptions of planning and the market, and the relationship between radical and mainstream social thought. 


Aaron Bekemeyer

PhD Candidate in History

Aaron BekemeyerThe Labor of Law Enforcement: Police Work and Political Economy in the United States after World War II

Aaron studies the history of American capitalism in the 20th century.  His dissertation examines the police union movement in the United States after World War II, exploring how police officers have organized to shape the labor movement, the carceral state, and American political economy since the 1960s. 


Chambi Chachage

PhD Candidate

A Capitalizing City: Dar es Salaam and the Emergence of an African Entrepreneurial Elite (c. 1862-2015)

Chambi is a PhD student in African Studies with a primary field in History. His research interests include: ‘Religion and the Reproduction of Educated Elites in Africa’; ‘Comparative History of Capitalism and Militarism in Eastern and Southern Africa’; ‘Regional Formation, Land Formalization and Identity Formulation in Post-Socialist Tanzania’. 


Joan Chaker

PhD Candidate in History

Muleteers as Bandits and Mutineers: Global Capital and Social Transformation in the Ottoman Countryside

Joan Chaker is a Ph.D. candidate in the History Department at Harvard University who works on the intersection of Ottoman history and the global history of capitalism. She holds an M.Sc. in Economics from the London School of Economics and an M.A. in History from the American University of Beirut, where she focused on the Ottoman tobacco market. In a previous incarnation, Joan worked as a money markets trader at ABN AMRO Bank in Amsterdam. Her current research interests also include the constitutional law of money. 


Balraj Gill

The Politics of Confinement: Indigenous Homelands, Imperial Duress, and Incarceration in the Deep North Borderlands

Balraj's interests include 19th-century U.S. history, slavery and capitalism, class formation, women’s history, and the history of universities. She is part of the Harvard and Slavery Research Project, which seeks to uncover and raise awareness about the historical relationship between Harvard and slavery. 


Samantha Payne

PhD Candidate in History

The Last Atlantic Revolution: Emancipation and Reconstruction in the U.S. and Latin America 

Samantha's research interests include the comparative history of slavery and emancipation, race, Atlantic history, and the history of capitalism. 

Summer Shafer

The Political Economy of "Natural" Disasters: The Galveston Hurricane of 1900 and the Mississippi Flood of 1927

Liat Spiro

PhD Candidate in History

Drawing Capital: Depiction, Machine Tools and the Political Economy of Industrial Knowledge, 1824-1914

Liat's work focuses on industrial understandings of international economic space and the intersection of capitalism with design and fabrication technologies, especially in the U.S. and Germany. 


Rachel Steely

PhD Candidate in History
Weatherhead Center for International Affairs Graduate Student Associate

The Golden Revolution: The Geopolitics of Global Soy Frontiers in the Twentieth Century

Rachel is a PhD Candidate in History and a scholar of the history of capitalism and commodities. Her research examines the political economy and political ecology of commodity frontiers, and her dissertation is an examination of the geopolitics of the global expansion of soybean frontiers across the twentieth century.