Laird Bell Professor of History
Sven Beckert is Laird Bell Professor of History at Harvard University, where he researches and teaches the history of the United States in the nineteenth century, with a particular emphasis on the history of capitalism, including its economic, social, political and transnational dimensions. He recently published Empire of Cotton: A Global History, the first global history of the nineteenth century’s most important commodity. The book, which has been translated into ten languages, won the Bancroft Award, the Alfred D. Chandler Award, the Philip Taft Award, the Cundill Recognition for Excellence, the Premio Internazionale Cherasco Storia, and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. The New York Times named it one of the ten most important books of 2015. His other publications have focused on the nineteenth-century bourgeoisie, on labor, on democracy, on global history and on the connections between slavery and capitalism. They include American Capitalism: New Histories (with Chris Desan) and Slavery's Capitalism: A New History of American Economic Development (with Seth Rockman). Currently he is at work on a global history of capitalism. Beckert teaches courses on the political economy of modern capitalism, the history of American capitalism, Gilded Age America, labor history, global capitalism and the history of European capitalism.