Skip to content


Sven Beckert

Sven Beckert is the Laird Bell Professor of American History at Harvard. 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 just completed The Empire of Cotton: A Global History, the first global history of the nineteenth century’s most important commodity. Beckert teaches courses on the history of American capitalism, Gilded Age America, the political economy of modern capitalism, labor history, global capitalism, and the history of European capitalism. Beckert is co-chair of the Program on the Study of Capitalism at Harvard University, and co-chair of the Weatherhead Initiative on Global History (WIGH).


  • Laird Bell Professor of American History, Harvard University
  • Faculty Associate, CES, Harvard University