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Sven Beckert

Faculty Associate


Sven Beckert

Sven Beckert is the Laird Bell Professor of American History at Harvard University. 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 authored The Empire of Cotton: A Global History (Knopf, 2014). the first global history of the nineteenth century’s most important commodity. The book won the Bancroft Award, The Philip Taft Award, the Cundill Recognition for Excellence and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. 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, Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University