Rudi Batzell

Rudi Batzell

Assistant Professor of History



Nineteenth Century United States history
Political Economy
Global and Comparative History
State Formation and Politics
Protest and Social Movements
Japanese and British Economic and Social History


PhD Harvard University
MPhil Cambridge University
BA Columbia University

Courses Taught

HIST 200 “Foundations of the American Republic”
HIST 290 “Capitalism: A Global History, 1600-present”
HIST 319: “Protest and Police in U.S. History”
HIST 201: “Modern America”

Senior Thesis Advising

Primary Adviser for Robert Ledniczky, Senior Thesis in History, Harvard (2015-16): “Whispering Secrets: Special Branch Intelligence Reports and the Creation of Knowledge in the British Empire during the Malayan and Kenyan Emergencies, 1948-1960.”

Primary Adviser for William Stemberg, Senior Thesis in Social Studies, Harvard (2013-2014): “Stewards of Our Nation’s Capital: Financial Crises, Popular Politics, and the Demise of the New York Clearing House, 1873-1896.” Thesis received Harvard’s Thomas T. Hoopes Prize.

Book Project

Reconstructing Global Capitalism: Class, Corporations, and the Rise of Welfare States, 1870-1930 (in process).


Rudi Batzell, “Free Labour, Capitalism, and the Anti-slavery Origins of Chinese Exclusion in California in the 1870’s,” Past and Present vol. 255 (November, 2014): 143-186.  

Rudi Batzell, “The Labor of Social Reproduction: Household Work and Gendered Power in the History of Capitalism, 1870-1930,” Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era 15(2016): 310-330.

Conference Papers

“Power, Work and the History of Capitalism” Round Table panel on “Historians of Capitalism and Labor - A Conversation” Organization of American Historians, April 2018.

“Terrains of Inequality and (Re)Production: Proprietary Firms and Patriarchal Households, Steel and Port Cities in the 1870s” American Historical Association, January 2017.  

“Reclaiming the Streets, Reordering the Home: Police, Schools, Social Workers and the Rise of Welfare States in the US and UK, 1880-1920” Organization of American Historians, April 2017.  

“Terrains of Inequality and Work: Patriarchal Households and Proprietary Firms, 1870” Class Politics and Society, New York University, May 2016.  

“The Labor of Capitalist Social Reproduction: Households, Gender, and Power in the Political Economy of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era” Social Science History Conference, November 2015.  

“The Global Reconstruction of Capitalism: Class, Corporations and the Rise of Welfare States” New Pathways in the History of Political Economy, Cambridge University, January 2015.  

“Neighborhood Networks and Working-Class Collective Action in the Mid-Victorian City: Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Sheffield and Liverpool” How Class Works 2014, SUNY Stony Brook, June 2014.  

“The Outrages of Working-Class Life: Space, Culture and Power in Mid-Victorian Sheffield and Liverpool” Social Science History Conference, November 2012.  

“The Remaking of the English Ruling Class: Capitalist Class Formation in Sheffield and Liverpool, 1860-1930” Social Science History Conference, November, 2011.  

“Making Class in San Francisco: Working Class Rowdies, Gentlemen of Taste and the Rise of the Workingmen’s Party in the 1870s” Social Science History Conference, October 2009.

Fellowships, Scholarships and Research Funding

John E. Rovensky Fellowship in U.S. Business or Economic History (2015-2016)

Thomas Cochran Dissertation Fellowship in Economic and Business History (2014-2015)

Tobin Project Fellow, Democracy and Markets Network (2013-2014)

Alfred D. Chandler Travel Research Grant, Harvard Business School (2013)

Harvard Presidential Scholarship (2011-2013)

Ellen McArthur Research Grant in Economic and Social History, Cambridge History Faculty (2010)

Euretta J. Kellett Fellowship, Columbia University, graduate study at Cambridge University (2009-2011)

Beinecke Scholar, Sperry Fund (2008-2013)

Edwin Robbins Research Fellowship, Columbia History Department (Summer 2008)

Prize Research Fellow, Institute for Religion, Culture and Public Life at Columbia University(Summer 2008)

Gilder Lehrman History Scholar, Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History (Summer 2007)

Academic Prizes

Political Economy Prize – Best student paper on the history of capitalism. Program on the Study of Capitalism (2011-12)

Albert Marion Elsberg Prize – Excellence in Modern History for senior thesis in history, Columbia University History Department: “Confronting Capitalism in 1870s

California: The Workingmen’s Party, Antislavery, Anti-Chinese Racism and the Meaning of Free Labor” (2009)

Early Induction into the Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society (January 2008)

Galbraith Inequality Scholars, Harvard Kennedy School, for under-represented students in the social sciences (Summer 2007)