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History and Political Economy

An interdisciplinary research cluster under the auspices of the History Department

About the Cluster

We offer a forum for open, substantive discussions on the study of political economy from a historical and global perspective. We grapple with and benefit from epistemological diversity and insist on the centrality of the historical to understand the present and envision the future. Grounded in the urgency of the moment, we seek to put the local in productive, consistent, and grounded conversation with the global, from the campus of UCSB, to the realities of California and the United States, to the various sites we study in the Caribbean, Latin America, the Atlantic World, Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Europe from ancient times to the present. At each of these geographic and temporal junctures, we address the structural, institutional, cultural, and political underpinnings as well as the shared experiences of economic life. We are particularly interested in the relationship between asymmetries of power and how societies have created and distributed wealth. Accordingly, our research addresses questions of dispossession, debt, and racialization as well as production, accumulation, and power. Rooted in a sustained engagement with other disciplines including anthropology, political science, feminist studies, and critical legal studies, our scholarship aims to denaturalize and historicize money and markets, to trouble the perceived chasm between culture and economy, and to bridge the gap between research and action.

People in the Cluster


  • Utathya Chattopadhyaya
  • Alice O’Connor
  • Juan Cobo
  • Manuel Covo
  • Lisa Jacobson
  • Amanda Joyce Hall
  • Kate McDonald
  • Cecilia Mendez
  • Stephan Miescher
  • Katie Moore
  • Taylor Moore
  • Giuliana Perrone
  • Erika Rappaport
  • Luke Roberts
  • Adam Sabra
  • Sherene Seikaly
  • David Stein
  • Xiaowei Zheng

Graduate Students:

  • Kwabena Agyare
  • Kareem Abdelbary
  • Kashia Arnold
  • Nick Cohen
  • Wendy Cui
  • Camilla Falanesca
  • Isaac Miller
  • Andrea Serna
  • Abylay Stambayev

History and Political Economy Colloquium

History and Political Economy Colloquium Dates:


Fall 2023

October 13, “Austerity and Keynesianism” with Professor David Stein, UCSB.

November 3rd, “Markets and Borders” with Andrea Serna, Ph.d. candidate at UCSB. 

December 8, “What is Political Economy 2.0?”, workshop. 


Winter 2024

January 12, “The IMF and Social Protests” with Professor Christy Thornton, Johns Hopkins University. 

January 26, “Palestine and Political Economy” with Professor Sherene Seikaly, UCSB. 

February 23, “The Latin American Debt Crisis and the Washington Consensus” with Nick Cohen, Ph.d. candidate at UCSB

March 8, with Professor Ching Kwan Lee, UCLA 


Spring 2024: TBA



Fall 2022

October 21, “The Political Economy of Pleasure” with Professor Lisa Jacobson, UCSB. 


Winter 2023

January 27, “The Business of Pleasure” with Professor Erika Rappaport and Ph.d. candidate Julie Johnson, UCSB. 

March 10, “Abolition and Capitalism” with Professor Giuliana Perrone, UCSB. 


Spring 2023

April 7, “Intoxication and Political Economy” with Professor Utathya Chattopadhyaya, UCSB. 

April 21, “What is Political Economy?”, workshop coordinated by Ph.d. candidates Kareem Abdelbary, Tannishtha Bhattacharjee, and Isaac Miller. 

May 19, “Local Power, Empire and Political Economy” with Professor Adam Sabra, UCSB. 

June 9, “Money and the Early Modern State” with Professor Katie Moore, UCSB. 


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