Beasley Image

Trained in U.S. political, social, and cultural history, the history of capitalism, the history of the U.S. and the world, urban studies, and gender and sexuality studies, I am a historian with an interdisciplinary methodology drawing from geography, political science, and urban theory.  My scholarship focuses on how global flows of capital affect political and social developments as well as how intellectual and cultural beliefs about the economy have engendered material effects at home and abroad. I earned my PhD in American Studies from Yale University, and I am Assistant Professor of American Studies at the University of Texas at Austin.

My first project, Expert Capital: Houston and the Making of a Service Empire, is under contract with Harvard University Press. The book examines the cultural, political, and economic development of the globally integrated economy through the lens of the oilfield services industry, focusing on companies including Brown & Root, Schlumberger, and Hughes Tool.  Tracing both the material developments that established Houston as a global center of petrochemical services and the emerging cultural vision that imagined the U.S. as a global service headquarters, my dissertation charts the promotion, contestation, and negotiation of what I call “service globalism” at home and abroad.  Read more about my research.

I hold a B.A. in history from the University of Georgia and an M.S. in Urban Affairs from Hunter College of the City University of New York.  Before attending Yale, I worked at an urban nonprofit in New York City.  I am a recipient of the Miller Center National Fellowship from the University of Virginia, the John E. Rovensky Fellowship in U.S. Business and Economic History, and a Postdoctoral Fellowship from the Mahindra Humanities Center at Harvard University. In addition, my work has been supported with funding from the American Historical Association, the New Orleans Center for the Global South at Tulane University, the Coca-Cola World Fund, and multiple research libraries.

I also co-host Who Makes Cents: A History of Capitalism Podcast with David Stein.

For more information, please click the links above or contact me directly.