History of Capitalism

Does capitalism have a history? If it does, why is it made to appear so natural and inevitable, as if it lacked one? This course focuses on the historical emergence and evolution of capitalism as an economic structure, an ideology, and even as a particular type of rationality. Students explore the different ways that scholars have approached capitalism as an object of historical analysis over the last century. Topics include the historical relationship between capitalism and racial slavery, the turn towards ‘neoliberalism’ in the 1970s, and the ways in which capitalism and the climate crisis have altered how historians approach the study of humans and the planet. By the end of the course students gain an understanding of capitalism as a historically situated and contingent phenomenon and are well positioned to imagine and shape new futures in critical relationship to its boundaries.

mens conscia recti

a mind aware of what is right