Jacob Bruggeman

Main Advisor: Professor Burgin, Professor Furstenberg

I am a historian of America in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries with interests in intellectual, cultural, economic history, and American political development. As a scholar-in-training at Hopkins, I am most interested in developing a broad research agenda that combines these methodological approaches to ask questions about how Americans viewed economic life, inequality, and poverty in the nineteenth century, about the shifting (and often overlapping) boundaries of the country’s economic and cultural geographies as industrialization and growth changed the landscape of nineteenth-century America, and about the American Midwest’s development as a region during this period.


I am the author of two forthcoming book chapters that ask questions along these lines, including “Things Seen and Heard: Regional Identity and History in Sigurd F. Olson’s Environmental Ethic,” forthcoming in Jon Lauck and Gleaves Whitney (eds.), The Northern Midwest and the US-Canadian Borderlands: Essays on a Lost Region (Michigan State University Press, 2020), and, with my Miami colleague Eric Rhodes, “From Crass Materialists to Missionaries of Culture: A Regional History of Cultural Ascendance and Economic Decline through the Cleveland Orchestra,” in Jon Lauck and Gleaves Whitney (eds.), Where East Meets (Mid)West: Exploring an American Regional Divide (Kent State University Press, 2021).


Before coming to Hopkins, I studied history and political science at Miami University in Ohio (B.A., M.A. ’19). Following graduation, I spent a year at Cambridge University, Darwin College, in the M.Phil. in economic and social history (M.Phil. ‘20), where I paused my training as an Americanist to write a dissertation on Margaret Thatcher’s speechmaking process in opposition. If seemingly unrelated to my research agenda as an Americanist, completing this dissertation equipped me to deal with sources central to intellectual history, like handwritten speech drafts and letters from advisers.


Aside from my scholarship, I am an editor of the Cleveland Review of Books and frequently write for popular audiences in publications like the Wall Street JournalUSA TODAYWashington TimesDetroit NewsCincinnati EnquirerColumbus Dispatch, The New Territory, and BELT Magazine. I’d be glad to connect via email or on Twitter.