Shaun S. Nichols is College Fellow in History at Harvard University, where his research and teaching center on the history of capitalism, immigration, and labor in the United States and the world. His current book project, Crisis Capital: Industrial Massachusetts and the Making of Global Capitalism, 1813-Present (abstract), explores the ways in which Massachusetts business, labor, and government leaders sought to manipulate the global geographies of migrant labor and mobile capital to continually rebuild the state's economy in the face of recurrent economic crisis. Ultimately, it argues that while these practices of leveraging crisis, pro-growth state policy, and the lure of cheap labor into renewed economic growth catalyzed important bursts of growth and re-accumulation, these short-term tactics of "crisis capital" re-industrialization also unintentionally helped undermine these areas' long-term prosperity, actuating an ever-worsening cycle of economic calamity that has subsequently been reproduced in numerous global economies.
Dr. Nichols also serves as a concentration advisor in the Quincy Undergraduate House, was previously an Associate of the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, and was also a visiting fellow at the International Institute of Social History in Amsterdam. He has written book reviews for journals such as the Business History Review and Labour/Le Travail and has co-authored a book on the teaching of business history around the world. In addition, Nichols has taught or developed courses on topics ranging from immigration history and American intellectual history to the history of global capitalism and the global working class.
Nichols received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 2016, where he worked with Sven Beckert, Lizabeth Cohen, and James Kloppenberg. He received his B.A. in 2010 from Western Washington University in Bellingham, where he worked with Chris Friday, A. Ricardo Lopez, George Mariz, and Johann Neem.