Jeremy Zallen

JJeremy Zalleneremy Zallen is a graduate student in the History Department. He received his BA from Stanford University in History in 2007. Jeremy works on the social and environmental history of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, with particular interests in the lived experiences and politics of free and enslaved labor in North America and the Atlantic world. He is currently completing his dissertation, "American Lucifers: Makers and Masters of the Means of Light, 1750-1900," which examines the production and consumption of the means of light from the colonial period to the end of the nineteenth century. Ranging from the whale fishery to street lamps, slave-worked turpentine camps to the copper mines of Butte, the dissertation reconstructs the ground-level experiences and struggles of the living (and dying) bringers of lights—those American lucifers—and the worlds they made in the process. The result is a new history of space, energy, and labor that shows clearly the coercive, often hidden, engines of exploitation and accumulation that have driven over two centuries of social "progress" in illumination.

Email: jzallen@fas.harvard.edu