Jo Guldi

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About Me

I am an assistant professor of history at Brown University.  Born in Dallas, Texas, I received my AB from Harvard University, and then studied at Trinity College, Cambridge before completing my PhD in History at the University of California, Berkeley, after which I continued on to postdocs at the University of Chicago and the Harvard Society of Fellows.  

I specialize in the history of capitalism, land use, and the design of computational tools for visualizing large numbers of texts, for instance, Paper Machines, released in 2012-3 with the collaboration of Christopher Johnson-Roberson.

My next monograph, The Long Land War, will tell the story of international land reform movements from the Irish land war to Movimiento sin Tierra, lingering on legal reformers and civil servants, London's dredlocked squatters and their accidental influence on World Bank Policy, and the genesis of participatory mapping from Georgist uprisings through radical coders in contemporary Chennai.   

My first book, Roads to Power (Harvard University Press, 2011), tells the story of how Britain built the first nation connected by infrastructure and technology caused strangers to stop speaking on the public street.

"If anyone doubts the power of infrastructure investment to change the course of a nation, they have only to read Roads to Power. Required for those who aim to shape the 21st century."

-- Tim O'Reilly, O'Reilly Media

"In its masterful integration of technological and political history, this book provides an original, lucid, and exceptionally well-written study of an important episode in the modern co-evolution of transportation infrastructure and government power."

--Rosalind Williams, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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