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In my dissertation, Factories of Modernity: Labor, Aesthetics, and the Racial Logics of Historical Capitalism, I reimagine the factory as a historical form of capitalist production whose influence on modern political ideas about labor, aesthetics, and race predates and outlasts the heyday of industrial manufacturing in the nineteenth century. By reconstructing the emergence of the factory system in the British Empire from 1692 to 1807, as well as its recent reincarnation in the high-tech economy, the project offers a new account of capitalist modernity—its political, cultural, and economic lives—through the factory’s pre-industrial dawn and postindustrial afterlife.

My dissertation is supervised by Patchen Markell, Jennifer Pitts, Sankar Muthu, and Paul Cheney (History).

If you would like to read a longer proposal, please email me: lucaspinheiro [at] uchicago [dot] edu


Joseph Wright of Derby, Arkwright’s Cotton Mills by Night (Oil on Canvas, 1782)