Introduction: Keith Robben

Hey Everyone! My name is Keith Robben and I am a rising senior studying Mathematics and Economics. This summer I will be studying, with the help of my research mentor Prof. Leslie Hammond, the ways in which the Industrial Revolution shaped both the political theory and practice of anarchism. More specifically, I will be applying the tools of economics and economic history in order to provide a (hopefully interesting!) answer to this question.

Who Cares? You Should

But why should you care? The Industrial Revolution happened 200 years ago and (although Pittsburgh plays a prominent role in anarchist history) you’ve probably never met an anarchist in your life! First and foremost you should care because the Industrial Rev. was, arguably, the most important event in human history:

Same old… Same old… Boom!

The Industrial Rev., and the massive increase in productivity which came with it, allowed for all of the standard of living improvements (universal running water, electricity, trains, automobiles…) which we take for granted today. But, if you were looking carefully at that chart, you would have noticed that the Industrial Rev. did not only shape economic life, but political life as well. That’s what I will be studying, and anarchism’s extreme skepticism about politics is the perfect lens through which to study it.

A Little About Me

My plan for the future, as of now, is to get a P.H.D in Economics and then bounce around academia and the private sector. I hope that the Brackenridge gives me the opportunity to experience the research process which could help me decide if that plan is right for me and, if it is, help me achieve that goal.

Something interesting/fun to know about me is that I spent my junior year (this previous year) studying abroad in England, at the London School of Economics. This was Pitt’s first time sending students to the LSE and it was an amazing experience. The classes were incredible, and London is one of the greatest cities in the world. If any of you have a chance to study abroad, do it, and do it for a full year. It’s so worth it.

Can’t wait to find out what you guys will be up to this summer!

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Bill Batt says:

    Keith, I’m pleased to see your interest, as many economics departments don’t provide a history of economics at all! I am a retired academic, now in my 80s, but still serving on three nonprofit boards that subscribe to the Georgist school of thought. One Pittsburgh colleague also an acolyte has a website, I’m guessing you know something about Georgism. I encourage you to link with us more closely; I think you will find it rewarding. Best wishes. B.

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