Walter Licht

U.S., labor, and economic history
Walter H. Annenberg Professor of History
College Hall 315B
Office Hours: 
Wednesday, 1:30PM-3:00PM
Teaching Schedule: 
Mon./Wed. 12:00PM-1:00PM
215 898.5097

Walter Licht is Walter H. Annenberg Professor of History at the University of Pennsylvania. He received his B.A. degree from Harvard University, a Master's degree in Sociology from the University of Chicago, and a Master's and Ph.D. in History from Princeton University. Dr. Licht's expertise lies in the history of work and labor markets and he teaches courses in American economic and labor history.

His books include: Working For The Railroad: The Organization of Work in the Nineteenth Century (a 1983 Princeton University Press publication which received the Philip Taft Labor History Prize); the co-authored Work Sights: Industrial Philadelphia, 1890-1950 (Temple University Press, 1986); Getting Work: Philadelphia, 1840-1950 (Harvard University Press, 1992); Industrializing America: The Nineteenth Century (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1995); and the co-authored The Face of Decline: The Pennsylvania Anthracite Region in the Twentieth Century (Cornell University Press, 2005), recipient of the Merle Curti Prize of the Organization of American Historians for the best book published in American social history and the Philip S. Klein Prize of the Pennsylvania Historical Association.

Professor Licht began teaching at Penn in 1977. He has received the Ira Abrams Memorial Prize for Distinguished Teaching awarded by the School of Arts and Sciences of the University of Pennsylvania and many grants and fellowships to pursue his scholarly interests. Professor Licht has previously been Undergraduate Chair of the Department of History for four years, Graduate Chair for six, and Chair for three. He also served as Associate Dean in the School of Arts and Sciences for ten years, responsible for graduate education, social science departments, area studies programs, and research and education centers. He is currently Faculty Director of Civic House and the Penn Civic Scholars Program. Professor Licht is now working on a book entitled, American Capitalisms: A Global History.

Courses Taught: 
  • HIST 161 American Capitalism
  • HIST 204 Work and the Working Class in American History
  • HIST 204 West Philadelphia Community History
  • HIST 610 Issues in U.S. Industrial and Labor History
  • HIST 617 Readings in American Economic, Business, Industrial, and Labor Histories