Walter Licht

Walter Licht

Walter H. Annenberg Professor of History Emeritus

U.S., labor, and economic history


College Hall 315B

Walter Licht is Walter H. Annenberg Professor of History Emeritus 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.


Ph.D. Princeton University

M.A. (Sociology) University of Chicago

B.A. Harvard University

Courses Taught

HIST 011 Deciphering America

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