Jake Beckert (He/Him)

Doctoral Candidate
Jake Beckert, headshot

Contact Information

Smith 204E


M.A. Indiana University, 2020
B.A. Wisconsin Madison, 2014
Curriculum Vitae (298.31 KB)

I am a historian of Israel/Palestine and modern Jewish history. My research centers on economic development and investment in Jewish agriculture and industry in Mandatory Palestine in the 1920s and 1930s. In particular, I focus on investments from American and British Jews who identified as outside of the Zionist movement and claimed that their work in Palestine was purely “non-political.” These actors formed a development corporation called the Palestine Economic Corporation (PEC), which is the focus of my dissertation. My research aims to connect the PEC's leader's claims of “non-political” investment to broader discourses and practices of development, global capitalism, and scientific progress. Furthermore, I am to demonstrate how these “non-political” development efforts had a profound and lasting impact on the political situation in Palestine—ultimately serving the aims of the very political movements they claimed to be separate from.