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Global Urban History Project

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Betsy Beasley
Basic Information
The University of Texas at Austin
Assistant Professor
16 Lake Street #1

Arlington, MA  

Additional Information
About My Work
My current book project weaves together two stories: how Houston, Texas, transformed from a city organized around the extraction and refining of oil to a city powered by the white-collar oil services industry; and how oilfield services companies’ business strategies forged a new idea of American global power for a postcolonial era. As the headquarters of the largest oilfield services companies including Brown & Root, Baker Hughes, Halliburton, and Schlumberger, Houston became the international capital of expert capital. As the oil industry grew more globally dispersed, Houston shifted from being a node in a regional oil network to being a transnational center, connected directly through finance and expertise with oil-producing nations around the globe. For employees of these companies, building a postindustrial city at home and building a growing client base overseas were part of the same project.
Expert Capital: Houston and the Making of a Service Empire (book manuscript, forthcoming)

“Service Learning: Oil, International Education, and Texas’ Corporate Cold War,” forthcoming, Diplomatic History.

“Wildcat: Outsourcing, Expertise, and Oil in Postwar Houston,” forthcoming in volume Working for Oil:
Comparative Social Histories of Labour in Petroleum (Palgrave MacMillan), edited by Touraj Atabaki, Kaveh Ehsani, and Elisabetta Bini.

“Fighting for a Radical City: Student Protesters and the Politics of Space in 1960s and 1970s Downtown
Manhattan.” Urban History Review 37:2 (March 2009): 6-17.
Professional Associations
Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations
Urban History Association
Business History Association