Jacob Bruggeman

PhD Candidate, History

Jacob Bruggeman is a fourth-year PhD candidate in history at Johns Hopkins University. His dissertation examines the shifting practices and political commitments of computer hackers in US politics, from telephone hackers or “phone phreaks” in the 1970s to hacktivists during the dot-com boom in the late 1990s. Jacob is also conducting research for a history of the Free-Net, a movement for public and community-oriented computing in the 1980s and early 1990s.

At the SNF Agora Institute, Jacob helps run the Center for Economy and Society, a multidisciplinary research and teaching initiative. In spring 2023, he led the organization of two twenty-five person academic convenings for the Center, one on “Post-War Grand Economic Narratives,” held in New Orleans in January, and one on the “Political Ideologies of Silicon Valley,” held at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University. Jacob also facilitates the Center’s monthly policy roundtables in DC. Elsewhere at Hopkins, Jacob is the Research Coordinator and an Associate Fellow at Johns Hopkins’ Institute for Applied Economics, Global Health, and the Study of Business Enterprise.

Beyond the academy, Jacob writes regularly for newspapers and magazines on the intersection of history, politics, and economics on subjects including security leaks, Internet history, economic infrastructure, and higher education. This practice is informed by formative experiences in journalism and public policy, including an editorial fellowship at USA Today in 2019, an editorship at the Cleveland Review of Books from 2019 to the present, and a year as an township administrator in a 7,000-person town in southwestern Ohio from 2018 to 2019. Jacob’s popular writing can be found in a variety of newspapers and magazines, including the Wall Street Journal, The Nation, Chronicle of Higher Education, City Journal, USA TodayWashington TimesDetroit NewsCincinnati EnquirerColumbus Dispatch, and BELT Magazine.

Jacob received an M.A. in history from Hopkins in 2022, an M.Phil in Economy and Social History from Cambridge University, Darwin College, in 2020, and an M.A. in political science and a B.A. in history and political science from Miami University in 2019. You can find him on Twitter @jacob_bruggeman.