Matthew A. Hall

Professional Information

I am currently completing my doctorate in European history at the University of California, San Diego. My dissertation is titled “'The Free Council-Republic!' Coal Mining, Politics, and Revolution in Germany’s Ruhr Industrial Region, 1905-1920" and examines the political history of the Ruhr region's coal miners' between the general strike of 1905 and the "Ruhr War" of 1920. I examine the relationship between the miners' working conditions and their demands for a more democratic economic order, first in the German Empire and then—after World War I and the 1918 German Revolution—in the new Weimar Republic. I plan to defend in 2023.

In addition to my current research interests, I am interested in the wider history of the European labor movement, especially the relationship between it and the contemporary anarchist, Christian, liberal, and socialist political movements. I have taught courses on European intellectual history, European colonialism and imperialism, and European political history between 1919 and 1945. I have also been a teaching assistant for a range of historical subjects, as well as for the interdisciplinary Revelle College Humanities Writing Program at UC San Diego, which deals with not only history but literature and philosophy. At heart, I am interested in all parts of history and actually started out wanting to be a Medievalist, so any part of the past is exciting for me to study.

As an instructor, I do my best to engage with all the students in my classes, recognizing that such engagement will probably vary from one student to the next. I offer varied assignments that try to reach different learning styles, including digital tools like Northwestern University's KnightLab programs. I also focus on developing both writing and research skills that are useful across disciplines and outside of academia, emphasizing the need to think historically about our world. Finally, as a working labor historian, I am sensitive to the complex lives that undergraduate students lead. I do my best to accommodate all students in a fair way to ensure they achieve their educational goals.

I am a native Kentuckian and Appalachian. I completed my BA at Murray State University in 2011 and my MA at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, in 2014, both in history. I currently live in San Diego with my wife Courtney and our two large cats.