Professor Regina Lee Blaszczyk


I joined the School of History as Professor of Business History and Leadership Chair in the History of Business and Society in February 2013. I received my PhD from the Hagley Program in the History of Capitalism, Technology, and Culture at the University of Delaware.  My career has included jobs as a cultural history curator at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History in Washington, DC; as an American Studies professor at Boston University; and as director of the Beckman Center for the History of Chemistry at the Chemical Heritage Foundation (now the Science History Institute) in Philadelphia.

From 2005 to 2012, I was a visiting professor at the University of Pennsylvania while working on several heritage projects, including the 100th anniversary of Rohm and Haas, a Fortune 500 chemical company that is now part of DowDuPont, and the centennial of the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Delaware. Here at Leeds, I have collaborated with the Marks and Spencer Company Archive, the on-campus repository for M&S, the high-street giant, and with Abraham Moon and Sons, a heritage tweed mill serving global brands from Chanel to Tommy Hilfiger.  I enjoy collaborating with museums and have recently contributed to exhibition catalogues at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, and the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) in London. I am currently advising the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) on an exhibition on The Home of the Future. 

Research interests

My research and writing focuses on the cultural history of business, with reference to design, the fashion system, colour, retailing, marketing, and advertising. My work connects the history of the creative industries to big historical themes such as globalisation, material life and social identity, and consumer culture. I also write about connections between the global chemical industry, the chemical engineering profession, and the creative sector, and about the history of technology.  My most recent anthology, Capitalism and the Senses, co-edited with David Suisman, explores the importance of sensory experience to twentieth-century American capitalism.  My current book project, The Synthetics Revolution, examines the transnational history of fibers, fabrics, and fashions, with reference to the little-understood roles of product development, marketing, and sensory experience in the rayon age of the interwar years and the synthetics boom of the postwar era. 

I am committed to publishing books that address important historical themes, while being written in clear, concise prose that can be enjoyed by academics and general readers alike. I believe that historians must not only dig through the archives for new evidence, but they must also focus on good writing and tell engaging stories. I have published 13 books and numerous articles, book chapters, and reviews; I have also edited 2 special issues of journals.

Blaszczyk book covers

Award-winning publications

Fashionability: Abraham Moon and the Creation of British Cloth for the Global Market (2017)

     * Costume Society of America, Millia Davenport Publication Prize, 2018

The Color Revolution (2012)

      * Society for the History of Technology, Sally Hacker Prize for Exceptional Scholarship that Reaches Beyond the Academy, 2013

      * American Institute of Graphic Arts, Best of New England Design Award, 2013

      * Designers & Books, Notable Books of 2012

      * Women’s Wear Daily, Top Bookings for the Holidays, 2012

      * Wall Street Journal, Best Business Books of 2012

Producing Fashion: Commerce, Culture, and Consumers (2008)

       * Association of American University Presses, Best of the Best Prize, 2008

Imagining Consumers: Design and Innovation from Wedgwood to Corning (2000)

       * Business History Conference, Hagley Prize for the Best Book in Business History, 2001

       * American Library Association, Choice Outstanding Academic Title, 2001

       * Design History Society (UK), Scholarship Award (UK), finalist, 2001


<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • PhD, University of Delaware
  • MA, University of Delaware
  • MA, George Washington University
  • BA, Marlboro College

Professional memberships

  • Business History Conference (USA)
  • Association of Dress Historians (UK)
  • Pasold Research Fund for Textile History (UK)