Charles Petersen is a Ph.D. candidate in American Studies at Harvard University. As a 2019-20 National Fellow, Charles’ dream mentor was Elizabeth Blackmar, professor of history at Columbia University. In August 2020, he will defend his dissertation titled, “Meritocracy in America, 1930-2000,” and begin a postdoctoral fellowship in history as a Klarman Fellow in the Society of Fellows at Cornell University. He also works as a journalist and critic, writing for the New York Times, the Nation, and the New York Review of Books. Petersen has been an editor at n+1 magazine since 2007.