Ruth Oldenziel

Membership:  2016

Member Bio

Ruth Oldenziel was a fellow in 2016 with a stipend provided by the Society of Fellows. She was previously also a Carson fellow from August 2013 to January 2014, and a Visiting Scholar from August 2014 to January 2015 and August 2015 to November 2015.
Ruth Oldenziel has published widely in the areas of American, gender, and technology studies. She is a scholar of American-European history at the Eindhoven University of Technology, where she spearheaded its sustainability agenda by helping integrate research, education, and campus management into a living lab. Trained at Smith College at the University of Massachusetts and Yale University, where she received her PhD in American history, she is interested in how people re-appropriate material objects into their daily lives. Her book with Mikael Hård, Consumers, Users, Rebels, was published with Palgrave (October 2013). In recent years, she has focused on the history of cycling to understand how a technology that was once new turned into a symbol of backwardness and poverty in the 1940s, before being embraced as the ultimate tool for sustainability in the last decades.


  • with Adri A. de la Bruhèze. “Bicycle Taxes as Tools of Policy, 1890–2012.” In Re/Cycling Histories: Paths to Sustainability, edited by Ruth Oldenziel and Helmut Trischler. London: Berghahn, forthcoming.
  • with Adri A. de la Bruhèze. “Contested Spaces: Bicycle Lanes in Urban Europe, 1900–1995.” Transfers 1, no. 2 (2011): 31–49.
  • with Heiker Weber. “Introduction: Recycling Reconsidered.” Contemporary European History 22, no. 3 (2013): 347–370.
  • with Milena Veenis. “The Glass Recycling Container in the Netherlands: Symbol in Times of Shortages and Abundance, 1939–1978.” Journal of Contemporary European History 22, no. 3 (2013): 453–476.
  • Re/Cycling Histories: Paths towards Sustainability, edited by Ruth Oldenziel and Helmut Trischler. The Environment in History: International Perspectives. London: Berghahn, forthcoming.