Liat is a doctoral candidate in Harvard’s History Department with a twofold focus on industrial understandings of international economic space and the intersection of capitalism with design and fabrication technologies, especially in the U.S. and Germany. The former has led her to conduct research on topics ranging from the circulation and uses of nineteenth-century German economist Friedrich List’s National System of Political Economy by interest groups in the U.S. and British Empire to white-collar workers’ roles in fostering a complex of dependency relations within German railroad-building projects in Qing and Republican China. The latter has led her to investigate the politics of engineering and technocracy in Weimar and Nazi Germany as well as among Weimar émigrés (architects, engineers, and urban planners) who contributed to the New Deal and war-planning in the U.S.
Her dissertation, "Drawing Capital: Depiction, Machine Tools and the Political Economy of Industrial Knowledge, 1824-1914," analyzes shifts in class formation and the international technology trade via the practice of mechanical drawing and the commodification of technical knowledge in the capital goods sectors of Britain, France, the U.S., and Germany during the long nineteenth century.
Liat completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Chicago in 2012, receiving degrees in History and International Studies.