Scholar. Writer. Teacher. Activist.

Natalia Mehlman Petrzela, Ph.D. is a historian of contemporary American politics and culture and is currently writing a book on American fitness culture, FIT NATION: How America Embraced Exercise As The Government Abandoned It (under contract with University of Chicago Press). She is the author of Classroom Wars: Language, Sex, and the Making of Modern Political Culture (Oxford 2015), co-host of Past Present Podcast, the creator and host of a soon-to-be-released History Channel web series, a frequent media guest expert, speaker at universities and conferences, and contributor to national and local news outlets. Natalia is Associate Professor of History at The New School, a co-founder of wellness education program Healthclass 2.0 and a Premiere Leader of intenSati. She holds a B.A. from Columbia and a master’s and Ph.D. from Stanford and is based in New York City.


  • Upcoming...

    • November 9-10, Chicago: Sport, Fitness, and Free Market Anti-Intellectual Ideologies in the Late 20th-century United States + Trumpian Themes in Context. Society for U.S. Intellectual History Annual Meeting.
    • November 12, Philadelphia: Researching and Writing CLASSROOM WARS, University of Pennsylvania.