Scholar. Writer. Teacher. Activist.

Natalia Mehlman Petrzela is a historian of contemporary American politics and culture. She is the author of Classroom Wars: Language, Sex, and the Making of Modern Political Culture (Oxford University Press, 2015), and the forthcoming FIT NATION: How America Embraced Exercise As The Government Abandoned It (University of Chicago Press). She is co-producer and host of the hit podcast WELCOME TO YOUR FANTASY, from Pineapple Street Studios and Gimlet, and the co-host of Past Present Podcast. Natalia is a frequent media guest expert, public speaker, and contributor to international and domestic news outlets, from the New York Times to the Washington Post to the Atlantic. She is Associate Professor of History at The New School, co-founded and directed the wellness education program Healthclass 2.0,  and a Premiere Leader of the mind-body practice intenSati. She holds a B.A. from Columbia and a master’s and Ph.D. from Stanford and lives with her husband and two children in New York City.



  • Upcoming...

    • September 30, 6-7:30 pm ET: Podcasting for PhDs with Latif Nasser, Sandra Lopez-Monsalve, and Andrew Viñales @ CUNY. Virtual +FREE, register here.
    • October 15, 11 am ET: “Collaboration” Roundtable @ The Humanities Podcasting Symposium. Virtual + FREE, register here.
    • October 20, 12:20 pm ET, Boston (in person): “The Making of the American Fit Nation” at Boston University Political History Seminar