Alastair Su, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of History

Office Location

Deane Hall 207

Office Available

Only by appointment. 


United States History, History of Capitalism


Alastair Su is a historian who specializes in the political economy of early America. His current book project, Flowering Gold: American Capital and the Opium War, is a study of the nineteenth-century American opium trade to China. Its central thesis is that Americans inadvertently helped to precipitate the Opium War and suffered a devastating financial crisis when the drug was prohibited by Chinese officials during the spring of 1839. At Westmont, Dr. Su teaches lower-division surveys on California and United States history, and runs seminars on Capitalism and Christianity, the Civil War and Reconstruction, and the US and the World. 

Dr. Su graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Harvard College in 2014 and earned his doctorate at Stanford University in 2021, where his dissertation won the Elizabeth Spilman Rosenfield Prize. His research has received awards from the American Council of Learned Societies, the Organization of American Historians, and the John E. Rovensky Fellowship in Business and Economic History.