Professor Valeonti

Department of Economics and Management

Professor Valeonti

When did you arrive at AUP?

I arrived at AUP in the Fall of 2021. Before that, I was at both the Sorbonne and Duke University, where I had been teaching, studying and writing on the economics of money and banking through a framework of the history of ideas and policy. One of the things that first drew me to AUP was its interdisciplinary approach to scholarship. I have always tried to blend disciplines in my own research, and I appreciate AUP’s attempt to build a strong interdisciplinary community. I was also attracted by the University’s international environment, especially given the American angle of my scholarship.

You trained as an economist, but you also have a historical focus. What form does this take?

I read and write about the history of political economy. I am particularly interested in the history of monetary ideas and policies in the United States in the 19th century. My research focuses on the interplay between economic theory and policy and visions of economic development in the context of the monetary policy debates of the US reconstruction period. The general aim of my scholarship is to shed light on the ideas behind the economic policies that built American capitalism.

How do you approach teaching in the classroom?

My practice is to teach the standard economics curriculum, but with added dashes of historical context. My history background helps me give students concrete examples in the classroom; in my introductory course on macroeconomics, for example, when we discuss the 2008–10 financial crisis, I offer historical precedents from similar periods of flexible exchange rates and international financial integration and discuss financial crises from earlier eras of globalization. I also like building links with other disciplines in which students have classes at AUP. For example, when introducing the notion of money in my macroeconomics class, I explain how anthropologists, legal scholars, historians and economists approach money from different perspectives.

What do you most value about your AUP experience?

Being at AUP offers unique opportunities to create classes in collaboration with faculty from different departments. For example: we are planning a class on the economics and literature of money and debt. I also prize the diversity of our community. I learn a lot from students and colleagues due to both their broad, interdisciplinary training and their cultural backgrounds. Such learning experiences are made possible in large part because the University itself is dedicated to an intimate learning environment, both in supporting academic exchanges between professors and in guaranteeing small class sizes. The fact that my classes have a maximum of 25 students in them provides a lot of space for me to personalize what I teach to students’ interests and needs.