Caitlin C. Rosenthal

Assistant Professor
Office Hours: 
On Leave for Spring 2018
2225 Dwinelle

PhD, Harvard University, History of American Civilization AM, Harvard University, History

BA, Rice University, Political Science, summa cum laude

Research Interests: 

I am a historian of 18th and 19th century U.S. history. My research focuses on the development of management practices, especially those based on data analysis. Methodolotically, I seek to blend qualitative and quantitative methods and to combine insights from business history, economic history, and labor history.  

My first book, Accounting for Slavery: Masters and Management will be published by Harvard University Press in July 2018. The book explores the development of business practices on slave plantations and uses this history to understand the relationship between violence and innovation. 

Before coming to Berkeley, I was the Newcomen Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard Business School, and before that I worked as a consultant with McKinsey & Company. My work is motivated by the hope that histories of management can highlight enduring political and ethical questions that continue to face modern businesspeople.

Selected Fellowships and Awards
American Cultures Innovation in Teaching Prize 2016
Townsend Center for the Humanities Fellowship 2016-2017
Stanford Humanities Center Fellowship 2016-2017 (declined)
Krooss Dissertation Prize in Business History 2013
Finalist for the Allan Nevins Prize in American Economic History 2013
Finalist for the SHEAR Dissertation Prize  2013
Harvard-Newcomen Fellow in Business History, Harvard Business School 2012-2013
Ira Unschuld Fellowship at the John Carter Brown Library 2012
Thomas Cochran Fellowship in Business and Economic History 2010-2011
American Antiquarian Society Botein Residential Research Fellowship in Book History 2010
PEAES Fellowship at the Library Company of Philadelphia 2010
Representative Publications: 


"Numbers for the Innumerate: Everyday Arithmetic and Atlantic Capitalism," Technology & Culture (April 2017)

"Seeking a Quantitative Middle Ground: Reflections on Methods and Opportunities in Economic History," Journal of the Early Republic (Winter 2016)

“Slavery’s Scientific Management: Accounting for Mastery.” Slavery's Capitalism.  Eds. Seth Rockman, S. Beckert, and D. Waldstreicher. University of Pennsylvania Press

"In the Money: Finance, Freedom, and American Capitalism," American Quarterly (March 2016)

"From Memory to Mastery: Accounting for Control in America, 1750-1880," Enterprise & Society (December 2013)

“Storybook-keepers: Numbers and Narratives in Nineteenth-Century America,” Common-Place (April 2012)

“Fundamental Freedom or Fringe Benefit: Rice University and the Evolution of Academic Tenure, 1935-1963,” Journal of Academic Freedom (2011)

Other writing and research profiles

"Abolition as Market Regulation," reply to Walter Johnson in the Boston Review (2017)

“Big Data in the Age of the Telegraph,” McKinsey Quarterly (Q1 2013)

“The long, controversial history of for-profit education,” Bloomberg Echoes (October 2012)

Interviews and press coverage

"Plantations Practiced Modern Management," Harvard Business Review (September 2013)

"The Messy Link Between Slave Owners and Modern Management,"HBS Working Knowledge (January 2013)