Caitlin C. Rosenthal

Assistant Professor
Office Hours: 
On Leave for Spring 2018
2225 Dwinelle
(510) 642-5524

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

BA, Rice University, Political Science, summa cum laude

Research Interests: 

Caitlin Rosenthal is a historian of 18th and 19th century U.S. history. Her work focuses on the development of management practices and seeks to blend methods and insights from business history, economic history, and labor history.  Her current book project, tentatively titled Accounting for Slavery: Mastery, Management, and American Capitalism (under contract at Harvard University Press) investigates the complex relationship between slavery and capitalism in American history. Traditional narratives in business and economic history begin in the factories of England and New England, extending only much later to the American South. Accounting for Slavery begins instead, on West Indian sugar plantations in the late eighteenth century, comparing the development of business practices there to traiditonal landmarks in business history including scientific management and the multidivisional corporation.


Selected Fellowships and Awards
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: Evderyday Arithmetic and Atlantic Capitalism," Technology & Culture (April 2017)

“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, a peer-reviewed publication of the AAUP (2011)

Other writings and research profiles

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

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

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

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