History

     Caitlin Rosenthal, Professor

Tracing the Origins of Business Expertise: Slavery and Scientific Management

Closed. This professor is continuing with Spring 2014 apprentices on this project; no new apprentices needed for Fall 2014.

Most histories of management focus on businesses that employed free labor, looking closely at the factories of England and New England. I am currently working on a book project on the development of new business practices on slave plantations in the American South and the West Indies. The study aims to explore the impact of these practices on the lives of enslaved men and women as well as the ways forced labor shaped the coming of American capitalism.


Depending on the skills and interests of the student, likely tasks would include:
- tracing historical individuals in the US census
- locating and reviewing historical documents both online and in manuscript form
- inputting and analyzing data, generating illustrative charts
- background research collecting and analyzing relevant books and articles
- assisting with composition of text and footnotes

The apprentice will gain familiarity with literature on the origins of management practices as well as the nature of Atlantic slavery and the day to day life of enslaved men and women. The student would also learn about the process of conducting and analyzing historical documents. Depending on interests and skills, he or she could also build quantitative skills relating to the analysis of historical data.


Qualifications: The applicant should be interested in the topic and open to learning to use both library resources and online historical databases such as America's Historical Newspapers, the Proquest, the US Census via Ancestry.com, and various other repositories of letters, account books, and annual reports.

Data collection from these sources will require basic skills using Microsoft Excel, however extensive previous experience is unnecessary and designing and learning to use these tools will be part of the experience. More extensive quantitative work would be possible for an applicant with knowledge of STATA.

Weekly Hours: 3-6 hrs

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Crowd-Funding Art: The Case of the American Art-Union

Closed. This professor is continuing with Spring 2014 apprentices on this project; no new apprentices needed for Fall 2014.

The project explores the dazzling but short-lived success of the American Art-Union. Founded in 1839, the Union used a lottery to fund the purchase and distribution of paintings. At its peak in 1849, its advertised the distribution of 1000 “works of art” among to more than 18,000 subscribers. The Art-Union's brief dominance stimulated the production of new genres of art and brought new consumers of moderate means into art markets that had previously been too expensive for them to enter.

Qualifications: Depending on the skills and interests of the student, likely tasks would include: - tracing historical individuals in the US census - inputting and analyzing data, generating illustrative charts and maps on the geographic distribution of the Art-Union's members - quantitative skills and knowledge of how to use STATA or GIS are welcome but not required - background research collecting and analyzing relevant books and articles - fact-checking footnotes to prepare article for submission

The apprentice will gain familiarity with the art-union movement and the business history of art. The student will also learn about the process of collecting and analyzing historical documents. Depending on interests and skills, he or she could also build quantitative skills relating to the analysis of historical data.

Weekly Hours: 3-6 hrs


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