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Kathryn Steen, PhD

Associate Professor
Department of History
Office: 5012 MacAlister
Mailbox: 3025 MacAlister
Phone: 215.895.6615

Additional Sites:


  • BA, History and Economics, Luther College
  • MA, Hagley Program, History of Technology, University of Delaware
  • PhD, Hagley Program, History of Technology, University of Delaware

Research Interests:

  • History of technology
  • Comparative industrialization and transnational history
  • Business history


My interests center on technology in the history of business and industry, and I especially concentrate on the relations between government and industry. Comparative history is an excellent way to see how different cultural values and institutions influence similar developments in different places and times, and I use comparative history extensively in my teaching and research. In a related vein, I am also very interested in the flow of technological ideas and expertise across national borders, primarily in U.S. and European history since 1800. For details, see my homepage:

Teaching Awards

2014 Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching
The university-wide senior faculty teaching award

2006 Allen Rothwarf Award for Teaching Excellence
The university-wide junior faculty teaching award

Selected Publications:

  • The American Synthetic Organic Chemicals Industry: War and Politics, 1910-1930. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2014.
    • Winner of the 2015 Ralph Gomory Prize from the Business History Conference

For more on research, please visit