An associate professor of history at the University of Texas at Austin, Sally Clarke is investigating the role of the modern corporation in our mass consumer society. She addresses problems of corporate power, industrial growth, government regulation, and technological change from a historical perspective. Her first book, Regulation and the Revolution in United States Farm Productivity (Cambridge University Press, 1994), challenged the conservative notion that free markets best promote economic growth.
During her Radcliffe fellowship, Clarke will work on her new book project, titled “Consumer Negotiations.” Through a case study of the automobile market, Clarke will identify firms’ relationships with consumers and relocate the sources of corporate power and efficiency in various points of public contact. By examining the role of car dealers, companies’ efforts to track consumers’ decision-making processes, aesthetic design, and more, Clarke will offer a new interdisciplinary conceptual framework through which to assess the modern corporation.
In addition to her Radcliffe Institute fellowship, Clarke is a recipient of an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation grant for the fall of 2002. A grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities provided support for her work in 1994–1995. She earned her PhD in history from Brown University.