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A rock climber is stands on a granite buttress holding a rope, silhouetted by a bright background.

Hello there!

My name is Charles Petersen, and I am the Harold Hohbach historian at the Silicon Valley Archives at Stanford.

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Before coming to Stanford I was a Visiting Assistant Professor in the History Department at Cornell University and, before that, a postdoctoral fellow in the Society of Fellows at Cornell. I received my PhD in American Studies at Harvard University in 2020. My dissertation, "Meritocracy in America," received prizes from the Society for US Intellectual History and the Forum for the History of Human Science. An article based on this research has received a revise and resubmit response from the American Historical Review; I am currently at work on a book manuscript that builds on this research. 

In addition to my academic work, I have served as an editor at n+1 magazine, an internationally recognized journal of politics and culture based in New York, for more than fifteen years. I have written for the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the New York Review of Books. I also maintain a semi-regular newsletter, "Making History." 

I have expertise across the history of Silicon Valley, from business history and labor history to environmental history and intellectual history. My research interests generally cover the history of US political economy from the Gilded Age to the present.

I am pictured above on the Lost Horse Wall in Joshua Tree National Park and below on Black Sands Beach on the Lost Coast in King Range National Conservation Area.

A person sits amid a rocky beach with tree-filled hills receding into the mist in the background.

Charles Petersen

Silicon Valley Archives
557 Escondido Mall
Stanford, CA 94305
Twitter: @p_e_t_e_r_s_e_n
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