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Chris Choe

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Graduate Student
Teaching Assistant

Chris Choe is a doctoral student who studies American political development from the Gilded Age through the New Deal Era. He is interested in applying business-historical methods to questions of political and diplomatic history, focusing on institutional changes to administrative apparatuses as a modification of Alfred Chandler's thesis in Strategy and Structure

He earned his B.A. in History at the University of California, Los Angeles, where he worked primarily with Professor Mary Yeager. His honors thesis, "Growing Pains: The Innovative Synthesis of Corporate Rivalries," is a comparative business history of the rivalry between the Ford Motor Company and the General Motors Corporation in the 1920s-1930s and the rivalry between the United Parcel Service and the U.S. Postal Service in the 1970s-1990s. This research rejects Chandler's explanation for Ford Motor Company's declining market share after 1927 and Schumpeterian creative destruction.

He earned his M.A. in History at the University of Georgia, under the supervision and direction of Professor Stephen Mihm. His thesis, "Under New Management: U.S. Administration of the Panama Canal Zone, 1904-14," analyzes the changes to the institutional structure of the American governing regime on the Canal Zone. By comparing American control to French control in the 1870s and to the longer history of infrastructural development in the nineteenth-century United States, this research underscores the peculiarity of this experiment in state control and the ways the Panama Canal symbolized developments in the public/private distinction, the administrative state, and imperialism at the turn of the twentieth century. 

His doctoral research is an extension of his M.A. research, which explores the organizational and administrative history of the Canal Zone in the period of unilateral American operation, roughly 1914 to 1977. His work explores the gaps in the literature in American Political Development and the literature on American imperialism, seeking to bring together these seemingly unrelated fields. 

Research Interests:

Broadly, my interests lie in the economic and business history of the United States in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Specifically, I am interested in questions about transportation, infrastructure, and logistics; the administrative state and the public/private distinction; imperialism; and rivalries, competition, and innovation. I use the Panama Canal as my primary lens into these questions.


Gregory Travel Grant, 2022

University of Florida Library Travel Grant, 2022

Hagley Exploratory Research Grant, 2021

Gregory Travel Grant, 2021

Gregory Travel Grant, 2019

Wellman Travel Grant, 2018

Dissertation/Thesis Title:
Under New Management: U.S. Administration of the Panama Canal Zone, 1904-14
Degree Completion Date:

M.A., University of Georgia, History 2021

B.A., University of California, Los Angeles, History 2019

Of note:

Jane Mulkey and Rufus King Green Fellowship, 2022

Graduate Research Award, Willson Center for Humanities & Arts, 2022

LeConte Prize, 2021

Phi Beta Kappa, 2019

Events featuring Chris Choe
via Zoom

H. Christian Choe will defend his M.A. thesis, "Under New Management: U.S. Administration of the Panama Canal Zone, 1904-14 via remote conference with the graduate advisory committee. The Major Professor is Dr. Stephen Mihm. The university community is invited. If you wish to attend please contact…

Major Professor

Committee Members

External Committee

Laura Phillips Sawyer
Ed Balleisen

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