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Peter Soppelsa

OU Dodge Family College of Arts and Sciences, Department of History of Science, Technology, and Medicine, The University of Oklahoma wordmark
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Peter Soppelsa

Email: peter(dot)soppelsa(at)ou(dot)edu
Assistant Professor, Department of the History of Science

  • B.A., Philosophy (with High Honors), Oberlin College, 2000
  • Ph.D., History, University of Michigan, 2009

Pete Soppelsa was raised in Kansas. He holds a BA in Philosophy from Oberlin College (2000) and a Ph.D. in History from the University of Michigan (2009). He works in the fields of urban history, environmental history, and the history of technology, informed by attention to theory, method, and interdisciplinary approaches. His research interests include urban infrastructure, envirotech, the Anthropocene, animal studies, mobility studies, and public health in modern European and global histories. He was managing editor of Technology and Culture from 2010 to 2020 and is the co-editor with Suzanne Moon of History of Technology: Critical Readings, 4 vols. (Bloomsbury, 2020). At OU he teaches courses in media history, environmental history, history of technology, and social and ethical issues in STEM. He is also a faculty affiliate in Environmental Studies and a member of the faculty workgroup around the blog Inhabiting the Anthropocene. His personal interests include bikes, cats, hikes, music, and travel.

Contact Me

Peter Soppelsa
Department of the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine
The University of Oklahoma
601 Elm, Room 625
Norman, OK 73019

Office Tel: 1-405-325-2213


Selected Publications

“Theorizing Infrastructure and Affect,” in Urban Infrastructure: Historical and Social Dimensions of an Interconnected World, ed. Jonathan Soffer, Joseph Heathcott, and Rae Zimmerman (University of Pittsburgh Press, forthcoming 2022).

“Losing France’s Imperial War on Rats,” Journal of the Western Society for French History 47 (2021): 67-87. (This article is Open Access.)

“Universal Expositions: Behind the Scenes and Beyond the Fairgrounds (Response Essay),” Dix-Neuf: Journal of the Society of Dix-Neuviémistes 24, nos. 2-3, “Paris Universal Expositions, 1855-1900” (July 2020): 260–67. 

“The End of Horse Transportation in Belle Epoque Paris,” Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment (ISLE) 24, no. 1 (Winter 2017): 113-29. 

“Reworking Appropriation: the Language of Paris Railways, 1870-1914,” Transfers: Interdisciplinary Journal of Mobility Studies 4, no. 2 (Summer 2014): 104-23. 

“Paris’s 1900 Universal Exposition and the Politics of Urban Disaster,” French Historical Studies 36, no. 2 (Spring 2013): 271-98.