Peter B Thompson

 Peter Thompson

Contact Information

History, 309 Gregory Hall
810 S. Wright Street
M/C 466
Urbana, IL 61801

Additional Campus Affiliations

Research Interests

  • Modern Germany, Intellectual History, History of Science and Technology

Research Description

My research interests lie at the intersection of German intellectual history and the history of science and technology around the turn of the twentieth century. In my Masters, I examined the influence of two distinctly Viennese intellectual currents in the later work of the psychoanalyst Wilhelm Reich. I am currently working on a project that examines the role of the gas mask in stoking fears of chemical warfare during the interwar period in Germany.


  • B.A., History, Colby College, 2011
  • M.A., European History, University of Maine, 2014

Distinctions / Awards

  • John. G. and Evelyn Hartman Heiligenstein Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, 2017
  • Joseph Ward Swain Prize for the best published graduate student paper: “The Chemical Subject: Phenomenology and German Encounters with the Gas Mask in World War I”, 2019


  • Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities Fellowship, 2019
  • Siebel Fellowship, 2014, 2018
  • Nicholson Graduate Student Fellowship, 2017
  • DAAD Long Term Doctoral Research Grant , 2017
  • Fulbright Student Award, 2017


  • Hist 102A: REACTING TO THE PAST: Science in European Society (Instructor)
  • Hist 140: WESTERN CIVILIZATION TO 1660: Advanced Composition (TA)
  • Hist. 253: Modern European Intellectual History (Grader)

Selected Publications

Journal Articles

Thompson, Peter The Chemical Subject: Phenomenology and German Encounters with the Gas Mask in World War I History and Technology 33 3 2018, p. 249-271.
Thompson, Peter, and Serge Nicolas The Hipp chronoscope vs. the d'Arsonval chronometer: Differing approaches to chronometry in early German and French psychology History of Psychology 18 4 2015, p. 367-384.