Peter Norton

Associate Professor: Science, Technology, and Society

Peter Norton
Peter Norton is a historian of technology specializing in the adaptation of American cities to the automobile in the twentieth century. He is the author of Fighting Traffic: The Dawn of the Motor Age in the American City (MIT Press, 2008).


email: pdn2p (at)
phone: 434-243-8794
office: A222 Thornton Hall


Ph.D. (History of Technology), University of Virginia, 2002
M.A. (American History), University of Delaware, 1989
B.A. (History), University of Delaware, 1985

Research Areas

science, technology and society; history of technology; history of mobility; cities, streets and people; automobiles and society

Awards and Distinctions

Hartfield-Jefferson Scholars Teaching Prize, 2012
Abbott Payson Usher Prize, Society for the History of Technology, 2010
Thomas E. Hutchinson Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching, 2005

Recent Courses

STS 4600: The Engineer, Ethics, and Professional Responsibility
STS 4500: STS and Engineering Practice

Selected Publications

Fighting Traffic: The Dawn of the Motor Age in the American City. MIT Press, 2008.

“Street Rivals: Jaywalking and the Invention of the Motor Age Street.” Technology and Culture 48 (April 2007), 331-359.

“Of Love Affairs and Other Stories” (chapter). Incomplete Streets: Processes, Practices, and Possibilities. Edited by Stephen Zavestoski and Julian Agyeman. Routledge, 2014.

“Autonomous Vehicles: A Powerful Tool If You Can Get the Problem Right.” Robohub, June 25, 2014.

“Four Paradigms: Traffic Safety in the Twentieth-Century United States.” Technology and Culture (forthcoming, April 2015).