Peter Wallenstein

Peter Wallenstein

Peter Wallenstein



402 Major Williams Hall
220 Stanger St.
Blacksburg, VA 24061




Department Membership



  • U.S. South
  • Virginia History
  • Reconstruction
  • Civil Rights Movement
  • Race, Law, and Higher Education

Professional Activities

  • Co-chair of the new Office of Undergraduate Research Advisory Board, Virginia Tech, 2014–15
  • Founding member of the CLAHS Undergraduate Research Institute's steering/executive committee, 2005–
  • Board of Directors, Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, 2008-14
  • President, Virginia Social Science Association, 2004-08


  • Ph.D. Johns Hopkins University
  • B.A. Columbia University

Research Interests

    Awards and Honors

    Member, Academy of Teaching Excellence, Virginia Tech, 2015.

    Alumni Award for Excellence in Teaching, 2015, Virginia Tech.

    Excellence in Undergraduate Research Mentoring Award, College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, 2009–10, Virginia Tech.

    Excellence in Research and Creative Scholarship Award, College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, 2008–09, Virginia Tech.

    Hughes Gossett Prize,2005, from the Supreme Court Historical Society, for the best article published in the Journal of Supreme Court History during 2004.

    Selected Publications


    Race, Sex, and the Freedom to Marry: Loving v. Virginia, in the series Landmark Law Cases and American Society. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2014.

    Cradle of America: A History of Virginia. Second edition, revised. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2014. Edited Books

    Edited Books

    Higher Education and the Civil Rights Movement: White Supremacy, Black Southerners, and College Campuses. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2008. A collection of essays, with six other contributors, mostly senior scholars. 


    “Slavery under the Thirteenth Amendment:  Race and the Law of Crime and Punishment in the Post–Civil War South.”  Louisiana Law Review 77:1 (2016): 1–20.

    “Race, Law, and Southern Public Higher Education, 1860s–1960s.” In Signposts: New Directions in Southern Legal History, ed. Sally E. Hadden and Patricia H. Minter, 369–92. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2013.

    “Identity, Marriage, and Schools:  Life along the Color Line/s in the Era of Plessy v. Ferguson.”  In The Folly of Jim Crow:  Rethinking the Segregated South, ed. Stephanie Cole and Natalie Ring, 17–53.  College Station:  Texas A&M University Press, 2012.

     “Reconstruction, Segregation, and Miscegenation: Interracial Marriage and the Law in the Lower South, 1865–1900.” Published in Great Britain in American Nineteenth-Century History 6:1 (March 2005): 57–76. 

    Sponsored Research

    Humanities Summer Stipend, 2017, Virginia Tech, “The Changing Contours of Race, Law, and Higher Education in Twaentieth-Century America.” $4,000.

    South Atlantic Studies Initiative Award, from CLAHS, for 2009–10, “The Black Freedom Struggle in Eastern Virginia: Three Tales.” $2,500.

    Archie K. Davis Fellowship, from the North Caroliniana Society, for 2005–06, Segregation, Desegregation, and the University of North Carolina:  $1,250.

    Virginia Tech Foundation award (2001–04) (co-authored with Warren H. Strother), From VPI to State University: President T. Marshall Hahn Jr. and the Transformation of Virginia Tech, 1962–1974. $62,500.

    Additional Information

    Current Research:

    The Civil Rights Struggle in Virginia

    Race and Power from the American Revolution to the Civil Rights Movement.

    The Road from Berea: The Law of Race and Private Institutions of Higher Education, 1860s–1960s