Peter L Schmitthenner


Peter L. Schmitthenner

Associate Professor


321 Lane Hall, Virginia Tech
280 Alumni Mall
Blacksburg, VA 24061




Department Membership

Religion and Culture


  • Cultural History of British Colonial India
  • Orientalism in South Asian History
  • History of Technology in India
  • Development of Irrigation in India

Professional Activities

  • American Institute of Indian Studies
  • Association for Asian Studies


  • Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • M.A., University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • B.A.,Clark University

Research Interests

    Awards and Honors

    Award for Excellence in Administration, College of Liberal Arts and Human Science, 2013

    Selected Publications


    Telugu Resurgence: C.P. Brown and Cultural Consolidation in Nineteenth-Century South India (New Delhi: Manohar Publishers, 2001).


    “The Grooming of a Colonial Civil Engineer: The Early Life and Career of Arthur Cotton in Great Britain and India, 1803-1826,” Engineering Studies (forthcoming).

    “European Scholars' Contribution to Telugu Language and Literature,” in Comprehensive History of Andhra Pradesh, Vol. VI.  Ed. V. Ramakrishna and A. Satyanarayana (Hyderabad: Emesco Publications, 2015), pp. 278-290.

    “Colonial Hydraulic Projects in South India: Environmental and Cultural Legacy,” in The British Empire and the Natural World: Environmental Encounters in South Asia, ed. Deepak Kumar, Vinita Damodaran, and Rohan D’Souza (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2011), pp. 181-201.


    Sponsored Research

    Council for the International Exchange of Scholars, Fulbright Senior Research Fellowship, 2002 (in India)

    American Institute of Indian Studies Senior Research Fellowship, 2001-2002 (in India)

    Additional Information

    Current Work in Progress:

    “Arthur Cotton (1803-1899): Hydraulic Engineering and Cultural Construction in South India.”

    (Intended book-length monograph.)