Peter H. Hansen

Contents: This page contains information on the following:
See also:



Academic Experience


Fellowships and Grants


Honors and Awards



Other Everests: One Mountain, Many Worlds (co-editors Paul Gilchrist, Peter H. Hansen, Jonathan Westaway), Manchester University Press, 2024. ISBN: 9781526179166

The Summits of Modern Man: Mountaineering after the Enlightenment (Harvard University Press, 2013).

"Mountaineering in the Himalayas," in The Oxford Handbook of the Himalayas, edited by Amy Holmes-Tagchungdarpa, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, forthcoming).

"The Many Faces of a Mountain," in Everest 24: New Views on the 1924 Mount Everest Expedition, (Washington DC: Smithsonian Books, 2024), pp. 144-147.

"Scott, Douglas Keith (Doug) (1941-2020)," in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, edited by David Cannadine, (Oxford University Press, online edition, 8 April 2024).

"Wildest Dreams of Everest and Modern Mountaineering," Les Sports Modernes: Société, Culture, Temporalité, Territoire 1 (2023): 59-67. doi: 10.33055/SPORTSMODERNES.2023.001.01.61, PDF

"Commercialisation and Mount Everest in the Twentieth Century," in Rethinking Geographical Explorations in Extreme Environments: From the Arctic to the Mountain Tops, edited by Marco Armiero, Roberta Biasillo, Stefano Morosini, (New York: Routledge, July 2022), pp. 144-156. DOI:10.4324/9781003095965

"Upland on Mont Ventoux," in Mountain Dialogues from Antiquity to Modernity, edited by Dawn Hollis and Jason König, (London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2021), pp. 215-227. doi:10.5040/

"Tool User: Hobnailed Boots," Alpinist 74 (Summer 2021): 24.

"Unsworth, Walt (1928-2017)," in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, online edn, edited by David Cannadine, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, January 2021). DOI:10.1093/odnb/9780198614128.013.90000380378

"Y is for Yak," in Animalia: An Anti-Imperial Bestiary for Our Times, edited by Antoinette Burton and Renisa Mawani, (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2020), pp. 213-218. DOI:10.1215/9781478012818-026

"Tragedy on the Matterhorn," BBC History (July 2015): 58-61. Online at History Extra magazine

"Founders of the Alpine Club (act. 1857-1863)," in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, online ed., edited by Lawrence Goldman. Oxford: Oxford University Press, October 2007. DOI: 10.1093/ref:odnb/96327

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, ed., H. C. G. Matthew and Brian Harrison, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004):

"Why is there no subaltern studies for Tibet?" Tibet Journal 28:4 (Winter 2003): 7-22. Stable URL at JSTOR

"Georges Mallory et la masculinité," in Deux siècles d'alpinismes européens, origines et mutations des activités de grimpe, ed. Olivier Hoibian and Jacques Defrance, (Paris: L'Harmattan, 2002), pp. 135-46.

"Mallory et la masculinité," Cimes, L'Everest dans tous ses états, Groupe de Haute Montagne Annales 2002 (2002): 173-76.

"Ornamentalism and Orientalism: Virtual Empires and the Politics of Knowledge," Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History 3:1 (Spring 2002). doi:10.1353/cch.2002.0012 and Project Muse

"Interdisciplinary Student Projects in Thailand," Tai Culture: International Review on Tai Cultural Studies 7 (June 2002): 176-7.

"Unofficial Notes on the Gates Cambridge Scholarship," National Association of Fellowship Advisors: the NAFA Newsletter 4 (March 2002).

"Coronation Everest: Empire and Commonwealth in the 'Second Elizabethan Age'," in British Culture and the End of Empire, ed. Stuart Ward, (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2001), pp. 57-72. Google Books (limited preview)

"Tibetan Horizon: Tibet and the Cinema in the Early Twentieth Century," in Imagining Tibet: Perceptions, Projections, and Fantasies, ed. Thierry Dodin and Heinz Räther, (Boston: Wisdom Publications, 2001), pp. 91-110. Google Books (limited preview)

"Modern Mountains: the Performative Consciousness of Modernity in Britain, 1870-1940," in Meanings of Modernity: Britain in the Age of Imperialism and World Wars, ed. Martin J. Daunton and Bernhard Rieger, (Oxford: Berg, and New York: NYU Press, 2001), pp. 185-202. Google Books (limited preview)

"Confetti of Empire: the Conquest of Everest in Nepal, India, Britain and New Zealand," Comparative Studies in Society and History, 42 (April 2000): 307-332. doi:10.1017/S0010417500002486 and Stable URL at JSTOR.

"Albert Smith, l'Alpine Club, et l'invention de l'alpinisme au milieu de l'ère victorienne," STAPS: Revue internationale des sciences du sport et de l'éducation physique vol. 21, n. 51 (Hiver 2000): 7-28.

"Partners: Guides and Sherpas in the Alps and Himalayas, 1850s-1950s," in Voyages and Visions: Towards a Cultural History of Travel, ed. Jas Elsner and Joan-Pau Rubies, (London: Reaktion, 1999), pp. 210-231. Google Books (limited preview)

"Debate: Tenzing's Two Wrist-Watches: the Conquest of Everest and Late Imperial Culture in Britain, 1921-1953, Comment," Past and Present 157 (Nov. 1997): 159-177. doi:10.1093/past/157.1.159 and JSTOR Stable URL 

"Der tibetische Horizont. Tibet im Kino des frühen 20. Jahrhunderts," in Mythos Tibet: Wahrnehmungen, Projektionen, Phantasien, Kunst- und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Bonn, with Thierry Dodin and Heinz Räther eds., (Cologne: DuMont Verlag, 1997), pp. 87-103.

"The Dancing Lamas of Everest: Cinema, Orientalism, and Anglo-Tibetan Relations in the 1920s," American Historical Review 101 (June 1996): 712-744. doi:10.2307/2169420 or JSTOR Stable URL. Reprinted in Alex McKay, ed., The History of Tibet, 3 vols. (London: RoutledgeCurzon, 2003). 

"Vertical Boundaries, National Identities: Victorian Mountaineering on the Frontiers of Europe and the Empire, 1868-1914," Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History 24:1 (1996): 48-71. doi: 10.1080/03086539608582968 Reprinted in John Marriott, ed., Routledge Historical Resources: Empire (Routledge, 2022)

"International Education and Sustainable Development: An American Experience in Bangkok, Venice, and Guayaquil,"" The Environmentalist 15, 4 (1995): 252-256.  doi:10.1007/BF01902246

"Mountaineering," in Twentieth-Century Britain: an Encyclopedia, ed., F.M. Leventhal, (New York: Garland, 1995), pp. 536-537.

"Albert Smith, the Alpine Club, and the Invention of Mountaineering in Mid-Victorian Britain," Journal of British Studies 34 (July 1995): 300-324. doi:10.1086/386080, JSTOR Stable URL. Translated and reprinted, above.


Recent book reviews:

Review of Julie Rak, False Summit: Gender in Mountaineering Nonfiction (Montreal: McGill-Queens University Press, 2021), for Journal of the Austrian Association for American Studies 2:2 (2021) doi:10.47060/jaaas.v2i2.144

Review of Susan Barton, Internment in Switzerland during the First World War (London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2019), for American Historical Review, 126:2 (2021): 869-870. doi:10.1093/ahr/rhab315

Review of Martyn Lyons, The Pyrenees in the Modern Era: Reinventions of a Landscape, 1775-2012 (Bloomsbury Academic, 2018), for European History Quarterly 49:4 (2019): 699-701. doi:10.1177/0265691419877354i

Review of Daniel C. Taylor, Yeti: The Ecology of a Mystery (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2017), for Pacific Affairs 91:4 (December 2018): 832-834, online.

Review of Tait Keller, Apostles of the Alps: Mountaineering and Nation Building Germany and Austria, 1860-1939 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2016), for Journal of Modern History (June 2017), 476-478. doi:10.1086/691514.

Review of Bernard Debarbieux and Gilles Rudaz, The Mountain: A Political History from the Enlightenment to the Present (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2015), The AAG Review of Books 4:3 (July 2016): 121-123. doi: 10.1080/2325548X.2016.1187488

Review of Ted Binnema, Enlightened Zeal: The Hudson's Bay Company and Scientific Networks, 1670-1870 (Buffalo: University of Toronto Press, 2014), American Historical Review 120:2 (April 2015): 610-611. doi: 10.1093/ahr/120.2.610

Review of Diana L. DiStefano, Encounters in Avalanche Country: A History of Survival in the Mountain West, 1820-1929 (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2013), for New Mexico Historical Review 89:4 (Fall 2014): 532-533. NMH Open Journals

Review of Fredrik Albritton Jonsson, Enlightenment's Frontier: The Scottish Highlands and the Origins of Environmentalism (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2013), for Environmental History 19:2 (April 2014): 399-401. doi:10.1093/envhis/emu017

Review of Ann C. Colley, Victorians in the Mountains: Sinking the Sublime (Burlington: Ashgate, 2010), for Victorian Studies 54:2 (2012): 334-336. doi:10.2979/victorianstudies.54.2.334 or Project Muse

Book Reviews also in Journal of British Studies, Journal of Historical Geography, Himalaya, Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History, H-Albion Discussion List in British and Irish History, International Labor and Working-Class History, Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, World History Bulletin

Work in Progress

Work in progress is devoted to several areas: commercialization on Mount Everest, masculinity and sports, Himalayas and empire, and environmental history.


Recent Presentations/Podcasts/Videos

"Climbing the Mountains of Modernity," Guest appearance in episode of Genealogies of Modernity, Season 2, episode 1, released November 9, 2023, Podcast link.

"The Whiteness of Mount Everest," Keynote address to AHRC Network Other Everests: Commemoration, Memory and Meaning and the British Everest Expedition Centenaries, 2021-2024, London, July 2022. Watch: YouTube

"Yaks," Friends of High Park Zoo, Toronto, FHPZ Zooviews Interviews with Animal Experts. July 17, 2021. Watch: YouTube

Global School Virtual Event Series: EUROPE, Event co-host, and moderator for the panel "Outlook for European Business and the Global Economy Post-Pandemic," April 21, 2021. Program, and Watch: YouTube

"A Model for Global Project-Based Learning," QS Idea Snack Webinars with higher education professionals on leveraging international partnerships to help universities through the COVID-19 crisis, June 2020, Watch/Listen: Podcast

"COVID-19 IQP Project Presentations," May 2020. Watch: YouTube

"Making Up Mont Blanc, Enlightenment and the Anthropocene," Clark University, February 2020

"Returning Upland on Mont Ventoux," University of St. Andrews, December 2018

"Reflections on Masculinities and Mountaineering," Institute of Advanced Study Seminar, Durham University, December 2018

"Commercialization and Mt Everest in the Twentieth Century," Universita degli Studi di Milano, November 2018

"Everest: Climbers' Challenge or Commercial Venture?" Insitute of Advanced Study Public Lecture, Hatfield College, Durham University, November 2018

"A single, narrow, gasping lung: Everest without Oxygen 1978-2018," Cambridge Bodies and Food Histories Group, Cambridge University, November 2018

"Modernity, Empire and Commercialization in Mountaineering," Keynote address, Economic & Social Research Council Regional Conference for the North East & Northern Ireland Doctoral Training Partnership, Newcastle, November 2018

"The Oxygen of Publicity: Reinhold Messner and Everest since the 1970s," American Society for Environmental History, University of California, Riverside, March 2018.

"Tales From the Top: A Panel Discussion on the Commercialization of Mount Everest", Moderator, Museum of Science, Boston, February 5, 2018. Watch on Youtube

"How Everest/Chomolungma Became a Mountain," MIT Seminar in Environmental and Agricultural History, September 2017.

"Mountaineering and Empire: Debating the Commercialization of Mountain Tourism," Himalayan Studies Conference, University of Colorado, Boulder, September 2017.



Current Courses Taught: see also courses and projects at WPI.
INTL 1100. Introduction to International and Global Studies
INTL 2100. Approaches to Global Studies
INTL 2510. Contemporary Europe
INTL 2910. Topics in Global Studies: Global Sports
INTL 3050. Global Re-entry Seminar
INTL 4100. Senior Seminar in International and Global Studies
HI 2329. European Empires: British Empire
HU 3900. Inquiry Seminar on the History of Sports
HU 3900. Inquiry Seminar on Global Studies

Recent student projects. Visit Digital WPI to view student projects at WPI advised by Peter Hansen.

Consulting and Television

Commentator, "Battle for the Himalayas: The Fight to Film Everest, BBC Four, Timeshift Series 14:4, director Steve O'Hagan, 2015. Broadcast BBC1 January 29, 2015. IMdB. See Preview clips.

Historical Commentator for "The Misfit and the Matterhorn," a BBC Television program in the series on "Mountain Men: Tall Tales and High Adventure," director Mick Conefrey, 2001.  Broadcast BBC2, May 31, 2001. Vimeo

Historical Consultant and Commentator, "Reputations Hillary and Tenzing: Everest and After," in BBC "Reputations" series, Season 4, Episode 3, director David Upshal, 1997. Broadcast June 18, 1997 BBC2, rebroadcast the History Channel. Youtube

Associate Editor, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, ed., H.C.G. Matthew, (Oxford University Press, 2004).

Editor, NACBS Forum on The Making of the Working British Historian, 2000.

Historical consultant to Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities, for a discussion series at public libraries on "Desperate Journeys: True Stories of Endurance and Survival," 2000-2001.

Manuscript referee, proposal reviewer or promotion reviewer for a wide variety of journals, publishers, granting agencies and universities.


Academic Administration and Service

Professional Service

Service to Global Programs and Global Studies

Service to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Service for Revision of Faculty Promotion Policies

Other WPI Service

Advisor for Undergraduate Awards, WPI, 2001-2013. Nominated students for nationally competitive fellowships and scholarships. WPI students received multiple Marshall, Goldwater, Rotary, Fulbright, Gates Cambridge, National Science Foundation Scholarships, Society of Women Engineers scholarships, and others. 

WPI Department of Humanities and Arts service includes interim head, associate head, and department council, promotion, tenure, and search committees.

Past WPI service includes the Committee on Appointments and Promotions, Committee on Governance, Committee on Academic Policy, Undergraduate Outcomes Assessment Committee, Women's Programs Steering Committee, Presidential Commissions or Task Forces on the humanities and arts, first-year programs and general education, global initiatives, academic promotion, global competency and multicultural inclusion. Advisor for student groups including Alpha Phi Omega, the Outing Club, Debate Team, and others.

Other public service includes serving on boards for Wesley United Methodist Church, Boy Scouts of America, and Elm Park Center for Early Childhood Education.


Professional Memberships

WPI Homepage

Peter Hansen's Homepage