Peter Pihos

(he/him/his), Associate Professor


Peter C. Pihos teaches African American and modern U.S. history at Western. His research, which has recently appeared in The War on Drugs: A History and Radical History Review, focuses on the relationship between race and the politics of policing in American cities from the 1950s to the 1980s. In addition, he also writes about civil rights activists' use of history and documentary to argue for social transformation. In addition to teaching and scholarship, Peter serves as the President of Western's faculty union, the United Faculty of Western Washington and works in various other capacities to expand advance the interests of faculty and students in high quality, accessible, and affordable public higher education in Washington state.

Research Interests

  • Post-WWII black social and political history
  • Political economy and labor history
  • Urban history
  • Public law
  • Marxist and post-Marxist theory
  • Crime and punitive institutions

Current Courses

HIST 262: African American History to 1865 (last offered Winter 2022)

HIST 263: African Americans Since 1865 (Winter 2023)

HIST 347: Topics in U.S. Legal and Constitutional History (Spring 2023)

HIST 362: The Civil Rights – Black Power Era in U.S. History (last offered Spring 2022)

HIST 461: U.S. Urban History (last offered Spring 2020)

HIST 463: Topics in the History of Modern Crime, Policing and Punishment (last offered as HIST 490 Spring 2022)

HIST 499: Social Movements in the Twentieth Century U.S. (Fall 2023)

HIST 506: Graduate Research Seminar (last offered Winter 2022)

HIST 558: Twentieth Century U.S. History (last offered Fall 2020)

Selected Publications

“The Local War on Drugs.” The War on Drugs: A History. Edited by David A. Farber. New York: New York University Press, 2021. 131-158.

“‘Police Brutality Exposed’: Chicago, 1960-1974.” Radical History Review 141. Oct. 2021. 128-150.