Department of History

Richard F. Hirsh, Professor (Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1979)
423 Major Williams Hall, 220 Stanger Street, Blacksburg, VA 24061
(540) 231-5601

Areas of Specialization: history of technology, history of science

Current Research: historical issues relating to the current restructuring of the American electric utility system; Professor Hirsh notes that his work is very policy oriented.

Recent Publications:
•"Wind Turbines and Invisible Technology: Unarticulated Reasons for Local Opposition to Wind Energy," Technology and Culture 54 (Oct. 2013): 705-34.

•“Historians of Technology in the Real World:Reflections on the Pursuit of Policy-
Oriented History,”Technology and Culture 52 (Jan. 2011): 6-20.

•“Beyond Batteries: An Examination of the Benefits and Barriers to Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs) and a Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) Transition,” (with Benjamin K. Sovacool), Energy Policy 37 (Feb. 2009): 1095-1103. 

•“Island Wind Energy: A Significant Potential U.S. Resource,” (with Benjamin K. Sovacool), Renewable Energy 33 (August 2008): 1928-35

•“Assessing U.S. Energy Policy,” (Comment, with Marilyn A. Brown and Benjamin K. Sovacool), Daedalus (Journal of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences) 135 (#3, Sum. 2006): 5-11. 

•“Technological Systems and Momentum Change: American Electric Utilities, Restructuring, and Distributed Generation Technologies,” (with Benjamin K. Sovacool), Journal of Technology Studies 32 (Spr. 2006): 72-85.

•“Power Struggle: Changing Momentum in the Restructured American Electric Utility System,” Annales historiques de l’électricité (No. 2, June 2004): 107-123.

•Power Loss: The Origins of Deregulation and Restructuring in the American
Electric Utility System (MIT Press, 1999)

•“Revamping and Repowering,” Forum for Applied Research and Public Policy 15
(Summer 2000): 12-18.