Bill P. Philpott

Associate Professor

Professional Biography

I'm an associate professor of history at the University of Denver, specializing in environmental, suburban, western, and twentieth-century U.S. history and the history of Colorado. Before coming to DU, I taught for several years at Illinois State University. My 2013 book, Vacationland: Tourism and Environment in the Colorado High Country, used the case of Colorado to explore how post-World War II tourist development reoriented American landscapes, lifestyles, and environmental politics. I'm now working on my next book, a study of the devastating South Platte River flood that raged through Denver in 1965, focusing especially on the ways the long-term environmental and social neglect of the neighborhoods along the river set the city up for disaster. Among other works, I also wrote The Lessons of Leadville; or, Why the Western Federation of Miners Turned Left (1995), and co-authored and co-edited Buildings of Wisconsin (2016), a guide to that state's historic architecture and built landscapes. I earned my B.A. from Williams College in 1992 and my Ph.D. in history from the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 2002.


  • Ph.D., U.S. History, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2002
  • MA, U.S. History, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1994
  • BA, History, Williams College, 1992