Phoebe Young
Associate Professor
Environmental History / Modern US

Hellems 330

By Appointment


Professor Young focuses on the cultural and environmental history of the modern United States and the American West.


At the undergraduate level, Professor Young teaches courses including "U.S. History since 1865," "Environmental History of North America," "History and Memory in American Culture" and "Popular Culture in Modern America." Her graduate offerings include "Cultural History and Theory," “Visual Culture,” and "Memory and History in Global Perspective." Professor Young seeks to support student learning at all levels and to advance the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in History. She is the recipient of the 2016 Boulder Faculty Assembly Award for Distinction in Teaching and Pedagogy.

Professor Young received her B.A. from Bryn Mawr College and her Ph.D. from the University of California, San Diego. Her first book, California Vieja: Culture and Memory in a Modern American Place (University of California Press, 2006, published under her previous name of Phoebe S. Kropp), examines public memories of the Spanish past, the built environment, regional development, and race relations in Southern California between the 1880s and the 1930s. Her second book, Camping Grounds: Public Nature in America from the Civil War to Occupy (Oxford University Press, 2021), traces the hidden history of camping and the outdoors in American life that connects a familiar recreational pastime to camps for functional needs and political purposes. Elements of this project appeared in the Journal of Social History (Fall 2009), and Cities in Nature: Urban Environments of the American West, ed. Char Miller (2010). She is also the co-editor of an anthology entitled Rendering Nature: Animals, Bodies, Places, Politics (with Marguerite S. Shaffer, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2015), which includes a co-authored essay on “The Nature-Culture Paradox” and an examination of the Occupy Wall Street movement. She has received multiple awards and grants, including fellowships from the Henry E. Huntington Library, the Smithsonian Institution, and the American Council of Learned Societies.

Professor Young is accepting M.A. and Ph.D. students. 
Recent graduates have worked on the history of modern American Judaism and homosexuality, immigrant detention in the Southwest, transnational black consciousness movements in the Americas, and Colorado coal strikes in history and memory.