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CLAS Faculty & Staff Directory

Pamela W. Laird, Ph.D.




Office Location:
Academic Building 1 Room 3112

Office Hours:
Spring 2017: By appointment only. Please email.

Phone: 303-315-1779

Fax: 303-315-1780

Curriculum Vitae »

Department of History »

Expertise Areas:
History of Advertising, History of Business Culture, Civil Rights and Business

My Addresses:

Mailing address:
CU Denver History Department
Campus Box 182
P.O. Box 173364
Denver, CO 80217-3364

Physical Location:
1201 Larimer Street
Room 3102
Denver, CO 80204

Member of the CLAS Speakers Bureau

  • Boston University: 1992,  Ph. D., American History; Science & Technology.

• Tufts University : 1974, M.A., American and Modern European History.

• Radcliffe College, Harvard University: 1969, B.S., Psychology

Pamela Walker Laird is Professor and Chair of History at the University of Colorado Denver. She holds a BS from Harvard University (1969), an MA from Tufts University (1974), and a PhD from Boston University (1992).


Laird’s work explores the history of American business cultures and how those business cultures affect and reflect broader cultural values and expectations. One of her current projects focuses on twentieth-century interactions between civil rights enforcement and corporate practices. Her other major project tracks the centuries-old origins of the idea of self-made success and its ideological and political consequences.


Laird’s publications include Pull: Networking and Success Since Benjamin Franklin (Harvard University Press, 2006), which won the 2006 Hagley Prize for the best book in business history and is now available in Chinese; and Advertising Progress: American Business and the Rise of Consumer Marketing (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1998), a Choice Outstanding Academic Book of 1999.


Laird is a former president of the Business History Conference, the oldest and largest international organization devoted to the scholarly study of business history and the history of capitalism. Her awards include the Harold F. Williamson Prize for Achievement in Business History (2006), the American Association of University Women’s American Fellowship (2001), the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Outstanding Faculty Achievement Award (2007), and the University of Colorado Faculty Council Distinguished Service Award (2007 and 2014). She also received the University of Colorado Denver Faculty Mentor of the Year Award for 2013.


  • 2006  Pull: Networking and Success Since Benjamin Franklin (Harvard University Press). - Hagley Prize Best Book in Business History, 2006
  • 1998  Advertising Progress: American Business and the Rise of Consumer Marketing (Johns Hopkins University Press). - Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries Outstanding Academic Book, 1999 


  • 2010 Co-editor with Mark Rose, OAH Magazine of History 24, no. 1 (January).
  • 2008 Guest editor, special issue, Business History, “Putting Social Capital to Work” (November) Vol. 50, no. 6.



  • 2011 “The Business of Consumer Culture History: Systems, Interactions, and Modernization,” in Hartmut Berghoff and Uwe Spiekermann, eds., Decoding Modern Consumer Societies (New York: Palgrave/Macmillan), pp. 89-109.
  • 2010  “Bringing in Business History Front and Center,” Magazine of History 24, no.1 (January): 7-8.
  • 2010  “Advertising and the Rise of Big Business,” with Catherine Canavan, Magazine of History 24, no.1 (January): 41-45.
  • 2008  “Putting Social Capital to Work,” Business History 50, no. 6 (November): 685-694.
  • 2008  “Looking Toward the Future: Expanding Connections for Business Historians,” Presidential Address, Business History Conference, Enterprise and Society 9 no. 4             (December): 575-590.
  • 2000 “Alfred D. Chandler, Jr., and the Landscape of Marketing History,” Journal of Macromarketing 20: 167-173.
  • 1998  “The Public’s Historians,” Technology and Culture 39: 474-482.
  • 1996  “Progress in Separate Spheres: Selling Nineteenth-Century Technologies,” Knowledge and Society 10: 19-49.
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