Published: April 7, 2020

Head shot photo og new professor Dr. Peter KoppThe History Department would like to welcome Professor Peter Kopp to the faculty! Joining us from New Mexico State University where he was the Director of Public history for seven years, Kopp shared that he was looking for a new challenge in his career. He says, “I was drawn to CU Denver because the Public History program is well-established and respected. The city’s museums and cultural resources are also world class, so I was interested in becoming an active member in that community. Plus, I’ve lived in Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Arizona, and New Mexico, so it seemed natural to migrate to yet another western state.” As he settles into his second year at CU Denver, he assures us that he isn’t planning on moving to Idaho or Utah anytime soon. 

In addition to public history, Kopp’s academic specialties include environmental history, North American West history, and nineteenth- and twentieth-century American history in global and transnational contexts. His book, Hoptopia: A World of Agriculture and Beer in Oregon’s Willamette Valley (University of California Press, 2016), won the American Historical Association’s Pacific Coast Branch Book Award for first time authors. It is no surprise that when asked what he was most looking forward to about Denver, he said, “The beer. Just kidding. Kind of.” Beer aside, Kopp is also looking forward to expanding his knowledge concerning Colorado and the Rocky Mountain region, a current weakness in his North American West specialty.

In looking to the future of the Public History program at CU Denver, Dr. Kopp recognizes the amazing accomplishments of Dr. Noel and Dr. Hunt: “Those two built an amazing public history program from blood, sweat, and tears. And each day that passes I see more and more of how their work with the program has made such a positive impact on the city.” Following in their footsteps, Kopp looks forward to working with Professor Rachel Gross to push the program to new heights.

In his free time, Kopp plans on exploring the Rockies with his family, who all enjoy hiking, camping, and exploring the doors, and he plans on continuing to enjoy Colorado's world-class beer. The History Department is excited by Kopp’s academic and professional experiences and looks forward to working with him!