Faculty / College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Emily Bills

Participating Adjunct Professor,
Coordinator, Urban Studies Program
Communications Coordinator, College of Liberal Arts

Emily Bills is an educator, curator, and author with research interests in urban history and social and environmental justice. She is Participating Adjunct Professor and Coordinator of the Urban Studies Program at Woodbury University. Professor Bills received her Ph.D. in the history of architecture and urbanism from the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University and completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Smithsonian Institution Archives of American Art. Her work on telephone infrastructure and the development of Los Angeles received a Graham Foundation Carter Manny Award Citation of Special Recognition. She’s also received fellowship and grant support from the American Council of Learned Societies, the Haynes Foundation, UCLA, and the Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation. She’s published articles in many journals and books, including Michigan Modern: Design That Shaped America; Women and Things: Gendered Material Practices, 1750-1950; Engagement Party (Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles); and Visual Merchandising: The Art of Selling. Curatorial projects include exhibitions on William F. Cody, Hélène Binet, Pedro E. Guerrero, Catherine Opie, and Richard Barnes, among others.

Emily’s book California Captured: Marvin Rand Mid-Century Modern Architecture (Phaidon, 2018), co-authored with Sam Lubell and Pierluigi Serraino, won the Regional Bookseller’s Award for Best Art Book of 2018 and was listed as a notable book of 2018 by Los Angeles Magazine and Curbed Los Angeles. Her second book on architectural photography, Wayne Thom: Photographing the Late Modern, was published by Monacelli Press (2020). Her next project, Telephone City: How Telecommunications Helped Build Los Angeles, is forthcoming from the University of Pittsburgh Press.


Ph.D., History of Architecture and Urban Planning, Institute of Fine Arts, New York University,
B.A. Art History, University of California, Berkeley


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