CooperDr. Elizabeth Cooper received her PhD in History from the University of Chicago.

Elizabeth’s scholarship explores the changing meanings of freedom in the Atlantic World during the 19th and 20th centuries, through the histories of race and racism and popular politics in the African Diaspora. Her teaching, writing, and curatorial work examines the relevance of these histories to contemporary society.

For well over a decade, Elizabeth has worked as a Curator and Public Historian dedicated to widening collection access and interpretation - in particular through collaborative research, public engagement, and exhibition production. Her methodology as a scholar focuses on developing historical questions and analysis from lived realities - and in the process demystifying the “archive” as an ultimate space of historical truth. Similarly, her curatorial work has centred on changing the lenses that are used to interpret collections – and their relationships to the past, present, and future.

Elizabeth is also an Honorary Research Fellow at the UCL Institute of the Americas and an Adjunct Lecturer with Yale in London.

Elizabeth has taught at universities in the United States and the United Kingdom including: the University of Chicago, Florida International University, and the University of Nottingham. She has published her research in peer-reviewed journals and with academic publishing houses such as Duke University Press and the University of Chicago Press. Elizabeth has curated critically acclaimed exhibitions such as Windrush: Songs in a Strange Land at the British Library and Sowing Roots at the Garden Museum. She has also developed, successfully bid, and led on Arts and Humanities Research Council projects focused on slavery and the British Empire.

Instigating public conversations around history, culture, and belonging is at the core of her curatorial work and scholarship. 

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