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Engaged Humanities Postdoctoral Fellows

Launched in AY24 as a biennial opportunity, the Humanities Center, in partnership with the Engaged Humanities Network, supports two postdoctoral fellows whose work combines publicly-engaged research, programming, curriculum development and teaching within their 2-year appointment.

Meet the current postdoc fellows

Lauren Cooper

Lauren Cooper, Ph.D. - English

Bio: Lauren Cooper (she/her) received a B.A. in English Literature from Reed College (2016) and her Ph.D. in English from Syracuse University (2024). Her dissertation, Climate Justice Before the Anthropocene: How Inclement Weather Shaped British and Irish Romanticism, uses climate history to trace emergent conceptions of environmental justice in canonical and lesser-known works of British and Irish Romantic literature. To date, her research, presentations, and publications—all of which have centered on how Romantic poems and novels engage with climate and ecological history—examine colonialism and the slave trade, class, gender, landscape aesthetics, changing conceptions of wastelands and wildernesses, and crucially, early discourses of environmental justice. Future research projects plan to continue to engage with these concerns, expanding their temporal scope to include investigation into the growing importance of global climates to the British empire and its imperial ventures in the Victorian period.

Cooper's commitment to environmental history and advocacy extends beyond the university to shape her publicly engaged humanities work. Last year, supported by a grant from Humanities New York, a partner with Syracuse University’s Humanities Center, she launched a year-long public project entitled “Ecologies of Writing.” The project included a significant collaboration with Environmental Storytelling Central New York for its inaugural series of community events devoted to the impact of the climate crisis on the region and on interconnected planetary ecosystems generally. “Ecologies of Writing” built upon her long-standing work with Write Out, a community-oriented writing project that partners with youth-focused after-school programs. These programs work with first-generation immigrants, New Americans, and other traditionally underrepresented students—primarily young girls of color. She has been a writing mentor across Write Out’s three sites, and currently serves as a Community Program Director for Write Out programming at Girls Inc., a nationwide nonprofit. She is thrilled to have the opportunity to continue to grow these engaged humanities initiatives within the Syracuse community as an Engaged Humanities Postdoctoral Fellow.

Lauren is originally from the Philadelphia area and remains a devoted listener to Philly public radio and eater of UTZ sourdough pretzels.

Miryam Nacimento

Miryam Nacimento, Ph.D. - Cultural Anthropology, City University of New York (CUNY)

Bio: Miryam Nacimento's doctoral dissertation explored the agrarian dimensions of the war on drugs in Colombia, specifically through ethnographic fieldwork with impoverished small farmers who cultivate illicit coca, the plant base of cocaine. Nacimento's research follows these farmers’ political struggles as they attempt to survive the Colombian agrarian crisis, resist state criminalization, and confront the violence they receive from nonstate armed groups that control the drug business. Her next research project seeks to examine the effects of the expansion of illicit economies on Indigenous populations in rural Perú, another drug-producing country in the Andes. This work investigates the processes of land grabbing, experiences of forced displacement, and devastating forms of cultural loss that the Indigenous Tikuna people must endure in the context of the formation of a coca frontier economy in the region of Loreto, in the Peruvian Amazon. Nacimento plans to use her ethnographic knowledge and experience with community-engaged research to elevate these stories as part of the Engaged Humanities Network (EHN), particularly highlighting the stories of environmental activism and labor justice of Latinx farmworkers in Central New York. She looks forward to learning from community partners while helping them to address their problems and social needs.

When not immersed in her research, you might find Miryam enjoying her favorite Argentine rock of the '80s!