Olin-Sang American Civilization Center, 121
DegreesUniversity of Pennsylvania, Ph.D.
Yale University, M.A.
Barnard College Columbia University, B.A.
ExpertiseU.S. History, African American History, American Religious History, 19th Century, Cultural History, Civil War and Reconstruction
ProfileMy current work examines religion in Civil War refugee or “contraband” camps, comparing camp experiences across the South from Virginia to Texas. My book traces the migrations and settling patterns of black refugees. It elucidates the cross-cultural encounter that took place in the camps not only between white and black but also between black southerners of different cultural backgrounds. It reenvisions Emancipation as a religious event, as that was how most slaves themselves saw it. Black sacralizations of freedom in Civil War refugee camps were at the core of self-emancipation. This project reckons with the possibilities and complications of black spiritual creativity in these camps for kinship formation as well as postwar political participation. It reckons with religion as a dynamic and precarious mediating force between the enslaved and the state in the era of emancipation.
|HIST||10a||Not Even Past: History for the Global Citizen|
|HIST||50b||American Transformations: Perspectives on United States History, Origins to the Present|
|HIST||153b||Slavery and the American Civil War|
|HIST||157b||The Secret Life of Slaves: African-Americans and the Writing of History|
|HIST||158b||Social History of the Confederate States of America|
|HIST||212b||Refugees and Comparative States of Statelessness|
|HIST/SOC||216a||Migration, Dislocation and Dispossession in North American History|
Awards and Honors
AAS-National Endowment for the Humanities Long-Term Fellowship, American Antiquarian Society (2016 - 2017)
Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship, Massachusetts Historical Society (2016)
Caleb Loring, Jr. Fellowship, Boston Athenaeum (2016)
Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Abolition, and Resistance Postdoctoral Fellowship, Yale University (2016)
Library & Technology Services Information Literacy Grant, Brandeis University (2015)
Provost Research Award, Brandeis University (2015 - 2016)
Mandel Faculty Grant in the Humanities Award, Brandeis University (2014 - 2015)
Alumnae Association of Barnard College Fellowship (2013 - 2014)
Digital Humanities Training Grant for MITH Winter Institute, Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities, University of Maryland (2013)
Cooper, Abigail. "Black Reconstructions: Rethinking the State, the Body, and the Body Politic in Late Nineteenth-Century America." American Historical Association Annual Meeting, Atlanta, Georgia. 2016.
Cooper, Abigail. "Interpreting Agency." UMassBoston Interdepartmental Conference. University of Massachusetts-Boston. April 2nd, 2016.
Cooper, Abigail. "Performance for Reconstruction: From Refugee Camps to Freedman’s Villages." 2016 Civil War Institute Summer Conference: Reconstruction & the Legacy of the Civil War. Gettysburg College. June 2016.
Cooper, Abigail. "The Feet Under the Nation: Grassroots Leadership during the American Civil War Era." Organization of American Historians Annual Meeting, Providence, Rhode Island. 2016.
Cooper, Abigail. "'Lord, Until I Reach My Home': Inside the Refugee Camps of the American Civil War." Diss. University of Pennsylvania, 2015.
Cooper, Abigail. "In the Aftermath of Catastrophe." Shelby Cullom Davis Center for Historical Studies. Princeton University. Oct. 2, 2015.
Cooper, Abigail. "On the Meeting Grounds." University of Mississippi Sesquicentennial Civil War Conference. Oct. 4, 2013.