lauren.obrien [at] rutgers.edu
Lauren O’Brien is currently a PhD student in American Studies at Rutgers University-Newark. Her research concentration is in African-American History/Visual Culture with an emphasis on museums, racial identity, and public memory. With a BA in Black Studies from UC Santa Barbara and a MA in History from Loyola University Chicago, Lauren understands the power, politics and privilege within the collection, preservation, and dissemination of history. Therefore, as a public historian her goal is to interrogate silences within exclusionary narratives and create platforms that highlight, document, and share the histories of marginalized communities. Utilizing her historical practice as a vehicle for social activism, multicultural coalitions and peace building, Lauren has worked in the education and curatorial departments of several museums and cultural institutions including the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum, the Paul Robeson Galleries, and the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC).
Research Interests: African American History, Black Visual Culture, Public History, & Memory