A former Irvinite and a graduate of the Department of History (Mona), Dr. Shani Roper is trained as a social historian with interests in public history and museums education, histories of Caribbean childhood and juvenile delinquency. For her, museums are accessible spaces to explore, excite, and unpack complex narratives and themes while at the same time encouraging critical thinking. She received her PhD in History from Rice University and was a Postdoctoral Fellow and Lecturer in the Department of Africana Studies, Smith College (2013 - 2015).
Dr. Roper began her career in museums as Assistant Curator in the Museum of History and Ethnography, (now National Museum, Jamaica) a Division of the Institute of Jamaica. She also worked in other positions including Education Officer at the African Caribbean Institute of Jamaica, Research Officer, Liberty Hall: the Legacy of Marcus Garvey and lastly Acting Director, Liberty Hall. In 2012, she curated the exhibition Jamaica 50 as part of the Jamaica’s 50th celebrations. She has published articles on Afro-Jamaican childhood and social policy in Jamaica in Journal of the History of Childhood and Youth, Journal of Caribbean History and Caribbean Studies. Her current research interests explore the role of museums in communities, sustainable heritage development and pedagogical approaches to the study of history.