Alheli Alvarado-Diaz

Adjunct Assistant Professor

I am a comparative cultural historian interested in the intersections between power, resistance and memory politics.  My teaching incorporates the examination of visual media, literature and contemporary journalism in the analysis of historical events.   Among my current projects are Digging the Archive: Understanding the Present through the Investigation of the Past, a virtual site for the exploration of global history from the Renaissance to the present and Polyphony, a book on the investigation of the truth in the works of William Kentridge, Roberto Bolaño, Claire Denis, Edward Said and Hannah Arendt.  


  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.