Althea Corinne Cupo

Working Title of PhD: Identifying Barriers to Learning in the Presentation of Difficult History


  • Dr Kostantinos Arvanitis, main supervisor
  • Dr Melanie Giles, co-supervisor
  • Dr Abigail Gilmore (panel member)

Overview of PhD

I study how different applications of the educational philosophies of critical pedagogy and constructivism impact how visitors receive/react to museum content on difficult history. 


I completed my Bachelor’s in Communications in 2016 and earned my Master’s in Museum Studies from Johns Hopkins University in 2018. Since I did both my undergraduate and graduate studies online, I was able to split my time between Cairns, Australia and Charlottesville, Virginia. This allowed me to gain an understanding of issues of difficult history, Indigenous and African-American representation, colonization, and slavery in museums from a variety of perspectives. 

I participated in an archaeological dig at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, created a digital exhibition with the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library on Wilson’s complicity in racial segregation, and wrote a 50-page case study contrasting how Monticello presented Jefferson and slavery with how the Australian James Cook Museum presented Captain Cook and colonization.

I am currently studying my Ph.D. full time and am funded by the University of Manchester.

PhD-related publications, presentations or other outputs

Bachelors’ thesis (unpublished)

Not Enough: A Critical Examination of the Current Method of Presenting Inclusive History in the United States

Digital exhibit

The Trotter Incident- Digital Exhibit on the American public’s reaction to Woodrow Wilson’s complicity in re-instating racial segregation.



Althea's LinkedIn page