Beloved University professor passes away at 64Historians in the News
tags: obituaries, Brown
Associate Professor of History Robert Douglas Cope— known as Doug by colleagues, friends and family — passed away Oct. 6 at the age of 64.
During his 31-year stretch at the University, Cope became well-known among undergraduates for his vibrant and engaging lectures in courses on colonial Latin America, conquests, the Mexican Revolution and, most famously, pirates.
“Above all, he really was a master storyteller,” said Jennifer Lambe, associate professor of history.
Lambe first met Cope while she was an undergraduate at the University. She took three classes with him — HIST 0233: “Colonial Latin America,” HIST 1967E: “In the Shadow of Revolution: Mexico Since 1940” and an upper level seminar on resistance and rebellion in Latin America. Lambe was consistently drawn to Cope’s courses because of his ability to “communicate the material in a way that made it come alive for students.” He could engage “everyone in the class in a really effortless way,” she added.
Cope wore many hats during his time at the University: He served as a first-year and sophomore advisor, an advisor for undergraduates and graduates in the Department of History, a graduate student supervisor for the colonial Latin American field of study and a concentration advisor for the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies. In each of these positions, Cope demonstrated an incredible dedication to students at the University, Lambe said. “Doug was the kind of person who you asked to do something, and he would always say yes,” she added.
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