Lily Santoro

Lily Santoro
Associate Professor

Dr. Lily Santoro is an Associate Teaching Professor in the Department of History and the Kinder Institute on Constitutional Democracy, where she teaches courses in early American History and public History. She is the faculty advisor for the Kinder MA program in Atlantic History and Politics and leads the Kinder Public History ASH Team in their work to promote, document, and historicize the US Semiquincentennial.


Dr. Santoro is an active public historian with experience as a project archivist, collections assistant, exhibit curator, and museum consultant. As Voices & Votes scholar for Missouri Humanities, she collaborates with community partners across the state to create unique exhibitions and activities that highlight local stories of American democracy in conjunction with a Smithsonian traveling exhibit. In partnership with the Bollinger Center for Regional History, she is spearheading the Southeast Missouri History Gateway project, a digital history project that provides training, consultation, and a digital platform to under-resourced cultural heritage institutions to digitize archival collections for public access. 


Dr. Santoro’s current research explores the discourse of popularized science, religion, and citizenship in mid-nineteenth century African American newspapers. Focusing on discussions of topics such as polygenesis and comparative anatomy, this study attempts to expand our understanding of the conversations the Black community had among themselves about scientific and theological racism and citizenship as the politics of race shifted between the 1820s and 1870s. Her previous publications focused on the popularization of science in early national Philadelphia and ideas of national identity in popular print culture such as almanacs and periodicals in the late eighteenth-century Anglophone Atlantic.


Dr. Santoro earned her Ph.D. and M.A. in American History from the University of Delaware and completed her B.A. in History at the University of Southern California. She holds certificates in Museum Studies from the University of Delaware and Digital Archives and Records Management from San Jose State University.