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Pakistan’s Dr. Farah Karim appointed director of Folger Shakespeare Library in US


Dr. Farah Karim Cooper, a distinguished Pakistani scholar, has been appointed as the new director of the esteemed Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC.

The announcement of Karim Cooper’s appointment came from the Folger Shakespeare Library’s Board of Governors, following a rigorous 10-month international search for the successor of the 92-year-old institution. Currently serving on the executive leadership team at Shakespeare’s Globe as the Director of Education (Higher Education & Research), Karim Cooper brings with her 20 years of experience at Shakespeare’s Globe in London.

Born in Karachi and raised in Houston, Texas, Karim Cooper is widely recognized as a leading Shakespeare scholar and public intellectual. She holds the position of Professor of Shakespeare Studies at Kings College London and is the author of numerous acclaimed publications spanning commercial, trade, and scholarly realms. Karim Cooper will succeed Michael Witmore, who has served as director since 2011, and will assume her new role as Director of the Folger Shakespeare Library on October 7, 2024.

Expressing her enthusiasm for her upcoming role, Karim Cooper stated, “I am thrilled to take up the role of Director of the Folger Shakespeare Library. After twenty years at Shakespeare’s Globe developing a scholarly profile while leading research, education, collections, and public programming, this role is the natural next step on my lifelong journey with Shakespeare. The Folger is a world-renowned and beloved institution, a significant beacon of knowledge that daily demonstrates the importance of the humanities. I am truly honored to uphold its founding mission while forging new ways to demonstrate how Shakespeare’s work speaks to our moment. Above all, I look forward to working with the Folger’s passionate staff and its remarkable Board of Governors to lead this miraculous institution into its second century.”

Karim-Cooper’s appointment marks a significant milestone as she becomes the eighth director of the Folger Shakespeare Library and the first person of color to hold this prestigious position.

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