Kate Baldwin is a scholar and teacher who specializes in comparative literary and cultural histories. Her first book, Beyond the Color Line and the Iron Curtain: Reading Encounters between Black and Red, remaps black American modernism by addressing the involvement of African-American intellectuals with Soviet communism and a Russian intellectual heritage. Her most recent book, The Racial Imaginary of the Cold War Kitchen: From Sokol’niki Park to Chicago’s South Side (2016), examines the relationships between domestic space and cultural diplomacy during the Cold War. Looking at midcentury design, film, advertising, fashion, and literature, The Racial Imaginary shows how structures of feeling associated with U.S. domesticity were taken up, championed, reconstituted, and resisted in the Soviet Union during the 1950s and 1960s.
Baldwin’s past fellowships include the Pembroke at Brown University, a Mellon postdoc at Johns Hopkins University, and the Bunting Fellowship at Harvard University. In 2007 and 2010 she was Professeur Invité at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris. She has published articles in Cultural Critique, Diaspora, Modern Fiction Studies, Novel, modernism/modernity, American Literary History, and Russian Review, and her article on Nella Larsen’s Passing was anthologized in the Norton Critical Edition of Passing. Baldwin’s new book on women, race, and work developed from a course she started teaching a decade ago called “Motherhood and its Discontents.” Her articles chronicling these issues have been published by the Huffington Post, The Hill, Quartz, Global Post, and Truth-Out.