Kate Baldwin

Scholarly Retreats
Type of work

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. Baldwin’s new book on women, race, and work developed from a course she started teaching a decade ago called “Motherhood and its Discontents.” While at A Studio in the Woods she worked on a chapter from this book that addresses motherhood, race, and debt.

“I was instantly caught up in the setting and its history; as a cultural historian and chronicler of place, I am interested in thinking vertically about the way institutions and their complex histories effect us in the present. The fascinating, sedimented history of The Studio (and its sediments) over time infused my writing, helping me to bring perspective and an enriched curiosity to the question of place that I was writing about during my stay.” – Kate Baldwin