Kabria Baumgartner

Office: English, Hamilton Smith Hall Rm 329, Durham, NH 03824
Kabria Baumgartner

Kabria Baumgartner is an assistant professor of American studies, a core faculty member in the Women’s Studies Program and a faculty affiliate in the History Department. She earned her Ph.D. in African American studies and a graduate certificate in feminist studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She joined the UNH faculty in 2017 where she teaches undergraduate and graduate-level courses on topics such as slave narratives, American protest literature, early African American culture and history, and black feminism.Her research focuses on the social and political realities of African American women’s activism in the United States, from the late eighteenth century to the present. She has earned numerous awards to support her research, including fellowships from the Library Company of Philadelphia, the American Antiquarian Society, the National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation and the Massachusetts Historical Society. Her book, "Right To Learn: African American Women and Educational Activism in Antebellum America" (under contract with NYU Press) tells the story of African American women writers, students and teachers who fostered black educational opportunity in the Northeast between 1820 and 1860. It argues that a group of women activists launched a series of local educational campaigns, from establishing literary societies to desegregating female seminaries, in order to create a self-perpetuating system of black intellectual achievement. Baumgartner’s publications include recent scholarly articles in the New England Quarterly and the Journal of the Early Republic as well as a book chapter on the female seminary movement in Margaret Nash’s edited volume, "Women’s Higher Education in the United States: New Historical Perspectives" (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017).


  • Ph.D., African-American/Black Studies, University of Massachusetts - Amherst
  • M.A., University of California - Los Angeles
  • B.A., University of California - Los Angeles

Research Interests

  • 19th century American cultural studies and history
  • Africana studies
  • Feminism
  • History of education
  • Social reform movements

Courses Taught

  • ENGL 517: Intro African Amer Lit & Cult
  • ENGL 650: Studies American Lit & Cult
  • ENGL 787: English Major Seminar
  • ENGL 935: Sem/Studies Americn Literature

Selected Publications

Baumgartner, K. S. (2019). Towers of Intellect: The Struggle for African American Higher Education in Antebellum New England. In L. Harris, & J. Campbell (Eds.), Slavery and the University: Histories and Legacies. University of Georgia Press.

Baumgartner, K. (2019). Love and Justice: African American Women, Education, and Protest in Antebellum New England. Journal of Social History, 52(3), 652-676. doi:10.1093/jsh/shy019

Baumgartner, K. (2018). “Cruel and Wicked Prejudice:” Racial Exclusion and the Female Seminary Movement in the Antebellum North. In Women’s Higher Education in the United States (pp. 45-67). Palgrave Macmillan US. doi:10.1057/978-1-137-59084-8_3