Kabria Baumgartner is an associate professor of American studies in the English department and core faculty in the Women's and Gender Studies department at the University of New Hampshire. She is a leading expert on education and the African American experience in the nineteenth-century United States. Generally, her research and teaching interests focus on early African American culture and history, with an emphasis on gender.
Her publications and presentations have examined subjects such as the antebellum female seminary movement, school desegregation in the antebellum Northeast, the origins of the American high school, and the public humanities and local history.
Her first book, In Pursuit of Knowledge: Black Women and Educational Activism in Antebellum America (New York University Press, 2019), tells the stories of brave African American girls and women who fought to democratize private female seminaries and public high schools in the nineteenth century Northeast.
Professor Baumgartner's research has been supported by the Library Company of Philadelphia, the American Antiquarian Society, and, most recently, the Peabody Essex Museum/Phillips Library. In 2016, Professor Baumgartner was selected as a Postdoctoral Fellow by the National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation. She is currently a 2020-2021 NEH Long-Term Fellow at the Massachusetts Historical Society where she is writing a biography of Robert Morris, one of the first civil rights lawyers in the United States.
Before her arrival at the University of New Hampshire in 2016, Professor Baumgartner taught at the College of Wooster and Amherst College. Prior to that, she earned a Ph.D. in African American Studies and a Certificate in Feminist Studies from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and a M.A. summa cum laude in African American Studies and B.A. cum laude in English from the University of California, Los Angeles. Professor Baumgartner also studied at the Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany, where she learned conversational German and received a Certificate in British Studies.
Professor Baumgartner enjoys traveling, writing micro-stories, reading popular culture blogs, and watching sports, especially tennis and basketball.