Paul E. Raether Distinguished Professor of American Studies

Davarian L. Baldwin is a leading urbanist, historian, and cultural critic. His work largely examines the landscape of global cities through the lens of the African Diasporic experience. Baldwin’s related interests include universities and urban development, the racial foundations of academic thought, intellectual and mass culture, Black radical thought and transnational social movements, the politics of heritage tourism, and 20th and 21st Century art, architecture, and urban design.

Baldwin is the author of In the Shadow of the Ivory Tower: How Universities are Plundering Our Cities (Bold Type Books, 2021), Chicago’s New Negroes: Modernity, the Great Migration, and Black Urban Life (UNC, 2007) and co-editor, with Minkah Makalani, of the essay collection Escape From New York! The New Negro Renaissance beyond Harlem (Minnesota, 2013). He is currently finishing Land of Darkness: Chicago and the Making of Race in Modern America (Oxford University Press). Baldwin is also developing a digital, video-based, Black Intellectual Oral History (BIOH) project for both archival documentation of important stories and virtual mentorship to younger scholars. In 2019, he was awarded a Logan Nonfiction Writing Fellowship from the Carey Institute for the Global Good. During the 2013 – 2014 academic year, Baldwin held the Ralph H. Metcalfe Distinguished Visiting Chair at Marquette University.

At Trinity, Baldwin’s teaching brings together urban and cultural studies, 20th Century U.S. History, and African American Studies. He is also the founding director of the Smart Cities Research Lab housed in the Center for Urban and Global Studies on campus. Baldwin leads professional development workshops for school teachers with the NEH and the organizations Primary Source and Facing History and Ourselves. He also serves as a textbook consultant for McGraw Hill and is currently formulating a video-based learning curriculum for The Great Courses series entitled, How the Great Migration Changed America.

His research, writing, and commentary has been featured in numerous outlets including NBC News, CNN, PBS, SIRIUS XM, The History Channel, NPR, BBC Radio, TIME, Washington Post, The Guardian, The Business Journals, USA Today, and The Daily Beast. His more recent pieces include, “Why We Should Abolish Campus Police,” The Chronicle of Higher Education (May 19, 2021); “Higher Education Has a Tax Problem and It’s Hurting Local Communities,” TIME (April 7, 2021), “Higher Education’s Racial Reckoning Reaches Far Beyond Slavery,” Washington Post (April 1, 2021), and “What Universities’ Growing Power Means for Cities,” Next City (March 30, 2021). Baldwin’s essay “When Universities Swallow Cities,” was the lead article in the “Cities” special issue of Chronicle Review (Chronicle of Higher Education) in 2017.

In addition to teaching and writing, Baldwin sits on the Executive Council of the Society for Historians of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era (SHGAPE). He serves on the Editorial Boards for the Journal of Urban History, The Journal of African American History, and The American Studies Journal. Baldwin is also co-editor of the Urban Life, Landscape, and Policy book series for Temple University Press and was appointed a Distinguished Lecturer for the Organization of American Historians.