Kabria Baumgartner wins awards for her first book

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Kabria Baumgartner, associate professor of English and American studies and COLA faculty fellow for equity and inclusion, has won two awards for her first book, “In Pursuit of Knowledge: Black Women and Educational Activism in Antebellum America” (New York University Press, 2019).

Baumgartner was awarded the 2020 Mary Kelley Prize from the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic (SHEAR). The prize honors the best book published on the history of women, gender or sexuality in the early American republic. SHEAR is an association of scholars dedicated to exploring the events and the meaning of United States history between 1776 and 1861.

“In Pursuit of Knowledge,” which uncovers the hidden role that African American girls and women played in the desegregation of American schools, was also honored with the 2020 Outstanding Book Award from the History of Education Society, an international scholarly society focused on the study of the history of education.

“I'm truly humbled,” says Baumgartner. “I’m an interdisciplinary scholar and 'In Pursuit of Knowledge' relies on historical, feminist and, to a lesser extent, literary methodologies, so this recognition affirms the value of interdisciplinary scholarship.”

Baumgartner’s scholarship and teaching focus on nineteenth century African American history and literature. She was also recognized this year as a Diverse: Issues in Higher Education Emerging Scholar for 2020. She is the recipient of fellowships and grants from the National Academy of Education, the Massachusetts Historical Society, the National Park Service, the Organization of American Historians and Phillips Library.