Peter C. Baldwin

Ph.D., Brown

Professor Peter Baldwin, History DepartmentHours, Spring 2019: tba
Office: Wood Hall, Rm 235
Phone: (860) 486-3854
Fax: (860) 486-0641


Areas of Specialty

American Urban History, American Social History


Current Research Interests

Religion and sexuality in nineteenth-century America



Peter Cunningham Baldwin was born in New York City and grew up in Ithaca, New York. He graduated from Wesleyan University in 1984. For the next seven years, he worked as a newspaper reporter for the Hartford Courant. He received his M.A. in history from Brown University in 1992 and his Ph.D. in history from Brown in 1997. From 1997 to 2001, he served as an assistant professor of history at DePaul University in Chicago. He came to the University of Connecticut in 2001.

Prof. Baldwin teaches classes in the History of Urban America, and America Since 1877. His second book, In the Watches of the Night: Life in the Nocturnal City, 1820-1930, was published in 2012 by the University of Chicago Press. It examines the social history of night in American metropolitan centers during the years when the city became illuminated by gas and electricity. He is now working on a microhistory of religion and sexuality in nineteenth century America, focusing on the diaries of a Massachusetts educator.


Selected Publications

“Sports, Recreation, and Leisure: Nightlife in the City ,” American History: Oxford Research Encyclopedia, March 2015 <>

“Public Privacy: Restrooms in American Cities, 1869–1932,” Journal of Social History 48, no. 2 (winter, 2014): 264-288.

Howard P. Chudacoff, Judith E. Smith and Peter C. Baldwin, The Evolution of American Urban Society, 8th ed. (Boston: Pearson, 2014)

In the Watches of the Night: Life in the Nocturnal City, 1820-1930 (University of Chicago Press, 2012)

Howard P. Chudacoff, Judith E. Smith and Peter C. Baldwin, The Evolution of American Urban Society, 7th ed. (Boston: Prentice Hall, 2010)

Mapping Time: Night and Day in the Nineteenth-Century City” Common-Place, vol. 6, no. 1 (October, 2005) Winner of Common-Place’s 2007 “Uncommon Voice Prize”

Howard P. Chudacoff and Peter C. Baldwin, eds., Major Problems in American Urban and Suburban History (Boston: Houghton-Mifflin, 2005)

“In the Heart of Darkness: Blackouts and the Social Geography of Lighting in the Gaslight Era,” Journal of Urban History 30, no. 5 (July 2004): 749-768.

“How Night Air Became Good Air, 1776–1930,” Environmental History 8, no. 3 (July 2003): 412-429.

“Nocturnal Habits and Dark Wisdom: The American Response to Children in the Streets at Night, 1870-1920,” Journal of Social History 35, no. 3 (Spring 2002): 593-611.

Domesticating the Street: The Reform of Public Space in Hartford, 1850-1930. Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 1999. Winner, Urban History Association’s 2000 prize for “Best Book in North American Urban History.”