Peter C. Baldwin


Ph.D., Brown

Areas of Specialty

American Urban History, American Social History

Current Research Interests

New York during WWII


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, the History of Childhood in America, and America Since 1877. His third book, Angel on a Freight Train: A Story of Faith and Queer Desire in Nineteenth Century America, was published in 2020 by the State University of New York Press. Based on the diaries of a Massachusetts educator, it considers how one man’s religious experience and sexuality were influenced by the emotional culture of his time.  He is currently studying the experience of Civil Defense blackouts in New York during WWII.

Selected Publications

“Dangers that Lurk in a Kiss: Quarantining the American Mouth, 1890–1920” Journal of Social History 55, no. 3 (Spring 2022):  647–67.

“Riding to Learn, Learning to Ride:  Early School-busing in Connecticut, 1900–1945” Connecticut History Review 60, no. 2 (Fall 2021): 28-52.

Angel on a Freight Train: A Story of Faith and Queer Desire in Nineteenth Century America (Albany: State University of New York Press, 2020).

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

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)

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.”

Peter Baldwin, professor of history; photograph by Mark Mirko
Photo by Mark Mirko.
Contact Information
Phone(860) 486-3854
Fax(860) 486-0641
Mailing Address241 Glenbrook Road, Wood Hall U-4103, Storrs CT 06269
Office LocationWood Hall, Rm 235
CampusCampus: Storrs
Office HoursSpring 2024: Wed 9-10am, 2-4pm, or by appointment