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Tufts University
Department of English
6 The Green
Room 203, East Hall
Medford, MA 02155

Office: 617.627.2051
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Kimberly Bain
John Holmes Assistant Professor in Humanities


Ph.D. Princeton University


Kimberly Bain earned a Ph.D. in English and Interdisciplinary Humanistic Study from Princeton University. Bain's most pressing intellectual interests have consolidated around questions of the history, theory, and philosophy of: diaspora, race, gender, postcolonialism, enslavement, flesh, environmental racism, resistance, embodiment, and subjection and subjecthood. She is currently at work on two book projects.

Her first book project, entitled "On Black Breath", takes seriously the charge of "I can't breathe" and considers breath as more than the mere metaphor—rather, as also a somatic and sociopolitical phenomenon that has resonances in the wake of enslavement to the contemporary moment.

Her second book project, entitled "Dirt: Soil and Other Dark Matters," builds on her first project's methodological commitments to multi-temporal and nonchronological avenues of inquiry that trace the development and deployment of the mundane. Revising the impulse to read the Middle Passage as the singular heuristic for understanding Black movement, migration, and mobility throughout history, she turns to dirt for understanding contemporary Black diasporic relations.

Bain has been the recipient of numerous awards and has forthcoming essays on pettiness as a praxis, labored Black breathing, and more. More information about her current work can be found at kimbain.com.

Research Interests

  • Black Studies
  • Literary and Critical Theory
  • Film and Media Studies
  • Digital Humanities
  • Gender and Sexuality

Courses Taught (Selected)

  • Black Matters: Black Anthropocenes (Fall 2020)
  • I Can't Breathe: Blackness and Breathing Beyond the Contemporary Moment (Spring 2021)
  • The African-American Novel (Spring 2021)