Nicole King

Nicole King is an associate professor of the Department of American Studies, an affiliate professor in the Language, Literacy, and Culture doctoral program, and director of the Orser Center for the Study of Place, Community, and Culture at UMBC.

She received her PhD in American studies from the University of Maryland, College Park in 2008 and a MA in comparative literature and cultural studies from the University of New Mexico in 2001. Her research and teaching interests focus on issues of place, power, and economic development. King’s scholarship analyzes changes to the social and built environment during the rise of consumer culture in the twentieth century—such as the development of vernacular landscapes of tourism in the U.S. South and the decline of industrial neighborhoods in Baltimore. She is an editor of the book Baltimore Revisited: Stories of Inequality and Resistance in a U.S. City (Rutgers University Press, 2019) and the author of Sombreros and Motorcycles in a Newer South: The Politics of Aesthetics in South Carolina’s Tourism Industry (University Press of Mississippi, 2012). She co-founded the Baltimore Traces: Communities in Transition public humanities project where students work with local partners to research historic neighborhoods and complete oral history interviews focused on preserving the opinions of those who live and work in Baltimore. King’s research and teaching is based on the belief that looking and listening to a place can be a transformative act.


  • PhD, Department of American Studies, University of Maryland College Park, 2008
  • MA, Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM, 2001

Selected Publications



  • Co-author with Meghan Ashlin Rich, “Building Together” in Baltimore? Corporate Mega-Development and Coalitions for Community Power,” Urban Affairs Review, June 2021, 1-37.
  • Sounds of a City: Podcasts and Public Humanities in Baltimore,” Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement, Volume 25, Number 1 (2021), 137-149.
  • “Reckoning with Regionalism: Race, Place, and Power in Urban History,” Review Essay, Journal of Urban History (2021) Vol. 47(1) 209–214.
  • “The Superblock: A Downtown Development Debacle, 2003-2015” in Baltimore Revisited: Stories of Inequality and Resistance in a U.S. City (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 2019)
  • “Community-Based Methods for Envisioning Deindustrialization: Mapping Baybrook and Mill Stories Projects of Baltimore, USA” in Onciul, B.A., Stefano, M.L., and Hawke, S., eds. Engaging Heritage: Engaging Communities (Suffolk: Boydell & Brewer, 2017), 119-137, co-authored with Michelle L. Stefano.
  • “Preserving Places, Making Spaces in Baltimore: Seeing the Connections of Research, Teaching, and Service,” Journal of Urban History, May 2014, Vol. 40 (3), 425-449.
  • “Behind the Sombrero: The Story of Identity and Power at South of the Border,1949-2001,” Anthony Stanonis, editor, Dixie Emporium: Consumerism, Tourism, and Memory in the American South (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2008), 148-174.



  • AMST 100: Introduction to American Studies
  • AMST 200: What is an American?
  • AMST 300: Approaches in American Studies
  • AMST 380: Community in America
  • AMST 422/682: Preserving Places, Making Spaces in Baltimore
  • AMST 490: Senior Seminar