Ian Baucom came to the University of Virginia after serving 17 years in Duke University’s Department of English as a professor and as the director of the John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute. Since arriving at UVA in the summer of 2014, Dean Baucom has led a series of initiatives within the College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences.
He is overseeing an ambitious hiring campaign that, in the midst of a generational turnover of esteemed faculty, aims to bring upwards of 200 new tenured and tenure-track faculty to the College. Baucom is emphasizing the importance of recruiting at the highest level of excellence and enhancing the faculty's diversity to build on the College’s historical strengths and to ensure its future for generations of students to come.
Baucom is also guiding the College's efforts to revise its undergraduate curriculum for the first time in four decades, starting with the New College Curriculum pilot which launched during the 2017-18 academic year. In addition, he is working with the College’s leadership team to develop creative initiatives in global, digital and cross-disciplinary studies. At the same time, Baucom is working to advance the research mission and to further strengthen graduate programs, coordinating an examination of the Graduate School's current state and future ambitions.
He earned his undergraduate degree in political science from Wake Forest University and holds a master's degree in African studies and a doctorate in English, both from Yale University.
Baucom is the author of Out of Place: Englishness, Empire and the Locations of Identity, and Specters of the Atlantic: Finance Capital, Slavery, and the Philosophy of History. He is the co-editor of Shades of Black: Assembling Black Arts in 1980s Britain.