Kelly J. Baker
Kelly J. Baker writes about the apocalypse, zombies, mental illness, trauma, and higher education. She's the author of The Gospel According to the Klan: The KKK’s Appeal to Protestant America, 1915-1930, Grace Period: A Memoir in Pieces, Sexism Ed: Essays on Gender and Labor in Higher Education, and Final Girl: And Other Essays on Grief, Trauma, and Mental Illness, forthcoming Fall 2020. She's also the editor of Women in Higher Education, The National Teaching and Learning Forum, and Disability Acts. You can find her hanging around on Twitter @kelly_j_baker, tweeting about coffee, parenting, writing, and other shenanigans.
Recent Posts by Kelly J.
It’s the End and Nothing Feels Fine
I don’t use the word “apocalypse” or “apocalyptic” lightly. I’m a scholar of bad endings. And the pandemic that we face right now feels like it could be a very bad ending.
Losing Our Selves, But Never Getting Lost
An excerpt from KtB e-book Grace Period: A Memoir In Pieces.
The Klan Never Ends
When Gospel According to the Klan was published in 2011, the reactions to the book surprised me at first. I had some white people, including scholars, tell me that the Klan was an artifact of the past, or a fringe movement of little consequence. While I might have written about the 1920s Klan, they were…
Goodbye, Tim LaHaye
When I first encountered Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins’ Left Behind (1995), I was sitting on the a sage-colored corduroy coach at my mom’s house. Left Behind rested on a nearby table. It was 1998. I was in my first year of college and already determined to take courses on world religions. My determination proved…
On Redeeming Other People
…whether they want you to or not.
Without Meaning To
I search for meaning everywhere. In television shows, theme songs, top 40 hits, novels, Internet memes, and casual comments from friends and strangers. I look for meaning in relationships. In the words, spoken and not. In the emotions that radiate in gestures, silence, frowns, smiles, and tears. I look for meaning in the people that…
Sadness Is My Favorite
“Sadness touch my memories, Mama.” My two-year-old repeats this sentence like it’s his mantra. We’ve been watching Inside Out on heavy rotation at our house. He and his seven-year-old sister find the film about feelings enchanting. They quote lines. They pick favorite characters. They beg to watch it one more time. I tend to let…
Zombies and Guns
When did a movie monster become a reason for purchasing weapons? An excerpt from The Zombies Are Coming.
Words to Live By
I got another tattoo. A black and gray owl with wise eyes rests on my right bicep. A locked heart lays on its chest. Its claws grasp the key. I get tattoos to mark the transitions, those shifts in my life that suggest nothing will ever be the same. Tattoos make endings and beginnings concrete….
Out For Coffee
The sociable beverage becomes a grief ritual.
Look For The Signs
The Messengers is another supernatural mystery from a network, the CW, known for vampires, zombies, demons, angels, and other monsters that go bump in the night. I watched the first two episodes with the hope that maybe this show would mimic Supernatural, my long-time favorite that emphasizes moral ambiguity, the peril of good intentions, and…
Cinderella: The Magic of Kindness
I grew up with Disney princesses: Ariel, Jasmine, Snow White, Aurora, and Cinderella. I watched and rewatched these fairy tales on-screen, not just as entertainment, but also as possibilities for the world I inhabited. I fervently wished that magic was real and that all princes were charming. Particular princesses resonated more than others. Ariel and…
Kingsman: The One-Percent Apocalypse
I went to watch Kingsman: The Secret Service the day after Valentine’s Day. My husband and I were eager to see a movie, any movie really, that didn’t involve talking animals. The choices were limited for those us who refuse to engage Fifty Shades of Grey, so we settled upon Kingsman because it was the…
We Are Living Reminders
HBO’s The Leftovers and grief