Danielle Bainbridge

Northwestern University Professor & Study Hall Host

Northwestern University

Danielle Bainbridge is an Assistant Professor of Theatre at Northwestern University, where she also holds courtesy appointments in Performance Studies and African American Studies. Her ongoing book project Refinements of Cruelty: Enslavement, Enfreakment, and the Performance Archive examines the lives of African American sideshow and freak show performers who were also enslaved. From 2017-2020 she was the researcher, writer, and host of the PBS Digital Studios web series "The Origin of Everything.”  Her first play "Curio" premiered at the University of Pennsylvania in April 2018 and appeared at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in August 2018. In 2020 she served as a host and recurring talent on two 2021 Daytime Emmy Nominated web series: PBS Self-Evident and YouTube Originals “Booktube.” From 2021-2022 she served as a host and consulting producer on PBS’ “Historian’s Take,” which was a 2023 NAACP Image Award Nominee. Starting in 2022, she is a host and consultant on "Study Hall US History to 1865" a collaboration with Arizona State University, Complexly, and YouTube. In the 2022-2023 academic year she will be a faculty fellow at Northwestern’s Kaplan Institute for the Humanities.  In 2023 she will complete her first short documentary based on her 2018 piece “Curio” with $55,000 in grant support from Northwestern’s Provost Office.