Prof. Batiste's interests include the relationships between representation, performance, identity, race, and power. Her research and teaching focus on the ways in which cultural texts, like literature, theater, performance, film, art, and bodies, act as imaginative systems that create identity, cultural values, human interactions, and possibilities of justice. Her teaching reflects this in the broad array of materials she uses to bring students to an interdisciplinary understanding of texts, theory, and history. Her book, Darkening Mirrors: Imperial Representation in Depression Era African American Performance (Duke University Press, 2011) examines the complicated ways African Americans participated in American ideologies of cultural imperialism—ideologies like expansionism and primitivism. Professor Batiste's most recent work focuses on performance, affect, and violence in millennial Los Angeles.