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Brandon M. Terry




bterry [at] fas.harvard.edu


Brandon M. Terry graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College with an AB in Government and African and African American Studies and received an MSc in Political Theory Research as a Michael von Clemm Fellow at Corpus Christi College at the University of Oxford. He earned a PhD with university distinction in Political Science and African American Studies from Yale University, where he was also a Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellow and a recipient of the Sterling Prize, in 2012. Upon completing his term as a Prize Fellow, Brandon will begin an appointment as Assistant Professor of African and African American Studies and Social Studies at Harvard University.


His current research project sits at the intersection of political theory, history, and African-American Studies. Tentatively titled, The Tragic Vision of the Civil Rights Movement, it is a reconstruction of the philosophical foundations of historiographical debates concerning the African-American civil rights movement, and an attempt, through a synthesis of methods drawn from political theory, philosophy of history, literary theory, and African-American Studies, to articulate the normative significance of these historical narratives, given the widespread invocation of the example of the civil rights movement in contemporary political theory and public philosophy. In pursuing these questions, it also hopes to contribute to a broader debate in political theory about its relationships with historiography and historical imagination.


In addition to this project, Brandon is also working on a thematic philosophical study of black nationalist thought in the United States tentatively titled, Sovereignty, Soulcraft, and Suffering and other research projects on the political thought of Martin Luther King, Jr. and civil rights historiography. His broader academic interests also include Black intellectual and political thought, contemporary political theory, continental philosophy, philosophical aesthetics, 19th and 20th century US history, American political development, the philosophy of race and racism, questions of poverty, crime, and incarceration in political and social theory, and the aesthetics and sociology of hip-hop and black youth culture.