Brandon Terry

Brandon M. Terry is currently a Junior Prize Fellow in Economics, History, and Politics at Harvard University. In July 2015, he will begin an appointment as Assistant Professor of African and African American Studies and Social Studies at Harvard University. Brandon is a former Benjamin Franklin Creativity Legacy Prize winner for his work with the Phillips Brooks House Association on literacy, poetics, and hip-hop in the Mission Hill Housing Projects in Roxbury, MA now serving proudly on the Benjamin Franklin Creativity Foundation Junto,

Originally from the Baltimore area, Brandon 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. Terry has presented widely at leading universities, including Columbia, Cornell, UCLA, Yale, Dartmouth, and Chicago, and has written or provided commentary for NPRWGBH, The Huffington PostThe Baltimore SunThe Point, The NationTimeMTV News, and more.

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 to articulate the normative significance of these historical narratives given their wide circulation 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. An essay from this project recently won the Best Paper award from the Foundations of Political Theory section of the American Political Science Association.

Brandon is also editing, with his colleague Tommie Shelby, a collection of philosophical essays on the political thought and praxis of Martin Luther King, Jr. In addition, he is also working on a thematic philosophical study of black nationalist thought in the United States tentatively titled, Sovereignty, Soulcraft, and Suffering. His broader academic interests 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.