About

Abigail Modaff is a Ph.D. Candidate in History at Harvard University. Her dissertation, To Meet Life Face to Face: Communication and American Social Reform from Haymarket to the Harlem Renaissance, narrates the search for mutual understanding that united the fractious politics of the American Progressive Era. 

Modaff's interdisciplinary research has been supported by the Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History, the Ash Center for Democracy at the Harvard Kennedy School, and the Harvard History Department. She has also won multiple teaching awards, including the Phi Beta Kappa Alpha Iota Award for Outstanding Teaching, the History Prize Instructorship, and a Special Commendation for Extraordinary Teaching in Extraordinary Times. She has served as a First-Year Proctor and Advisor and currently chairs the Selection Committee of the Harvard-Cambridge Scholarships. Prior to pursuing the PhD, she received her MPhil with Distinction from Cambridge University in 2013 and her A. B. summa cum laude from Harvard in 2012.

Her larger research interests include intellectual and cultural history, in the United States and around the globe; Pragmatism; Progressivism; anarchy and American radical traditions; the study of immigration, race, and identity; and the intersection of aesthetics, literature, and politics. She can be reached at amodaff@g.harvard.edu