Biography

Ross Martin received his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor where, prior to teaching in the Harvard College Writing Program, he was a Frederick Donald Sober Postdoctoral Fellow. As a scholar he focuses on U.S. American intellectual history up to 1865, specializing in the comparative study of philosophical, scientific, and legal ideas.

At Harvard College, Dr. Martin teaches academic inquiry and writing through landmark U.S. Supreme Court decisions, emphasizing the evolving meaning of “the people” in “we the people.” 

In his semesterly course, Personhood in U.S. Constitutional Law, he thus invites students to consider what counts as a “person” by exploring topics ranging from citizenship and slavery to corporate speech and abortion. Beyond learning about a “government of the people, by the people, for the people,” as President Lincoln famously declared, students grapple with how personhood functions as a fundamental, albeit frustrating, concept in jurisprudence.