dichter@fas.harvard.edu
thomas_dichter@hms.harvard.edu

I am a Lecturer in the History & Literature program, where I teach courses and advise undergraduates in the American Studies and Ethnic Studies fields. I have also taught in the Harvard English department and the Department of Law, Jurisprudence, and Social Thought at Amherst College. I recieved my bachelor's degree in English from Harvard in 2008 and my PhD in English from the University of Pennsylvania in 2015. My research and teaching focus on incarceration, race, and state-sanctioned violence in the United States since the nineteenth century. I have published articles in J19: The Journal of Nineteenth-Century AmericanistsAmerican Literature, and Law, Culture, and the Humanities. Prior to moving to Boston, I was a member of Decarcerate PA, a grassroots coalition working to end mass incarceration in Pennsylvania. 

I am also a vocal advocate for contingent (i.e. non-tenure-track) faculty members at Harvard. Nationally, more than 70% of college instructors are contingent faculty, as universities shift teaching labor toward lower paid and less secure positions. At Harvard, thousands of contingent faculty teach a large number of undergraduates and graduate students. Across the academy, contingent faculty members are increasingly calling for more equitable treatment, and I'm proud to stand among them.

When I'm not teaching in Hist & Lit, I work as a Program Assistant at Harvard Medical School in the Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Partnership.