Daragh Grant

Lecturer on Social Studies
Committee on Degrees in Social Sciences
Harvard University

Core: Self, Culture and Society

Daragh Grant received his Ph.D. in political science from the University of Chicago in 2012. His book manuscript,  Constructing States from “Savage Wilderness”: Settling Jurisdiction in English North America, 1600-1740, focuses on the establishment of English settler colonies in North America in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, bringing together his research interests in state formation and colonialism. The project examines the jurisdictional politics of early America and draws on early modern theories of sovereignty to illuminate how settler elites and imperial officials sought to claim authority over Indians, settlers, and unfree laborers in early America. The book also attends to the strategies by which indigenous polities, slaves, and some settler communities sought to resist or exploit colonial governments and the imperial center to their own ends. Exploring the tensions between the juridical foundations of English claims to authority and the day-to-day practices of colonization, the book aims to explain the peculiar feature of the colonial state form by which indigenous peoples came to be subjected to the edicts of colonial governments whilst being excluded from the moral community on whose behalf these governments were imagined to rule. Grant’s essay, “‘Civilizing' the Colonial Subject: The Co-evolution of State and Slavery in South Carolina, 1670-1739” is forthcoming in Comparative Studies in Society and History.