American Democracy Project

The Warren Center has initiated the American Democracy Project, with the objective to explore connections between scholars and scholarly work in American history, and the possibilities for application of historical insights in the realms of public discourse and policy.

The Warren Center American Democracy Project includes support of the following.

Tef Poe (Fellow of the Charles Warren Center, 2016-17).

Tef Poe is an American rapper, musician and activist. He is one of the co-founders of the Hands Up United movement.Tef has consistently advocated grass-roots involvement in improving the lives of African Americans and in racial justice within and outside the United States. In his art and activism, he insists on the value of local people taking charge of conversations about their own communities rather than relying on national organizations. 

Ann Jones (Fellow of the Charles Warren Center, 2015-16).
         Ann Jones is an independent scholar, journalist, photographer, and the author of ten books of nonfiction. She received a PhD   in English and history from the University of Wisconsin. Her work focuses on women and other underdogs and on the historical/social/political structures that perpetuate injustice. She has written  extensively about violence against women in the U.S. (Women Who Kill; Next Time She’ll Be Dead); reported from Afghanistan (Kabul in Winter), Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East (War is Not Over When It’s Over) on the impact of war upon civilians; and embedded with U.S. forces in Afghanistan to report the damage done to them (They Were Soldiers). Widely published, her articles currently appear most often in The Nation and online at She is working on reflections on life in Norway (rated the best place to be a woman), Afghanistan (the worst), and the U.S.  Her work has received generous support from the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the Lannan Foundation, and the U.S.-Norway Fulbright Foundation.

Max Kenner (Fellow of the Charles Warren Center, 2013-14; Bard College Executive Vice-President for Institutional Initiatives, Founder and Executive Director of the Bard Prison Initiative). 

        The Bard Prison Initiative (BPI) is the largest college-in-prison program in the United States.  It enrolls 250 incarcerated college students in associate and bachelor’s degree granting programs across New York State.  The Consortium for the Liberal Arts in Prison anchors and cultivates a growing network of colleges and universities that are restoring educational access to prisons in their respective regions. Consortium partners currently include Wesleyan University, Grinnell College, Goucher College, University of Notre Dame, with projects in-development in Kentucky, Missouri, and Washington (state).

Emancipation at 150: a series of talks on the 150th-anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation (spring term, 2013).

     Alan Gilbert (University of Denver).  “Black Patriots and Loyalists: Fighting for Emancipation in the War for 
 Co-sponsored with the Center for American Political Studies.  (March 27, 2013)

      James Oakes (CUNY).  "The Scorpion's Sting:  The Irreconcilable Conflict Over Slavery." (April 16, 2013)

      Thavolia Glymph (Duke University).  "Refugees and Outlaws: Enslaved Women and the Struggle for Freedom on the Civil     
      War's Battlefields." (
April 22, 2013)

      Michael Ralph (New York University).  "The Afterlife of Slave Insurance." (April 30, 2013)

“Histories of Land, Economy, and Power,” a conference held at the Weatherhead Center on November 9-10, 2012.

        This conference gathered scholars working on the history and politics of land use in order to illuminate empirical patterns of the emergence of particular regimes of property rights in land, the role of such regimes in supporting or contesting inequality, the relationship of ownership to sovereignty – in short, the historical role of land use in elaborating political and economic systems. The conference explored moments of tension that revealed possibilities for alternative models of distribution and rights allocation.