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Faculty & Research

Danielle S. Allen

James Bryant Conant University Professor
Professor of Government
Director, Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics

Danielle S. Allen

Degree:  Ph.D., Harvard University, (2001)
Email:  [javascript protected email address]


Danielle Allen is a political theorist who has published broadly in democratic theory, political sociology, and the history of political thought. Widely known for her work on justice and citizenship in both ancient Athens and modern America, Allen is the author of The World of Prometheus: the Politics of Punishing in Democratic Athens (2000), Talking to Strangers: Anxieties of Citizenship since Brown vs. the Board of Education (2004), Why Plato Wrote (2010), and Our Declaration (2014) and co-editor (with Rob Reich) of Education, Justice, and Democracy (2013). In 2002 she was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship for her "ability to combine the classicist's careful attention to texts and language with the political theorist's sophisticated and informed engagement." She is currently working on books on citizenship in the digital age and political equality and directs The Democratic Knowledge Project, a group of research projects on knowledge and democracy. Among these is HULA, a project on assessment in the humanities and liberal arts. Allen is a frequent public lecturer and regular guest on public radio affiliates to discuss issues of citizenship and education policy, as well as a contributor on similar subjects to the Washington Post, Boston Review, Democracy, Cabinet, and The Nation.

Click here to see a full list of Danielle Allen's courses.

Sponsored Projects


Humanities and Liberal Arts Assessment Lab (HULA) (2015-2016)
Spencer Foundation

Founded in 2012, the Humanities and Liberal Arts Assessment project (HULA) research team has taken on the project of understanding the learning theories and related theories of human development that lie at the heart of the humanities. Professional Humanists — those with advanced degrees in humanities subjects — have been passing on their practices and craft knowledge for millennia through master-apprentice relationships. Our goal is to make the implicit craft knowledge and practices of these disciplines explicit. The value in illuminating the craft knowledge of the goals of the humanities in relation to the methods and mechanisms by which those goals can be achieved is that then assessment becomes possible via assessment instruments developed organically out of humanists’ practices—as opposed to being imposed on them by instruments ill-fitted to the humanities. These assessment instruments have a twofold value for those outside the humanities as well for professional humanists: more accurate and useful evaluation of outcomes and success for presenting humanities work to those outside the humanities, as well as developmental resources for professional humanists that will serve to help them hone and refine their own crafts.

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