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Abigail Modaff

Thesis Workshop Organizer


Abigail Modaff

Abigail (Abbie) Modaff is a College Fellow in Social Studies at Harvard University and a recent graduate of the Ph.D. in History at Harvard. At CES, she coordinates the Thesis Workshop for Juniors together with Michael Tworek.

Modaff is a historian of modern American culture and ideas. Her current book project, To Meet Life Face to Face: Communication and American Social Reform from Haymarket to the Harlem Renaissance, narrates the search for mutual understanding that united the fractious politics of the American Progressive Era. Her broader research and teaching interests include intellectual and cultural history, in the United States and around the globe; pragmatism, progressivism, and reform; anarchy and American radical traditions; the study of immigration, race, and identity; and the intersection of aesthetics, literature, and politics.

At Harvard, Modaff has served as a First-Year Proctor and a Fellowships Tutor, and continues to serve as chair of the Selection Committee of the Harvard-Cambridge Scholarships. Her research has been supported by the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and the Charles Warren Center for American History. Prior to pursuing the Ph.D., Modaff received her MPhil in Political Thought and Intellectual History from Cambridge University in 2013 and her A.B. in Social Studies from Harvard in 2012.

This information is accurate for the time period that the affiliate is affiliated with CES.


  • College Fellow, Social Studies Department, Harvard University
  • Thesis Workshop Organizer, Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University