Grant E. Stanton


Ph.D. Candidate

Colonial & Early America; Atlantic World; Intellectual History

Grant E. Stanton is a doctoral candidate whose research interests range widely across the landscape of early modern American (pre-1865) and Atlantic history. His work has been accepted for publication in popular and academic journals, including Early American Studies, The Boston Globe, and The Washington Post. His scholarship has received special recognition from, among others, the Colonial Society of Pennsylvania, Temple University, and the College of William and Mary. Grant's work has also been supported through fellowships offered by the National Endowment for the Humanities with Philadelphia's Christ Church, the International Center for Jefferson Studies, the LancasterHistory Museum, and the University of Pennsylvania.

Before coming to Penn, Grant received his M.A. and B.A. from the University of Chicago and the University of California - Santa Barbara, respectively, and taught courses in American and World history at Bakersfield College. In 2020, Grant was awarded Teaching Assistant of the Year by Penn's History Department. In Fall 2022, he will be teaching African American History to 1865 at the College of New Jersey.

Grant's dissertation studies the place of insults in structuring eighteenth-century Americans' moral world, as well as a deliciously irreverent lens for understanding the many crises brought to light in the American Revolution -- particularly those surrounding free speech, and the emergent notion that all human beings, qua human beings, have innate moral dignity.

Outside of his dissertation, Grant is studying the emergence of formal black politics in Massachusetts during the American Revolution, as well as the establishment, politicization, demise and revival of black education programs in Philadelphia during the same period.

Advisor: Daniel K. Richter

Committee: Sophia Rosenfeld, Sarah L.H. Gronningsater, Kathleen M. Brown, Warren Breckman


M.A., Social Sciences, University of Chicago, 2017
B.A., History (Honors) and Political Science (Honors), University of California - Santa Barbara, 2016

Research Interests

American History to 1865: American Enlightenment; American Revolution; American Renaissance; Civil War and Reconstruction

Atlantic World: Enlightenment and Revolution; Moral Philosophy; Political Discourse, Culture

Intellectual History: Metaphysical and Moral; Legal and Political; Racial and Sexual

Mythical and Metaphorical Thinking; Philosophy of History; Philosophical Anthropology

Courses Taught

Instructor of Record:

African American History to 1865, The College of New Jersey

World History from the Origins of Civilizations to 1600, Bakersfield College

California History, Bakersfield College

Teaching Assistant:

History of American Law to 1877, with Sarah L.H. Gronningsater

History of American Law from 1877, with Sarah Barringer Gordon

American Capitalism, with Walter Licht

Deciphering America, with Kathleen Brown and Walter Licht

Selected Publications

“The Freedom Petitions: Black Patriotism, Black Politics, and the Abolition of Slavery in Massachusetts, 1773-1783,” Early American Studies (forthcoming, summer 2023)

“The Massachusetts Freedom Petitions,” Slavery, Law, and Power in the British Empire and Early America, (forthcoming, fall 2022)

The Unsung Black Patriots of Revolutionary Boston,The Boston Globe, July 3, 2022

Before July 4, American colonists celebrated Pope’s Day — an anti-Catholic rallying cry,The Washington Post, July 2, 2021