Paul Frymer

2024-2025 Old Dominion Professor in the Humanities Council; Professor of Politics

Paul Frymer standing near a brick wall with green background.

204 Fisher Hall


Paul Frymer is a Professor of Politics at Princeton University. His research and teaching interests are broadly in American politics, political history, and public policy, engaging specifically in questions involving law, civil rights and race, labor and employment, political parties, and social movements. Between 2015-2020, he was the director of Princeton’s Program in Law and Public Affairs. His most recent book, Building an American Empire: The Era of Territorial and Political Expansion (Princeton University Press, 2017), was the winner of two awards including the J. David Greenstone Award for the best book in politics and history from the American Political Science Association.

His proposed research project while at the Humanities Council this upcoming year is to examine the historical policy development of agricultural laborers in the United States. The U.S. agriculture industry has long been reliant on inequalities that intersect race and political economy. Farm policy further accentuates these inequalities as most farmworkers are excluded from significant labor and economic laws dating back to the influence of mid-twentieth century legislators from the Jim Crow South and western agricultural interests. Since then, the agricultural workforce has shifted from being overrepresented by southern Blacks and European immigrants to Latinos and undocumented/ migrant residents from Central America and Mexico. As with Black workers before the 1960s, most of these current farmworkers do not have civil or voting rights. I seek to this policy development, emphasizing the longstanding intersecting roles of race and political economy.

Read his full biography on the Department of Politics website.

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