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Daniel Fryer

JD, University of Michigan Law School, 2018

MA, Philosophy, University College London, 2011

BS, Criminal Justice, John Jay College, 2010


I am a PhD candidate in Philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania and a JD candidate at the University of Michigan Law School. I take an interdisciplinary approach to the study of inequality. My work is informed by scholarship in social and political philosophy, law, social science, and public policy. I am also influenced by social movements and intellectual discourse outside the academy. My current research focuses on asking how should we construct legal and political institutions to respond to various forms of social and economic inequality, the history of African American political thought, the ethics of punishment, and race theory.

I also work with and conduct research for various legal organizations attempting to combat injustice. From 2013-2015, I worked with the Philadelphia branch of the ACLU on a project designed to monitor, supervise, and improve the Philadelphia Police Department's stop and frisk practices. From 2015-2016, I provided research assistance as a pro bono volunteer for the Civil Right Litigation Clearinghouse. In 2016, I worked as a Summer Law Clerk for the Equal Justice Initiative, assisting with death penalty cases, juvenile sentencing cases, and litigation against prisons. Since January 2017, I have worked part-time at a civil rights firm, where I assist with wrongful conviction, police misconduct, and other civil rights cases impacting poor communities. 

I began working as a Graduate Fellow for UPenn’s Center for Africana Studies Summer Institute for pre-Freshman in 2013 and have served as Head Graduate Fellow since 2014. This program aims to expose incoming students to major intellectual themes in Africana thought. The institute is free of charge and includes room, board, books, and course tuition. Any incoming UPenn freshman who has an interest in Africana Studies should strongly consider applying for this program.

I grew up in Yonkers, NY. My interests include basketball, yoga, hip-hop, and staycations.


"Phantom Trials" Michigan's Race, Law, and History Proseminar. Ann Arbor, MI. April 5, 2017. 

"On William Fontaine's Political Philosophy" Department of Philosophy Colloquim, Morgan State University. Baltimore, MD. November 8, 2016. 

"William Fontaine and the American Race Problem" Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy. Grand Rapids, MI. March 5-7, 2015.

"Margaret Cavendish on Religious Toleration" Women in the History of Philosophy Workshop. University of Pennsylvania. Philadelphia, PA. September 13, 2014.

"A (Grad Student's) Perspective on the Importance of Role Models and Faculty Diversity" Minorities and Philosophy (MAP) Workshop. Philadelphia, PA. March 7, 2014.

"Supermax, Punishment, and the African-American Community" Society for the Study of Africana Philosophy. New York, NY. November 17, 2013. 

"Was Alain Locke a 'wishy-washy' Cosmopolitan?" Society for the Advancement of  American Philosophy. Galloway Township, NJ. March 7-9, 2013.


Research Interests

  • African-American Philosophy
  • Bioethics
  • Contract, Constitutional, and Criminal Law
  • Criminal Justice Ethics
  • First Amendment 
  • Global Justice (inc. Global Health)
  • Legal, Moral, and Political Philosophy
  • Race
  • Social Epistemology 

Cohen Hall 430