David Harrington Watt is the Douglas and Dorothy Steere Professor of Quaker Studies.
Watt teaches courses on topics such as "Quakers, War, and Slavery, 1646-1723;" "Reinventing Quakerism: Haverford College, Rufus Jones, and the Rise of Liberal Quakerism;" and "Ethical Struggles in Catastrophic Times: Quakers' Responses to the Holocaust." His current research focuses on Friends' responses to the rise of Nazisn and the refugee crisis of the 1930s, on twentieth-century Quakers' interpretations of the "Peace Testimony," and on the history of the Society of Friends in the years between 1830 and 1937.
The books and articles Watt has published include: "Henry Cadbury, the Peace Testimony, and the First World War" (co-authored with James Krippner), “Henry Cadbury, Haverford College and the Founding of the American Friends Service Committee" (also co-authored with James Krippner), "Whose Freedoms? Which Religions?;" "Eugenicists, Quakers, and Rufus Jones, 1893-1938;" Antifundamentalism in Modern America (Cornell University Press, 2017); Fundamentalism: Perspectives on a Contested History (published by the University of South Carolina Press in 2014 and co-edited with Simon Wood); Bible-Carrying Christians: Conservative Protestants and Social Power (Oxford University Press, 2002); and A Transforming Faith: Explorations of Twentieth-Century Evangelicalism (Rutgers University Press, 1991).
In collaboration with Laura Levitt and Tracy Fessenden, Watt edits a series, North American Religions, for NYU Press. More than twenty authors have written books for the series; the books explore topics such as lived religion, popular religious movements, religion and social power, religion and cultural reproduction, and the relationship between secular and religious practices.
Over the course of his career, Watt's work has been supported by grants from the Fulbright Scholars Program, Harvard University, Haverford College, the Lilly Endowment, the Louisville Institute, Princeton University, Temple University, and the University of Chicago. Before coming to Haverford, Watt taught at Temple Univeristy for over thirty years. He received a PhD in the History of American Civilization from Harvard University and an AB in history from the University of California. Watt grew up in the American South and in deserts of Southern California.