Professor Brown’s fields of interest include the history of political theory, nineteenth and twentieth century Continental theory, critical theory and theories of contemporary capitalism. She is best known for intertwining the insights of Marx, Nietzsche, Weber, Freud, Frankfurt School theorists, Foucault, and contemporary Continental philosophers to critically interrogate formations of power, political identity, citizenship, and political subjectivity in contemporary liberal democracies. In recent years, her scholarship has focused on neoliberalism and the political formations to which it gives rise.
Professor Brown received her Ph.D in Political Philosophy from Princeton University in 1983. Prior to coming to Berkeley in 1999, she taught at the University of California, Santa Cruz and at Williams College. Her work has been translated into more than twenty languages. She lectures around the world and has held a number of distinguished fellowships and visiting professorships. Most recently, she was a professor in the Birkbeck Critical Theory Summer School and Shimizu Visiting Professor of Law at the London School of Economics (Summer 2015), and professor in the European Graduate School at Saas Fee, Switzerland (Summer 2016). She is currently a 2017-18 Guggeheim Fellow and a 2017-18 UC Presidents Humanities Research Fellow.
In Berkeley’s Political Science Department, Professor Brown offers undergraduate courses on early modern and modern European political theory and on political freedom. She offers graduate courses in the history of European political thought and on contemporary problems in political theory drawn from her own research. She also teaches in the Designated Emphasis in Critical Theory, an interdisciplinary graduate curriculum, and is an affiliated faculty member of the Rhetoric Department, the Jurisprudence and Social Policy Program, the Designated Emphasis in Women, Gender and Sexuality, and the Designated Emphasis in Early Modern Studies.