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 at Columbia, Cornell, Birkbeck and the London School of Economics. In 2017-18 she was a Simon Guggeheim Fellow and a 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.
In the Ruins: The Rise of Anti-Democratic Politics in the West (Columbia University Press, forthcoming May 2019)
Undoing the Demos: Neoliberalism's Stealth Revolution (Zone Books, 2015; 4th printing, 2017)
Walled States, Waning Sovereignty (Zone Books, 2010, 2nd printing with a new Preface, 2017)
Regulating Aversion: Tolerance in the Age of Empire and Identity (Princeton University Press, 2006)
Edgework: Essays on Knowledge and Politics (Princeton University Press, 2005)
Politics Out of History (Princeton University Press, 2001)
States of Injury: Power and Freedom in Late Modernity (Princeton University Press, 1995)
Manhood and Politics: A Feminist Reading in Political Theory (Rowman and Littlefield, 1988)
Edited and Co-authored Books
Authoritarianism: Three Inquiries in Critical Theory, co-authored with Peter Gordon and Maxim Pensky (University of Chicago Press, 2018)
The Power of Tolerance, co-authored with Rainer Forst (Columbia University Press (New York) and Turia & Kant (Berlin), 2014)
Is Critique Secular? Injury, Blasphemy and Free Speech, co-authored with Judith Butler, Saba Mahmood and Talal Asad (University of California Press, 2009); re-issued, with a new co-authored introduction (Fordham University Press, 2015)
Left Legalism/Left Critique, ed. with Janet Halley (Duke University Press, 2002)
PS 112c, "Modern Political Theory"
PS 212c, "Modern Political Theory"