Biography of Wendy Brown

Wendy Brown is a political theorist who is currently a professor at the University California at Berkeley. Although primarily stationed in a political science department, Brown’s wide-ranging work has also led to affiliations with social policy, gender and sexuality studies, and critical theory programs as well. Beyond UC Berkeley, Brown has also taught as a visiting professor at universities including Columbia, the London School of Economics, and the European Graduate School.

Brown was born in California and has spent most of her life and career there. After receiving her B.A. from University of California, Santa Cruz, she completed her Ph.D. in political philosophy at Princeton University. Her research has also been supported by prestigious fellowships including a Guggenheim.

Most of Brown’s work focuses on critical theory, which emphasize a critique of society and politics. In particular, Brown critiques the ways in which Western democratic societies fail to live up to their democratic aspirations. Two early books in this area were States of Injury, published in 1995, and Regulating Aversion, published in 2005. In both books, Brown explores how societies create and justify inequalities and how these contribute to a global economic order.

In addition to writing scholarly books, Brown is well known as a public intellectual. She writes against conservative ideas and values both online and in forums such as Dissent Magazine. Of particular focus for her are LGBT issues, free speech, and public education. As a longtime faculty member of the University of California, a public university, Brown has fought against the privatization of higher education.

Study Guides on Works by Wendy Brown