Wendy Brown is the Heller Professor of Political Science at the University of California at Berkeley. Her fields of interest include the history of political theory, nineteenth and twentieth century Continental theory, critical theory, and cultural theory (including feminist theory, critical race theory, and postcolonial theory). 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. Brown's current work focuses on the relationship of political sovereignty to global capital and other transnational forces, including those associated with religion, law, culture and moral discourse.
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. Brown's books include Manhood and Politics: A Feminist Reading in Political Theory (Rowman and Littlefield, 1988), States of Injury: Power and Freedom in Late Modernity (Princeton, 1995), Politics Out of History (Princeton, 2001), Left Legalism/Left Critique, co-edited with Janet Halley (Duke, 2002), Edgework: Critical Essays in Knowledge and Politics (Princeton, 2005), and Regulating Aversion: Tolerance in the Age of Identity and Empire (Princeton, 2006), Is Critique Secular? co-authored with Talal Asad, Judith Butler and Saba Mahmood (UC Press, 2009) and Walled States, Waning Sovereignty (Zone Books, 2010). Her work has been translated into more than 15 languages. She lectures around the world, has held a number of distinguished visiting lectureships, and has recently been a Senior Fellow of the American Council of Learned Societies, a Member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, and a UC President's Humanities Fellow.
In the 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, including, in recent years, sovereignty, critique, humanism, the autonomy of the political, and the problem of the secular. She also teaches in the Designated Emphasis in Critical Theory, an interdisciplinary graduate curriculum.