Wendy Brown

Job title: 
Professor Emerita
Political Science

Wendy Brown is a professor emerita in the Department of Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley. She received her PhD in political philosophy from Princeton University in 1983. Before coming to Berkeley in 1999, she taught at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and Williams College.

Brown’s fields of interest include the history of political theory, feminist theory, contemporary critical theories of law, 19th- and 20th-century Continental theory and contemporary American political culture. 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. Some of her most prominent books include: States of Injury: Power and Freedom in Late Modernity (Princeton, 1995); Regulating Aversion: Tolerance in the Age of Identity and Empire (Princeton 2006); Walled States, Waning Sovereignty (Zone, 2010); Undoing the Demos: Neoliberalism’s Stealth Revolution (Zone 2015); and In the Ruins of Neoliberalism: The Rise of Anti-Democratic Politics in the West (Columbia University Press 2019). Her work has been translated into more than 20 languages.

She lectures around the world and has held a number of distinguished fellowships and visiting professorships, most recently at Columbia University, Cornell University, University of London at Birkbeck and the London School of Economics. In 2017-18, she was a Simon Guggenheim Fellow and UC Presidents Humanities Research Fellow. From 2021-22, she was a Visiting Distinguished Professor in the School of Social Sciences at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton. In 2021, she was awarded Berkeley's highest honor, the Berkeley Citation, awarded to "distinguished individuals or organizations, academic or nonacademic, whose contributions to UC Berkeley go beyond the call of duty and whose achievements exceed the standards of excellence in their fields."