Unsung Hero: Wendy Brown

This week’s Unsung Hero is Wendy Brown.

She makes a meta-commentary on the place of critical theory in politics.

Wendy Brown, 2016

To quote her alma mater and current university:

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.

– UC Berkeley

Suggested works:

States of Injury – It is influenced by Psychoanalysis, Marx, and Nietzsche. It’s about the way left politics (despite being officially opposed) has become state-centric. It’s about the relationship between different ways of theorizing identity, and the relationship with different theorizations about the state.

Regulating Aversion: Tolerance in the Age of Identity and Empire – a critique of the concept of tolerance (tolerance being a neoliberal painting of radical politics of identity and difference).

Authoritarianism: Three Inquiries in Critical Theory – actually a compilation of essays by several authors: Wendy Brown, Peter E. Gordon, and Max Pensky.

Jayanne Forrest