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Wendy Brown

Bernard Moses Memorial Lectures featuring Wendy Brown: Neoliberalism’s Scorpion Tail: Markets and Morals Where Democracy Once Was

Lecture | October 30 | 4:10 p.m. | Alumni House, Toll Room


Wendy Brown, Class of 1936 First Chair Professor of Political Science, University of California, Berkeley

Graduate Division


Wendy Brown will present the Bernard Moses Memorial Lecture on Tuesday, October 30, 2018 titled "Neoliberalism’s Scorpion Tail: Markets and Morals Where Democracy Once Was." The lecture is free and open to the public. No tickets are required.

About the Lecture:
Recent hard right political mobilizations in the West are commonly framed as rebellions against neoliberalism. This lecture questions that framing as it identifies neoliberal reason with the aim to replace robust democracy and social justice with authoritarian liberalism, traditional morality and, of course, unregulated markets. Politically pacified citizens disciplined by patriarchal families and free markets, themselves secured by lean, strong states—this was the neoliberal dream. The dream twisted, of course, and the lecture concludes with reflections on the current conjuncture.

About Wendy Brown:
Wendy Brown is Class of 1936 First Chair Professor of Political Science, with affiliations in Rhetoric and the interdisciplinary graduate program in Critical Theory. She is a political theorist who draws from the history of Western political thought, political economy, and Continental thought to illuminate contemporary formations and predicaments of power, freedom, citizenship and democracy. Brown has authored, co-authored and edited a dozen books along with a multitude of academic articles and journalistic pieces. Among her recent works, Walled States, Waning Sovereignty (2010), winner of the Easton Prize, analyzed post-1989 nation-state walling in the context of globalization’s erosion of state sovereignty. Undoing the Demos: Neoliberalism’s Stealth Revolution (2015), winner of the Spitz Prize, examined the corrosive effects of neoliberalism on democratic institutions and imaginaries. Neoliberalism’s Frankenstein (forthcoming, 2019) theorizes the hard-right turn in the current political conjuncture. Her work has been translated into more than twenty languages.

Professor Brown has held a number of visiting distinguished professorships and fellowships and, most recently, was a 2017-18 Guggenheim Fellow and UC Presidents Humanities Research Fellow. A dedicated teacher of graduate and undergraduate students, she received UC Berkeley’s Distinguished Teaching Award in 2016.


Alumni, Faculty, Friends of the University, General Public, Staff, Students - Graduate, Students - Undergraduate

All Audiences


lectures@berkeley.edu, 510-643-7413