BS, Cornell University; M.Sc., London School of Economics and Political Science (United Kingdom); Ph.D., University of Rochester
Research interests: American intellectual and cultural history, public history, Rochester history
Michael Brown studies the interactions among ideas and publics in the shaping of twentieth-century American political culture. He writes, in particular, about the uncertain place of intellectuals in the United States after 1945. His current book project, “Experts, Eggheads, and Elites: Debating the Role of Intellectuals in American Political Culture, 1952-2008,” addresses the origins and uses of claims about American anti-intellectualism and the figure of the public intellectual. This work has been supported by fellowships and grants from the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, the New York Public Library, and the Wisconsin State Historical Society.
As a public historian and a faculty affiliate of the Museum Studies Program at RIT, Michael co-curates “Exhibitions across the Curriculum” (e.g. Resistance, Rebellion, and Renewal in Rochester: Narratives of Progress and Poverty in 2015). Along with Rajesh Barnabas, Michael made the film Indigent Burials under Highland Park in 2014 for 43°N 77°W: A Rochester Quarterly.
Practicing public history and studying public intellectuals, Michael looks at how these two forms of scholarly intervention in and for publics may illuminate one another. He presented “Conceptualizing Public Intellectuals from the Vantage Point of Public History” at the 2016 Public Intellectuals Conference in Somerville, MA, and he has published in a variety of venues, including Dissent, Philosophy Now, and Reviews in American History. Michael has also been a columnist for the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle newspaper.
Michael teaches courses on public history, American history, and local history. His students’ work has been published in the Democrat and Chronicle’s “Retrofitting Rochester” column, and he has advised several senior theses in the Museum Studies Program.
Michael holds a bachelor’s degree in government from Cornell University; a master’s in philosophy, politics, and social value from the London School of Economics; and a doctorate in history from the University of Rochester, where he was a Dean’s Fellow, a Dean’s Dissertation Fellow, and the recipient of a Commendation for Outstanding Dissertation Award.
March 29, 2019
RIT’s Michael Brown has a passion for his students, and teaching history
Michael Brown, an assistant professor in Rochester Institute of Technology’s Department of History, is the 2018-19 recipient of the Richard and Virginia Eisenhart Provost’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, recognizing exceptional performance in the classroom and a commitment to student learning. He will be recognized with a dinner on April 16 and participate as a member of the platform party for the university’s academic convocation on May 10.