Bill Brown

FALL 2006

Bill Brown has become legendary in scholarly circles for his recent writing on what he calls “thing theory.” In the words of one critic, “thing theory’s benefits not so much from being a theory as a research disposition, a willingness to confront the contingent event, disruptive materiality, and related threats to overarching theoretical systems.” Brown’s work raises numerous compelling questions” How do inanimate objects enable human subjects to form and transform themselves? What role do objects play in he formation of gender, sexual, ethnic, and national subjectivity? What kinds of fetishism have yet to be explained by the logic of either the commodity of the erotic? Brown is a professor of humanities at the University of Chicago and coeditor of the journal Critical Inquiry.