Skip to main content

Sarah Brown, PhD


she / her / hersscreen-shot-2023-11-01-at-11.30.00-am.png
Sarah Brown (she/her) is the Director of the Women’s Center at Northwestern University, a unit that advocates for all staff, students, and faculty subject to gender-based oppression and provides educational programming for the university and broader community. 

She is especially grateful to be a part of coalitional campus efforts, such as the Campus Coalition Against Sexual Violence organized by CARE, the IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, & Accountability) Leaders Group, and the GSS Advisory Board. As a lecturer for Gender and Sexuality Studies she has taught Gender, Sexuality, and Health: Depression and Its Discontents and the Linzer Grant funded course on Disability Justice as Feminist Practice.  

Sarah received her PhD in American Studies from Brown University and holds a master’s degree in American Civilization from Brown, a master’s in Liberal Studies from the CUNY Graduate Center, and a BA from Brooklyn College. Her dissertation research examines conflicting narratives of emotional life and mental health in pop culture, literature, film, and the behavioral sciences between 1968 and 1995. Her article “Post Pharma Pedagogies: An Intertextual Feminist Approach to Teaching Depression and The Bell Jar” appeared in Women’s Studies in summer 2019. 



Areas of Focus

To assist our communities in finding the support and communication they need, we have outlined on these staff pages, the specific areas of focus each member of our staff oversees. Director, Sarah Brown, leads our centers in the following areas.

Faculty Engagement

Strategic Plan Governance 

Feminist Pedagogy

Institutional Policy and Advocacy

  • The Director is responsible for organizing the development of the strategic plan and the revision of action steps on an annual basis and priorities every five years. 
  • She leads the women's center staff in accountability toward strategic priorities though supervision and collaboration. 
  • The Director is responsible for sharing out our strategic priorities and making connections across campus and community stake holders. 
  • Sarah is a lecturer in Gender and Sexuality Studies and teaches a course most years that places our annual theme in the context of broader feminist praxis, Feminism and Social Change. 
  • She is the primary point of contact for invited speaking engagements around and beyond campus. Available topics include: Intersectional Feminism, Feminist Research Methods, the History of Women's Centers,  In-person walking lectures on the Feminist Campus Tour, and interactive workshops on Gender Inclusive Language and Practices in the Classroom and Workplace.
  • The Director curates our internal all staff learning engagements over the course of the academic year.
  • The Director is responsible for how our Center's values, research, and the knowledge we gain by being in community with those subject to gender oppression are integrated into broader priorities and policies of the University. 
  • At present, this work is primarily evidenced by her collaboration with Dr. Michelle Manno of OIDI to lead the Gender Inclusive Initiatives Action Plan. 
  • She also works toward broader culture change through service on search committees and in various workings groups and one-to-one advisement and collaboration.