- Karla Scherer Distinguished Service Professor in American Culture, Department of English Language & Literature, Department of Visual Arts, Committee on the History of Culture, and the College
- Fellow, Chicago Center for Contemporary Theory
- Coeditor, Critical Inquiry
Bill Brown's research focuses on popular literary genres such as science fiction and the Western; on recreational forms such as baseball and kung fu; and on the ways that mass-cultural phenomena from roller coasters to Kodak cameras impress themselves on the literary imagination. He is currently working on the intersection of literary, visual and material cultures, an inquiry that asks how inanimate objects enable human subjects (individually and collectively) to form and transform themselves. Brown teaches on Walt Whitman, "Urban Fiction and American Space, 1880-1910" and on "Modernity and the Sense of Things."