Adrienne Brown specializes in American and African American cultural production in the 20th century, with an emphasis on the history of perception as shaped by the built environment. Her teaching and research interests include critical race studies, architecture and urban studies, American studies, Modernism, postmodernism, the Harlem and Chicago Renaissances, popular culture, visual culture, and sound studies.
With Valerie Smith, Assoc. Prof. Brown co-edited the volume Race and Real Estate, an interdisciplinary collection rethinking the narratives of property and citizenship. Her book, The Black Skyscraper: Architecture and the Perception of Race recovers the skyscraper’s drastic effects not only on the shape of the city but the racial sensorium of its residents. The Black Skyscraper received the 2018 Modern Studies Association’s First Book Prize.
Assoc. Prof. Brown is currently working on a new book that charts the impact of the United States’ move to mass homeownership in 20th century on how Americans experienced residential space as a social, spatial, and, most significantly, a racial unit.