Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
Website URL
law, lawyers, civil rights, discrimination, civil rights movement, social movements, constitutional law
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Personal Info

About Me

Tomiko Brown-Nagin is the Daniel P.S. Paul Professor of Constitutional Law at Harvard Law School and Professor of History at Harvard University’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences. The Faculty Director of the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute and Co-Director of the Law School’s Program in Law and History, Brown-Nagin is an award-winning legal historian, an expert in constitutional law and education law and policy, a member of the American Law Institute, a fellow of the American Bar Foundation and a distinguished lecturer for the Organization of American Historians. She has published articles and book chapters on the Supreme Court’s equal protection jurisprudence, civil rights law and history, the Affordable Care Act and education reform in a variety of publications, including the Yale Law Journal, the Harvard Law Review, the Columbia Law Review and the Journal of Law & Education.

Her 2011 book Courage to Dissent: Atlanta and the Long History of the Civil Rights Movement (Oxford), won the Bancroft Prize in U.S. History. Brown-Nagin also has published articles and opinion pieces on education reform in the popular press. She is a frequent media commentator on legal issues and educational policy.

Brown-Nagin currently is at work on a book about the life and times of the Honorable Constance Baker Motley, the civil rights lawyer, politician, and judge.

She earned a law degree from Yale, where she served as an editor of the Yale Law Journal, a doctorate in history from Duke University, and a B.A. in history, summa cum laude, from Furman University.

Brown-Nagin will become the dean of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University on July 1, 2018.

Recent Publications

Tomiko Brown-Nagin, Courage to Dissent: Atlanta and the Long History of the Civil Rights Movement (Oxford Univ. Press 2011).

Tomiko Brown-Nagin, Rethinking Diversity and Proxies for Economic Disadvantage in Higher Education: A First Generation Students’ Project, 2014 U. Chi. Legal F. 433 (2014).

Tomiko Brown-Nagin, The Civil Rights Canon: Above and Below, 123 Yale L. J. 2698 (2014) (reviewing Bruce Ackerman, We The People: The Civil Rights Movement (2014)).

Tomiko Brown-Nagin, The Mentoring Gap: Race and Higher Education Commentary Series, 129 Harv. L. Rev. F. 303 (2016).

Tomiko Brown-Nagin, Lani Guinier & Gerald Torres, Tejas Es Diferente: UT Austin’s Admissions Program in Light of Its Exclusionary History, in Affirmative Action and Racial Equity: Considering the Fisher Case to Forge the Path Ahead 63 (Uma M. Jayakumar & Liliana M. Garces eds., Routledge 2015).

Tomiko Brown-Nagin, Two Americas in Healthcare: Federalism and Wars Over Poverty from the New Deal-Great Society to Obamacare, 62 Drake L. Rev. 981 (2014).

Tomiko Brown-Nagin, Identity Matters: The Case of Judge Constance Baker Motley, 117 Colum. L. Rev. 1691 (2017).


Media Coverage
Tomiko Brown-Nagin, On-Camera Interview on Courage to Dissent, C-Span Book TV, Charlottesville, Va. (Mar. 18, 2011).
Country Focus
United States
Expertise by Geography
United States
Expertise by Chronology
20th century, 21st century
Expertise by Topic
Gender, Higher Ed, Law, Race, Women