Professor of History, Faculty of Arts and Sciences
Tomiko Brown-Nagin is an award-winning legal historian and expert in constitutional law and education law and policy. 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 the Yale Law Journal, the Columbia Law Review, the Duke Law Journal 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, the highest honor awarded annually to a work in the field of history. Brown-Nagin, a reviewer for several university presses, 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, including in outlets such as NPR, The Wall Street Journal, MSNBC, Time, Slate, The New Republic, PBS and C-SPAN.
Prior to joining the Harvard faculty, she held joint appointments in law and history at the University of Virginia and at Washington University in St. Louis. Before entering academia, Brown-Nagin clerked for the Honorable Robert L. Carter of the U. S. District Court, Southern District of New York, and for the Honorable Jane Roth of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, and worked as a litigation associate at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison in New York City.
Brown-Nagin currently is at work on a biography of the Honorable Constance Baker Motley, the civil rights lawyer, politician, and judge. Brown-Nagin earned a law degree from Yale, where she served as an editor of the Yale Law Journal, a doctorate in history from Duke, and a B.A. in history, summa cum laude, from Furman University.