Nancy Hirschmann

Professor of Political Science; Director, Program on Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies; Director, Alice Paul Center for Research on Gender, Sexuality and Women

University of Pennsylvania

Professor Hirschmann works in the history of political thought, analytical philosophy, feminist theory, and the intersection of political theory and public policy. She is a former Vice-President of the American Political Science Association and is currently the Director of the Program on Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies and the Alice Paul Center for Research on Gender, Sexuality and Women.

Her book Gender, Class, and Freedom in Modern Political Theory (Princeton University Press, 2008) considers the concept of freedom as it developed in the canon of political thought from the 17th to 19th centuries and examines how issues of gender and class affected the dominant conceptions of freedom.  Her previous book, The Subject of Liberty: Toward a Feminist Theory of Freedom (Princeton University Press 2003), took a more contemporary approach and considered the concept of freedom in the context of political and social issues such as domestic violence, Islamic veiling, and U.S. welfare reform. This book won the 2004 Victoria Schuck award from the American Political Science Association for the best book on women and politics, and Choice recommended this book as "essential" and "feminist theory at its best." Prof. Hirschmann has also published Rethinking Obligation: A Feminist Method for Political Theory  (Cornell University Press, 1992), and several co-edited volumes, including Revisioning the Political: Feminist Interpretations of Traditional Concepts in Western Political Theory (with Christine Di Stefano, Westview Press, 1996), Women and Welfare: Theory and Practice in the U.S. and Europe (with Ulrike Liebert, Rutgers University Press 2001), Feminist Interpretations of John Locke (with Kirstie McClure, Penn State University Press 2007), Feminist Interpretations of Thomas Hobbes (with Joanne Wright, Penn State University Press, 2013) and Civil Disabilities: Theory, Citizenship and the Body (with Beth Linker, The University of Pennsylvania Press, 2014). 

Currently serving on the editorial boards of several leading journals, including The Journal of Politics and Hypatia: Journal of Feminist Philosophy,  Professor Hirschmann has held a number of prestigious fellowships. She was a fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton and the Bunting Institute of Radcliffe College (now the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study), The University Center for Human Values at Princeton University and the Penn Humanities Center. She has also held fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Professor Hirschmann also taught at Cornell University  in the Department of Government for 12 years before coming to Penn. She is currently working on the topic of disability in political theory, from the early-modern era to the present.