Professor Brown has been a member of the Grinnell History Department since the fall of 1989. She has chaired the History Department and the Gender and Women's Studies concentration, been an active participant in the Center for Prairie Studies, and served as chair of the Social Studies Division.
Brown received her B.A. in American Institutions from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and her Ph.D. in History from the University of California at San Diego. She is the author of The Education of Jane Addams (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2004) and Going to theSource: The Bedford Reader in American History (Bedford/St. Martin's, 2004, 2007). She appeared on the PBS series "American Experience" in documentaries on Woodrow Wilson and on the history of Chicago. She has served as the book review editor of the Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era and the subscription website "Women and Social Movements." In 2000-2001, Brown was the Ray Allen Billington Distinguished Visiting Professor at the Huntington Library and Occidental College. She is currently working on a history of the American grandmother in the 20th century.