Stanley I. Sheerr Term Professor in the Social Sciences

Nancy J. Hirschmann is Professor of Political Science at The University of Pennsylvania, where she has served as Director of the Program on Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies and the Alice Paul Center for Research on Gender, Sexuality and Women, and Vice Chair of the Department of Political Science. She previously taught at Cornell University for 12 years, and Swarthmore College.  She is the author of Gender, Class, and Freedom in Modern Political Theory (Princeton University Press, 2008), The Subject of Liberty: Toward a Feminist Theory of Freedom (Princeton University Press, 2003), which won the 2004 Victoria Schuck Award from the APSA for the best book on women and politics, and Rethinking Obligation: A Feminist Method for Political Theory (1992, Cornell University Press). She is co-editor of several collected volumes, including Women and Welfare: Theory and Practice in the United States and Europe, Revisioning the Political: Feminist Reconstructions of Traditional Concepts in Western Political Theory, Civil Disabilities: Citizenship, Membership and Belonging, and Disability and Political Theory.  

Hirschmann is the author of numerous articles on domestic violence, welfare, Islamic veiling, obligation, freedom, disability, and women’s role in the family which have appeared in a number of edited collections as well as journals such as Constellations, Political Theory, and The American Political Science Review. She has been a fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, the Bunting Institute of Radcliffe College (now the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University), The Princeton Univerity Center for Human Values, and received grants from National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, and two IREX grants for the development of political theory in Albania. Most recently, she was awarded fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies, The National Humanities Center, where she was in residence fall 2017, the Center for Advance Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford (declined), and was named a Fernand Braudel Senior Fellow at the European University Institute, where she was in residence for spring 2018. During these fellowships she worked on her newest book, Freedom, Power, and Disability: An Ecological Theory.  She also has worked for the Boston Globe and on Capitol Hill.

Executive Board Term End


Area of Expertise


Disabilities Studies Feminist Theory Health and Science Histories of Gender and Sexuality Law, Politics, and Public Policy Social Change and Social Justice

Selected Publications