Dr. Brownell received her B.A from University of Michigan and her Ph.D. from Boston University. Her research and teaching examine the relationships between media, politics, and popular culture in twentieth-century United States, with a particular focus on the American presidency.
Her new book, "Showbiz Politics: Hollywood in American Political Life,” explores the institutionalization of Hollywood in American politics from 1928-1980. This book traces the key personal relationships, institutions, and government policies that established the foundation for a celebrity political culture and made entertainment a central feature of American politics.
She is currently writing a political history of cable television.