Marisa Brown

Assistant Director for ProgramsAdjunct Lecturer in Public Humanities
Nightingale-Brown House, 2nd Floor401-863-6277[email protected]


Marisa Angell Brown is a cultural historian and critic with interests in public art, architecture, cities, preservation and spatial justice.  She is the author of “Can This Place Be Decolonized?” (Places Journal, forthcoming), “Preservation’s Expanded Field” in Doing Public Humanities, ed., Susan Smulyan (Routledge Press, 2020) and “Preservation’s Existential Crisis” (June 19, 2020), National Trust for Historic Preservation Leadership Forum.  Her writing has appeared in The Providence Journal, Art New England, Perspecta, Buildings and Landscapes, and the Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, and her exhibitions and installations have been covered by Metropolis, Architectural Record, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and Rhode Island Public Radio.  She delivered the keynote address, Inheritance: What We Preserve and Why, at the January 2020 annual meeting of the Providence Preservation Society.

Brown is the Assistant Director for Programs of the John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities and Cultural Heritage at Brown University, where she teaches graduate seminars titled Introduction to Public Humanities and Critical Approaches to Preservation and Cultural Heritage.  She is Korean-American, and grew up in Dubai and New York City.  She has a PhD in the History of Art from Yale University, an MA in History from the University of Chicago, and a BA in Religion from Princeton University.  She serves on the Executive Committee of the Association of Critical Heritage Studies, the State Review Board for the Rhode Island State Historic Preservation Office, and on the board of the Rhode Island State House Restoration Society, where she co-chairs the Interpretation Working Group.  Her research has received grant funding or awards from the Graham Foundation, the Luce Foundation, the Terra Foundation for American Art, the Society of Architectural Historians, the Rhode Island Foundation, Rhode Island Council for the Humanities, and the City of Providence’s Department of Art, Culture and Tourism.  Brown regularly serves on design juries at the Rhode Island School of Design  for the Department of Interior Architecture, and has served on review committees for the National Park Service and the National Trust for Historic Preservation.  She is on Twitter @marisa_angell.