Elizabeth Brake

WEBSITE(S)| ElizabethBrake.com

I joined Rice's Philosophy Department in 2019. Prior to that, I was tenured at Arizona State University and, before that, at the University of Calgary. I completed my PhD in Philosophy at the University of St. Andrews in 1999, and a BA in Classics and English at Oxford University in 1993.

I’ve held Fellowships and visiting research positions at Lund University, Sweden; the Warwick Institute for Advanced Study at the University of Warwick; the Center for Values and Social Policy at the University of Colorado at Boulder; the University of Umeå, Sweden; the Kennedy Institute of Ethics, Georgetown University; and the Murphy Institute at Tulane University. With Tamara Metz, I won a NEH Summer Institute Grant, and I have also held a Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Grant.

My largest body of research focuses on the ethics and politics of marriage. In Minimizing Marriage (Honorable Mention, American Philosophical Association Book Prize), I argue that marriage law protections should be extended equally to relationships which are currently excluded or marginalized by marriage law, including friendships and groups. In a new project, I'm focusing on the wrongs of interpersonal relationships, such as emotional abuse, stalking, and harassment.

A second area of research is disaster ethics. I've written on the state’s role in rebuilding after disasters and the ethics of price gouging.

I typically teach courses in Philosophy of Love and Sex, Applied Ethics, Feminist Philosophy, Political Philosophy, History of Ethics, and Philosophy and Literature.

I am the Editor of the Journal of Applied Philosophy through 2023, and will join Ethics as an Associate Editor in 2024.


Research Areas

Ethics, Applied Ethics, Political Philosophy, Feminist Philosophy, Philosophy of Sex and Love, LGBT Philosophy, Disaster Ethics

Teaching Areas

Philosophy of Love and Sex

Applied Ethics

Feminist Philosophy

History of Ethics

Philosophy and Literature


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