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Nicolette Bruner

Assistant Professor of Instruction I Director Undergraduate Studies

Ph.D, University of Michigan; J.D., University of Michigan Law School
  • 847-467-1129
  • 620 Lincoln St, #203
  • Office Hours: Spring 2024 | Wednesday 12:00-2:00 p.m. Sign up here: or email for alternate appointment.

Nicolette Bruner is Assistant Professor of Instruction at the Center for Legal Studies and the Program in American Studies. She received her Ph.D. in English Language and Literature from the University of Michigan and her J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School. Prior to joining Northwestern’s faculty, she was a postdoctoral fellow with the Stevanovich Institute on the Formation of Knowledge at the University of Chicago and taught in the Department of English at Western Kentucky University.

Prof. Bruner’s research explores how the law shapes the way humans understand and interact with the nonhuman entities and systems around them. Her current book project, Thing People: Living with Corporations and Other Nonhumans, examines how the legal doctrine of corporate personhood offers a framework for articulating the rights and responsibilities of other nonhuman entities, including animals, plants, rivers, and robots. She also teaches and works in American literature, corporate law and policy, jurisprudence, and the environmental humanities.

Courses Taught

  • Legal_St 206: Introduction to Law and Society
  • Legal_St 276: Reality TV and Legal Theory
  • Legal_St 315: Corporation in US Law and Culture
  • Legal_St 360: Animal Law
  • Legal_St 398-1,2 Advanced Research Seminar
Selected Publications
  • “What Is a Person?” Formations, January 15, 2020.
  • “Knowing the Corporation.” KNOW: A Journal on the Formation of Knowledge 4, no. 1 (2020): 137-58.
  • “Gender and the Social Body in The Fruit of the Tree.” Edith Wharton Review 33, no. 1 (2017): 30-56.
  • “Judge, Professor, Chronicler of Fairyland: James Campbell’s Legal Imaginary.” Journal of Law, Culture, and the Humanities 13, no. 3 (2017): 404-24.