Katrina Forrester is Assistant Professor of Government and Social Studies at Harvard University. She is a political theorist and historian with research interests in twentieth-century social and political theory, particularly the history of liberalism, US and British postwar intellectual history, Marxism and feminism, and in climate politics and theories of work and capitalism.
Forrester's first book, In the Shadow of Justice: Postwar Liberalism and the Remaking of Political Philosophy (Princeton University Press, 2019) is a history of how political philosophy was transformed by postwar liberalism, John Rawls's A Theory of Justice, and the rise of liberal egalitarianism. In the Shadow of Justice received the Organization of American Historians’ Merle Curti Award 2020, the Society for US Intellectual History’s Book Award 2020, the Montreal Political Theory Manuscript Workshop Award 2016, and was shortlisted for the Royal Historical Society’s Gladstone Prize 2020.
Forrester's current research is on feminist theories of work and dissent. She is working on a book project about feminist demands, revolutionary reforms, and strategies for social transformation, and a set of essays on work, sex, and the state. She is the co-editor of Nature, Action and the Future: Political Thought and the Environment (Cambridge University Press, 2018), and of a Fall 2020 special section of Dissent on Technology and the Crisis of Work. Her research has appeared in the Historical Journal, Modern Intellectual History, Climatic Change, European Journal of Political Theory, and in a number of edited volumes. She has also written on a variety of topics - including pornography, sex work, policing, surveillance, happiness, the gig economy, privacy, and critiques of capitalism and liberalism - for The New Yorker, London Review of Books, Harper's, The Guardian, The Nation, Dissent, n+1, The New Statesman, Jacobin, Renewal, Cambridge Literary Review, Boston Review, and Political Quarterly.
Forrester received her PhD from the University of Cambridge in 2013, held a research fellowship at St John's College, Cambridge in 2012-14 and a permanent lectureship at Queen Mary University of London until 2017. She held a Kluge Fellowship at the Library of Congress in 2019-20, and will deliver the Quentin Skinner Lecture at Cambridge in 2021. At Harvard, she is a Faculty Affiliate of Studies of Women, Gender and Sexualty, the Safra Center for Ethics, and the Harvard University Center for the Environment.