Photo of Brooke Depenbusch
Legal Studies
Assistant Prof.
Office Location
One University Plaza MS PAC 338
Phone Number

Brooke Depenbusch is an Assistant Professor of Legal Studies at UIS. Her research examines US social policy and the way that its contours are shaped through legal, political, and social struggle. She is completing a book manuscript titled, Profiting Off Poverty: Precarity, Politics, and the Struggle Over the Safety Net, 1935-1980. Her manuscript focuses on the contentious history of state and local public assistance programs. By examining the deep roots of battles over this corner of the welfare state, her work shows how the long history of attacks on these state and local assistance programs gave rise to the broader war on welfare that has followed. She was a fellow of the American Society for Legal History’s Wallace Johnson First Book Program. And the dissertation research on which her book is based was awarded with the University of Minnesota’s Best Dissertation Award in the Arts & Humanities. Prior to beginning at UIS, she taught at Colgate University where, as visiting faculty, she was nominated for the Phi Eta Sigma Professor of the Year award. At UIS, her courses center upon the relationships between law and various systems of inequality in contemporary America.