Holly Brewer specializes in Early American history, cultural and intellectual history, legal history, and comparative history, primarily with Britain. She is the author of By Birth or Consent: Children, Law, and the Anglo-American Revolution in Authority, which was published by the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture and UNC Press (2005). It won the 2006 J. Willard Hurst Prize from the Law and Society Association as well as the 2006 Cromwell Prize from the American Society for Legal History, and the 2008 Biennial Book Prize of the Order of the Coif from the American Association of Law Schools. She also won three prizes for her article "Entailing Aristocracy in Colonial Virginia" (1997), including the 1998 Clifford Prize for the best article on any aspect of Eighteenth Century Studies and the 2000 Douglass Adair Memorial Award, for the best article published in the William and Mary Quarterly in the past six years.
Her new research includes a book on the ideological origins of slavery in early America and the British Empire for which she this year (2014-2015) holds a Guggenheim fellowship. She is also working on a book on the transformation of the common law of domestic relations in the early modern period in England and America, which will be published by Cambridge University Press.
Professor Brewer is co-editor of the American Society for Legal History's book series and also serves as interim webmaster. She currently serves on the Council for the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture (2013-2015). She has served on the conference committees of several major organizations, including the Organization of American Historians (2011) and ASLH (2010) as well as the Omohundro Instititute's 400th anniversary of Jamestown conference in 2007. In addition to the Guggenheim fellowship, she has received fellowships from the National Endowment for Humanities, the National Humanities Center, and the Huntington Library, among others. She is proud of her work protecting K-12 History Education in North Carolina in 2010, where she also served as state coordinator for the National Council for History Education.