Brenda R. Weber earned two B.A. degrees, one in art history and the other in religious studies, from the University of Arizona in 1987. She earned her M. Litt. Honours in cultural history from Aberdeen University in Scotland in 1994. Continuing her education at the University of Kentucky, she earned her M.A. in English literature in 1995 and later her Ph.D. in Victorian literature from Miami University of Ohio in 2001. She joined the Indiana University (IU) faculty in 2003 as a visiting assistant professor in the Department of Gender Studies. She was promoted to assistant professor in 2004, associate professor in 2010, and full professor in 2015. She has formerly served as the director of Graduate Studies and chair of the Department of Gender Studies. In 2019, she earned the additional, honorary title of Jean C. Robinson Scholar in Gender Studies, and she was promoted to Provost Professor in 2020.
Weber’s work engages with a wide archive of mostly discredited cultural texts, including non-canonical 19th-century transatlantic women's literature and contemporary media, specifically literature, film, and television. As it relates to these texts, she has a particular interest in how identity is discursively gendered, constructed, and embodied through written and mediated means, as well as how gender, sex, sexuality, race, and class work together to inform notions of the "normative" self. Celebrity, masculinity, and American religious cultures have become important themes, offering a framework for coherency across the many modalities in which she works.
Throughout her career, Weber has been recognized as an outstanding researcher and educator with a wide array of honors and awards. Most recently, in 2022, she earned the Patriot Award from the United States Department of Defense, and she was selected as a faculty member of the Semester at Sea program.