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Brooklyn Institute Tote Bag

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Tote Bag

Call for Volunteers!

Dear Friends of the Brooklyn Institute:

We hope this message finds you very well! We’re writing you as the Brooklyn Institute enters its third year. Not that long ago, we thought the Institute might be no more than a side project that we launched during grad school, a few classes in the back room of a bar. Thanks to you, to overwhelming public interest in our courses and programs, and to the generosity of partner organizations like the Center for Jewish History, the Barnard Center for Research on Women, the Goethe-Institut, and the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, it’s become much more than that. We’re working hard to make the Institute an enduring part of the New York City cultural landscape. In addition to our courses, we’re working on a digital humanities initiative, podcasting, and producing original research in our own digital publishing platform, Arcades, which will make its debut later this year. As we make this transition, we’re reaching out to ask for volunteers to help with these projects. We’re looking for people who share our commitment to expanding access to high-level study and intellectual conversation well beyond the traditional audience for higher education. We are specifically seeking people with skills and experience in these areas: audio recording/editing, video recording/editing, other podcast-related skills such as transcripting (in particular, we are looking for someone to work on creating our distinctive time-stamped and hyperlinked podcast “Notations”), intra-office communications, social media management and advertising, publicity (including good old-fashioned pavement-pounding), and working to scan/preserve delicate and/or rare academic texts for our ~Archive project.

All our volunteers will, of course, have access to classes at the Brooklyn Institute free of charge. If you’d like to volunteer with us, or if you have friends or family members who might be interested, we’d be grateful if you’d get in touch and/or pass this message along. If interested, please email with a paragraph or two about your interest in the Institute, what relevant skills and experience you’d bring to the table, what project(s) you’d like to work on, and what aspects of the Institute you’d like to be involved with.Thanks so much for being part of our community, and for taking the time to read this!

All best wishes,

Ajay Singh Chaudhary and Abby Kluchin
Brooklyn Institute for Social Research
“Not Yet Real”: Videogames, Theory, Criticism



We are pleased to announce the full program for “Not Yet Real”: Videogames, Theory, Criticism! In close coordination with the Goethe-Insitut New York, this will be a three part program, including our currently running course “Better Than Real Life”: Towards a Critical Theory of Videogames, an interactive gaming installation, and two talks.  For more information and the full program please see the Goethe-Institut’s program page here. All of these events are free and open to the public. We hope to see you there!

January 18-February 2
Opening: January 18, 6:00pm

Not Yet Real features an interactive installation open from January 18 through February 2 at the Goethe-Institut Wyoming Building in the East Village. The four games in the installation will be accompanied by a series of long-form essays by invited participants. These participants, from a variety of disciplines, were given a simple prompt: to reflect upon a single game and how they understand and interpret it. Adrienne Shaw (Media Studies, Temple University),Sarah Wanenchak (Sociology, University of Maryland), McKenzie Wark (Cultural Studies, The New School), and Dave Riley(journalist and video game critic) contributed four very different inquiries into four very different games. These texts will be available in a special booklet edition for the duration of the installation.

January 23 & 30

The first talk, entitled A Ludic Century?, is a talk by and conversation with McKenzie Wark on January 23, addressing both the recently published Manifesto for a Ludic Centuryby Eric Zimmerman as well as broader questions about the medium of videogames itself. The second event, entitled Games, Representation, and Experience, is a roundtable discussion on January 30 featuring Adrienne ShawSarah Wanenchak, andDave Riley, who will hold a wide-ranging conversation about games, game criticism, and their specific contributions to Not Yet Real.

Goethe-Institut Wyoming Building
5 East 3rd Street
New York, NY 10003


The Podcast for Social Research: Episode 11, “The Gambler”

This is the eleventh episode of the Podcast for Social Research. (We have a new numbering system!) In this episode, Heather, Raphaele, and I (Ajay), along with special guest Charles Pratt of the NYU Game Center, get together and have a conversation about “gambling” as a concept, its practice and experience, and in its role in social and economic structures. We’re using a slightly different format for our “notations” section this time around since both Heather and Raphaele sent me such fantastic after-show notes that I wanted to include them.

(You can download here by right-clicking and “save as” or look us up on iTunes)

If you received TWO COPIES of this episode on your iTunes please listen to the second! The first has a file error about halfway through. Thank you!


Continue reading →

The Rosa Luxemburg / Political Economy Workshop



In conjunction with the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung, the Brooklyn Institute for Social Research will be presenting a 7 week workshop, “The Accumulation of Capital: Rosa Luxemburg, Political Economy, and Imperialism.” This intensive workshop will begin on November 5, 2013, run for seven weeks, and be led by Raphaele Chappe. Participation will be by invitation and application only. All students receive full scholarships for the course. To apply, please send a letter describing your interest in the workshop to For further questions and information, please use the form below.


The Accumulation of Capital: Rosa Luxemburg, Political Economy and Imperialism

We have entered an age where the “world is flat,” to quote an international best seller. A world of global competition, markets and consumers, and the ever-growing integrations of world economies through the free movement of goods, capital, technology, and labor. Foreign policy in the U.S. (and in OECD-member countries, more generally) has favored political regimes and leaders that have implemented a complete privatization and deregulation of their economies, allowing American corporate multinationals to be present in those foreign markets. Financial markets have also become fully globalized. Textbooks of International Business tell us that this is good for economic growth and productivity, helping to create better and cheaper products. But is the expansion of capital and the conquest of foreign markets driven by growth or growth difficulties? Is the process indispensable to the very survival of our capitalistic economies? What is the link between capitalism, economic growth and the modern face of imperialism? What is the role played by the process of capital accumulation in the recent global financial crisis?

In this course we will consider these questions by reading Rosa Luxemburg’s The Accumulation of Capital. We will spend the first two weeks of the course preparing to critically engage with the text — familiarizing ourselves with classical economic thinkers (like Smith, Ricardo and Malthus) with a focus on capital accumulation (in connection with the close commentary provided by Luxemburg in the early sections of the book), as well as with key concepts and terminology of Marx’s economic theory. We will dedicate the remainder of the class to a close reading of Luxemburg’s original contribution to Marx’s theory of capital reproduction and accumulation in Section 3 of the book. We will discuss Luxemburg’s insights on the role played by external non-capitalist markets, relating her work to modern forms of imperialism and contemporary economic issues such as the global crisis of finance capitalism. In doing so, we will draw upon more recent research from economists as well as political and social scientists (Marxist and others).


Workshop Instructor: Raphaele Chappe
Location: 275 Madison Avenue, Suite 2114 in Manhattan
Time: Tuesdays, starting Nov. 5, 7-9pm


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