Brooklyn Institute for Social Research -
  • Environmentalists frequently describe the planet as “Mother Earth" and call on humans to “love your mother.” But why is the earth seen as a woman? Should it be? Ecofeminists often connect the domination of nature with the oppression of women. Xenofeminisists, meanwhile, often view technology and the transcendence of “natural” boundaries as central to feminist emancipation. Both eco- and xenofeminists have taken up questions of nature, technology, femininity, dominance, and the human itself in remarkably different, sometimes complementary, ways. How should we understand the nexus between gender, nature, technology, and oppression? ...
  • Primo Levi was an Italian chemist before his experience at Auschwitz, masterfully chronicled in his 1947 work, "If This is a Man," thrust him to the forefront of international attention as a witness to Nazi atrocities. With his simple but affecting prose, Levi is often burdened with the task of representing the concentration camp experience and now appears as a staple text of both high school and university curricula. Yet despite his use and misuse by various ideological camps, what remains most striking about Levi’s work is how it continues to unsettle political, theological, or humanistic attempts to make the Holocaust “mean” something comprehensible. ...
  • Black politics in the United States has often been defined by a singular goal: full legibility as humans and citizens. How best to achieve that goal, and to assume positions of political leadership, is still a matter of intense debate. Since winning the right to vote and a partial end to legal segregation, black electoral presence and visibility has widened considerably. However, during the same period, the carceral state intensified, urban police forces expanded, and deindustrialization, invidious housing laws, and a severely reduced welfare state left wide swaths of black America economically depressed. In the post-Civil Rights era of formal legal equality but extreme social inequality, what have constituted black political platforms and the tactics to achieve them? ...
  • The archetypal novel of high modernism, James Joyce’s Ulysses attempts to synthesize the life of a city, the afterlives of previous literary styles, and the entirety of the Western canon as it stood in the early twentieth century. Since its original publication when it was serialized in the Little Review from March 1918 to March 1920, Ulysses has churned up debates about obscenity, obscurity, gender, sexuality, censorship, technology, urban life, money, ethnicity, good modernism, bad modernism, pop culture, high culture, the ethics of the encyclopedic, the shape of history, and the limits of literature itself. ...
  • Writing in 2004, Ben Bernanke argued that the economy had entered a period of “Great Moderation” characterized by “significant improvements in economic growth and productivity but also a marked reduction in economic volatility, both in the United States and abroad.” Four years later, the 2008 financial crisis proved them wrong. How, and why, did mainstream macroeconomics fail to understand the nature of the credit bubble that led to crisis? And what does this example teach us about the nature and limitations of macroeconomics as an approach to understanding the economy at large? ...

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Recent Posts

BISR 2018 Year in Review

Dear Friends of the Brooklyn Institute, BISR’s work is predicated on a simple, shared notion: that people desire a rich, intellectual life, that people deserve such a life. Whether it’s concentrated on the burning topics of the day or the furthest flights of fancy, the life of the mind is not some rarefied museum piece […]

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