Brooklyn Institute for Social Research -
  • The last eight years have been the hottest in recorded human history. From atmospheric carbon concentration and ocean acidification to increased frequency of extreme weather events and, yes, pandemics, it is not only that every measure of climate change has become more pronounced but that the intensity of this already existing socioecological phenomenon is ever more palpable to the vast majority of people across the world. Climate has moved from a so-called “special interest” to an everyday concern—with the mainstream, cautious IPCC calling for nothing less than unprecedented, radical socio-economic transformation. However, across the political spectrum, climate change is often still treated as an addendum to existing political programs ...
  • C.L.R. James’s life expresses the tensions between the center and the periphery of the modern capitalist world. He wrote on everything from philosophy to the Haitian Revolution, music to sports, radical politics to literary criticism, constantly revealing the surprising and often ignored interconnections of the world system. Initially moving from Trinidad (the colony) to Britain (the metropole), James developed a sharp and nuanced critique of empire, underscoring the roles of culture and of those holding positions within colonial society itself in shaping the broader political economy of colonialism. Inspired by a series of remarkable world events in the interwar period and the militancy of working people, James would increasingly emphasize the radicalism ...
  • What is queer theory and what does it do? “Queer” is a notoriously slippery term. A biting insult reclaimed as a livable identity by those it was meant to hurt most, the word “queer” has a contradictory, protean quality. And queer theory is a contradictory, protean body of thought, dedicated to understanding how the complex phenomena of sexuality and gender constitute themselves in people, in texts, in gestures, in customs, in policies, in thoughts, in life, in art—in short, in social relations. Growing from an intellectual genealogy that owes much to Michel Foucault’s work on power and sexuality, among many other bodies of thought, queer theory asks how desires become identities. It asks why oppressive, institutionalized ideas about how we live ...
  • Shakespeare’s Hamlet has inspired countless interpretations: “Words, words, words,” as the play’s eponymous protagonist might put it. Writers from J.W. Goethe to Friedrich Nietzsche, T.S. Eliot to Sigmund Freud, Carl Schmitt to Simon Critchley and Jamieson Webster have attempted to make sense of the panoply of human experience the play offers up—on matters of love and desire, melancholy and indecision, guilt and vengeance, sex and death, war and politics. Each critic’s view reveals just as much about the critic and their preoccupations as it does about the play itself. What about Shakespeare’s Hamlet—its themes and poetics, the picture it paints of human variability—has generated such a rich array of reflections on ...
  • Encompassing art, theory, and speculative fiction, solarpunk is a vision of futurity that asks: What sort of world can result from the alignment of nature and technology? Gesturing, on the one hand, to the sun—a resource, by its very nature, inhospitable to private property logic—and, on the other, to counterculture, solarpunk sees decommodified energy, sustainably harnessed, as core to human liberation. In contrast to the pessimism that, in the age of climate change, increasingly marks our cultural and political sensibilities (as well as certain strands of critical theorizing), solarpunk embraces a so-called radical optimism: Its speculative fictions describe utopias; its aesthetics and architecture orient themselves to communalism ...

THE BROOKLYN INSTITUTE FOR SOCIAL RESEARCH is an interdisciplinary teaching and research institute that offers critical, community-based education in the humanities and social sciences. Working in partnership with local businesses and cultural organizations, we integrate rigorous but accessible scholarly study with the everyday lives of working adults and re-imagine scholarship for the 21st century.

Upcoming Courses



Support the Brooklyn Institute

The Brooklyn Institute for Social Research is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Consider supporting our mission by becoming a member or donating today.

Mailing List
To receive our newsletter with upcoming news and announcements, please enter your email address.
  • New York/General
  • New Jersey
  • Philadelphia
  • Midwest
  • London

Recent Posts

In Memoriam: Sara Kallock

Brooklyn Institute for Social Research mourns the death of Sara Kallock, who passed July 1st, 2024, after a long and courageous struggle with cancer. Sara, who received her PhD in Politics from the University of Manchester, was a beloved and highly valued member of BISR’s Second Faculty, whereby she offered strong intellectual and logistical support […]

Call for Partners: Bring BISR to Your Space!

Faculty Spotlight: Jenny Logan on the Supreme Court and the Crime of Being Homeless

Podcast for Social Research, Episode 79.5: My Beautiful Laundrette — a Brief Film Guide