Brooklyn Institute for Social Research -
  • The Brooklyn Institute warmly invites you to our Second Annual Institute Social. Join us for an evening of local fare, fine libations, lively conversation, lightning lectures by BISR faculty, and more. All proceeds help support the Brooklyn Institute’s core operations as well as our many public initiatives, including BISR Network, our series of Midwest learning centers; Community Initiative, which delivers free classes to low-income and underserved adults; and BISR Praxis, which provides educational materials and learning opportunities to activists and public-interest non-profits.
  • Karl Marx is 200 years old. And yet, whenever Marx seems dead and buried, a new moment of economic or political crisis brings Marx’s critical understanding of capitalism back to the fore. In Marx Now, a two-day symposium co-presented by the Goethe-Institut New York and the Brooklyn Institute for Social Research, leading scholars, activists, and artists will discuss, in a series of panels and learning sessions, why Marx endures: how does Marx speak to our moment of extraordinary inequality, political upheaval, fractured identity, ecological degradation, technological acceleration, alienation, and exhaustion? To answer, presenters and audience members will draw from stories, objects, scholarship, art works, and the lessons of contemporary politics.
  • n the twenty-fourth episode of the Podcast for Social Research, Ajay Singh Chaudhary, Rebecca Ariel Porte, Nathan Shields, and Jude Webre discuss the relationship between music and criticism and the what it means to talk intelligibly about popular genres ranging from jazz to pop to prog rock. Departing from Adorno’s “Perennial Fashion—Jazz” and recent work by the critic Kelefa Sanneh, this roundtable considers the following questions: What does it mean to do music criticism in a world of constantly mutating genres, sounds, forms, and vocabularies? What does it mean to listen to music as a critic, an enthusiast, a performer, or a composer? How does taste really work? And how do conversations about music shape our social worlds?
  • In the twilight of the 19th century, Friedrich Nietzsche declared that god was dead and that few were prepared to understand the consequence–namely, the demise of morality, justice, and truth itself. A little more than a half-century later, in the cafes of occupied and post-war Paris, a group of self-declared “atheist” existentialists attempted to meet Nietzsche’s challenge: to reimagine the basis of morality and value in a godless world. Very soon, existentialist ideas would permeate the larger intellectual milieu, both high and low, shaping works of fiction, theater, music, and fashion. In a world ravaged by war and collective suffering, what does it mean to live freely and authentically? What purpose do we have? Do humans have an essence—and if not, how are identities, gender, and social roles constructed? ...
  • How do numbers relate to the world? What insights can we derive from data? How do we separate signal from noise? This course is an introduction to statistical thinking and its applications to data analysis at a level accessible to a broad audience with no prior statistical background. We’ll learn and make intuitive the fundamental methods and concepts of data quantification: linear regression, logistic regression, probability distribution, hypothesis testing; statistical significance; and correlation vs. causation. We’ll examine, too, the role of data in the world—its omnipresence and utility for science, business, technology, and public policy. ...

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.

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Recent Posts

Faculty Writing: James Comey’s Truth and Black and White New York

In the Baffler, Patrick Blanchfield reviews James Comey’s unctuous apologia Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership. As Blanchfield observes, “Comey is a True Believer in Truth Itself” (according to Comey, “As a legal principle, if people don’t tell the truth, our justice system cannot function and a society based on the rule of law begins […]

Perennial Fashion: Music and Criticism

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Faculty Writing: Eros and the Death Drive