BROOKLYN INSTITUTE FOR SOCIAL RESEARCH is an interdisciplinary teaching and research institute that offers critical, community-based education in the humanities and social sciences. Holding courses both online and in-person (in New York City and beyond), we integrate rigorous but accessible scholarly study with the everyday lives of working adults and re-imagine scholarship for the 21st century.

Founded in 2012 with a single course on Aristotle and Plato in the back of a New York City bar, we work with national and international cultural organizations, local bookstores, cafes, businesses, and community spaces to offer a full curriculum of affordable seminars in subjects that range from philosophy and feminist theory to biology and economics. Our faculty are all gifted scholar-pedagogues with a broad array of expertise acquired through their doctoral work, academic and popular writing, industry experience, and in the classroom itself. As a labor-forward organization, 70% of all tuition fees go to supporting BISR faculty in their teaching and research endeavors. 

Named after the Institute for Social Research in Frankfurt, Germany, BISR is actively pioneering a new model for scholarship in the twenty-first century that integrates a commitment to pedagogy, research,  and public programming. Through BISR Praxis, we offer educational development to non-profits, labor unions, and private companies. BISR Language Learning and Critique marries formal language acquisition with critical discussion of the historical and ever-evolving cultural contexts in which languages and texts are read. A year-long intensive, the BISR Certificate for Critical Study enables students to pursue an individualized course of study, within the broad framework of our disciplinary tracks, and with the close, personal attention of a BISR faculty tutor. And our BISR Office Hours program provides an avenue for in-depth, tailored, one-on-one study for interested students. We also regularly hold a wide-range of public events, including film screenings, book talks, roundtable panels, and concerts, as well as produce multiple podcast series, including Pop-Cultural Marxism, Practical Criticism, Faculty Spotlight, and more. BISR is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization. If you have any questions please contact us at info@thebrooklyninstitute.com or use the contact form.

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  • Brooklyn Institute for Social Research
    68 Jay Street, #308
    Brooklyn, NY 11201
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