About

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.

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 endeavours.

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. The BISR Community Initiative, funded by public grants and private donations, brings classes and workshops to underserved communities. Through BISR Praxis and BISR OnSite we offer educational development to non-profits, labor unions, and private companies. And our BISR Office Hours program provides in depth, tailored one-on-one study for interested students. We also host film screenings, panel discussions, talks, and a podcast, and offer intensive Day-of-Learning seminars on single texts. 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.

Moving Forward 

Our newest initiatives are centered around the conviction that informed conversation and learning are vital to American social life and democracy. We are currently building programs across the United States, particularly in underserved areas in both the urban and exurban Midwest and beyond. If you would like to host or support BISR-style programming in your community, or if you are a potential partner or sponsor for these regional learning projects, please use the contact form.

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.

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