Pembroke Center

Christine Dunlap Farnham Archive Featured Collections

The following collections represent some of the outstanding materials available within the Christine Dunlap Farnham Archive; a special collection repository documenting the history of cis and trans women and non-binary people at Brown University and in Rhode Island. 

This collection consists of the papers of Kate Bornstein, performer, playwright, author, and transgender activist who graduated from Brown University as Albert Bornstein in 1969. The collection documents Bornstein's personal and professional life and trans activism, and includes biographical information, correspondence, diaries, conference material, draft writings, writings by other authors, subject files, print material, ephemera, photographs, and electronic records. View finding aid here.

This collection consists of the personal and professional papers of Dawn Clements (1958-2018), a 1986 graduate of Brown University and a contemporary artist who was known for her work with Sumi ink and ballpoint pen on small to large-scale paper panels. The collection includes personal correspondence, diaries, photos, research notes, paintings and sketches. View finding aid here.

Call Off Your Old Tired Ethics (COYOTE) is a national grassroots social justice network founded by Margo St. James in San Francisco, California, in 1973. It is dedicated to the fundamental human rights of sex workers and their communities. COYOTE focuses on ending violence and stigma through education, community building, and advocacy. COYOTE looks to improve the lives of sex workers, end the criminalization of sex work, and erase the stigma associated with sex work. COYOTE Rhode Island was founded by Bella Robinson in 2009 and is the only state chapter of this nationwide organization.

This collection contains the organizational records of COYOTE Rhode Island, a group of sex workers, former sex workers, trafficking victims, and allies, who advocate for policies that promote the health and safety of people involved in the sex industry. Materials include administrative records; special project files such as the COYOTE-RI Impact Survey and Sex Workers Outreach Project pen pal letters; subject files regarding other advocacy organizations; public records of court cases, arrests, and legislation relating to prostitution; and informational zines and booklets. View finding aid here.

This collection contains the personal and professional papers of Helen F. Cserr, Brown University Professor of Physiology from 1970 to 1993 and scholar of the anatomy and mechanism of the human brain. During her time at Brown, Cserr conducted extensive research on brain anatomy, AIDS research, and the blood brain barrier. A notable woman in science, Cserr also made history in 1975 when she joined Lamphere v. Brown University - a class action sex discrimination suit - when she was unjustly denied tenure. In a landmark settlement, Cserr and fellow plaintiffs prevailed and Cserr was awarded retroactive tenure in 1978. 

Cserr developed a brain tumor in approximately 1992, from which she first fell ill while traveling to Melbourne, Australia for a brain science fellowship. Cserr died of the tumor at age 57 in August 1994. A symposium on lymphatic drainage of the brain was held in England in her honor. Brown established a Helen FitzGerald Cserr fellowship position as well as the Helen FitzGerald Cserr Memorial Fund. View finding aid here. See also the Pembroke Center oral history donated by Cserr's daughter on her behalf.  

Ann duCille is Professor of English, Emerita at Wesleyan University and Inaugural Distinguished Professor in Residence for the Black Feminist Theory Project at the Pembroke Center, Brown University. DuCille's scholarship pertains to African-American literary and cultural studies and investigates popular culture and brand marketing, specifically the ways by which they influence perceptions of and discriminatory practices against races, genders, and identities. Papers include personal and professional correspondence, manuscripts, dissertation proposals, awards and honors, and conference material. View finding aid here.

This collection consists of the activist files of Lesley C. Doonan, social justice feminist and founding member of the Women's Liberation Union of Rhode Island. The collection documents Doonan's participation in various feminist organizations including the National Conference on Women, the Rhode Island Abortion Counseling Service and the Women's Liberation Union of Rhode Island. Materials include correspondence, conference material, clippings, legal files, and print materials. View finding aid here.

Dr. Anne Fausto-Sterling is a leading expert in feminist and scientific inquiry. Until her retirement in 2014, Fausto-Sterling held the Nancy Duke Lewis Chair as Professor Emerita of Biology and Gender Studies in the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology and Biochemistry at Brown University. Fausto-Sterling's revolutionary research applies gender theory and cultural difference to biology and gender development, challenging categories of difference. The collection documents Fausto-Sterling's academic career, research, and writings, and includes correspondence, teaching materials, lab notebooks and slides, subject files, and print materials. View finding aid here. See also Fausto-Sterling's Pembroke Center oral history regarding the Louise Lamphere v. Brown University sex discrimination case. 

The Jodi L. Glass papers provide rich documentation of the inner workings of feminist organizations and movements in Rhode Island and beyond. Included in the collection are the correspondence, essays, news clippings, legislation, agendas, and minutes of a number of groups and movements, including the Rhode Island Feminist Chorus, Feminist Resources Unlimited, and the anti-pornography movement. View finding aid here.

The Catherine Gund papers include production, post-production and distribution notes related to Gund's work as an independent filmmaker in the fields of AIDS treatment and research, gender and sexuality. The collection also includes journal issues and photocopies of Gund's writings on the same subjects. View finding aid here. 

The Malana Krongelb zine collection consists of administrative files and zines that focus on social justice and marginalized identities. Areas of strength include zines by and about people of color, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and other queer peoples, disabled people, interpersonal violence, sex and relationships, sex work, the prison industrial complex, self-care, feminism, and punk. View finding aid here. 

Louise Lamphere is a renowned anthropologist and feminist scholar, working at the University of New Mexico. With a B.A. from Stanford University, an M.A. and Ph.D. from Harvard University, Lamphere has been active in the field of American Anthropology, specifically Navajo cultures, and women's roles in the workplace and family. In 1968, Brown University hired Lamphere into the Anthropology department, where she served as the only woman and was famously denied tenure in 1974. Following that decision, Lamphere brought a class action suit against Brown University and subsequently won an out-of-court settlement that served as a model for future suits by others. "[T]he University settled the case before trial, entering in September 1977 into an historic consent decree designed 'to achieve on behalf of women full representativeness with respect to faculty employment at Brown.'"

Lamphere spent most of her career between Brown University and the University of New Mexico, with several visiting fellowships at various universities and institutions, such as the University of California Berkeley, Princeton University, and the Russell Sage Foundation. During her career, Lamphere won several awards and has written over 120 publications, including books, articles, and article reviews. Today, she is a distinguished professor of Anthropology, Emeritus in the Department of Anthropology at the University of New Mexico.

This collection includes biographical information, professional files, correspondence, drafts of publications, teaching and research material, and files related to academic conferences. View finding aid here. See also the online exhibit, "The Lamphere Case: The Sex Discrimination Lawsuit that Changed Brown," and Lamphere's Pembroke Center oral history

Alison Palmer (Brown University Class of 1953) served in the United States Foreign Service (1959-1981) in Belgian Congo, Ethiopia, and Vietnam. Palmer successfully pursued two sex discrimination lawsuits against the State Department, winning in 1974 and 1987. After her retirement from the State Department in 1981, Palmer became the thirteenth woman Episcopal priest ordained in the United States. The Alison Palmer papers are chiefly related to her two lawsuits but also contain materials that document her foreign service career, and family papers. View finding aid here.

Initiated by the Pembroke Center Advisory Council in 1982, the Pembroke Center Oral History Project captures the experiences of women, transgender, and gender non-binary members of Pembroke College and Brown University from 1911 to the present. The physical collection contains administrative records, audiotapes of interviews, transcripts, and related material. View finding aid here. The digital collection includes interview recordings, key-word-searchable transcripts, and photos. View website here.

The Sarah Doyle Center for Women and Gender, formerly known as the Sarah Doyle Women's Center, was established at Brown University in 1974. The student group, Women of Brown United, proposed a women's center in response to the merger of Brown with Pembroke College, the women's college at Brown. They named the Center after Sarah Doyle who was the first woman to receive an honorary degree from Brown in 1894. Doyle also led the campaign to admit women to Brown, a campaign that raised the money to build Pembroke Hall, the first permanent building of the Brown Women's College.

Today, the mission of the Sarah Doyle Center for Women and Gender is to engage the campus community through a feminist praxis of activism and academics. The center provides programs, resources, and meeting space for any member of the campus community interested in examining issues around gender, especially as it intersects with other markers of identity.

This collection contains the records of the Sarah Doyle Center for Women and Gender at Brown University. Materials include staff logs; administrative and event files for student groups including the Greenlight Network, Third World Women's Affairs, the Women's Escort Service, and the Women's Political Task Force; subject files regarding abortion, LGBTQ sexual health, and South African Divestiture; student papers; and print material such as handbooks, journals, and newsletters. View finding aid here.

This collection contains originals and photocopies of reports, publications, interviews, obituaries, and photographs pertaining to the careers of Martha (class of 1926) and Waitstill Sharp. Documents record the Sharps’ early social work in Meadville, PA, and their humanitarian and rescue work in World War II Prague, Czechoslovakia; Marseille and Pau, France; and Lisbon, Portugal. Materials also document Martha Sharp’s postwar campaign for Congress, activities in Israel, continuing work for the Unitarian Church in Czechoslovakia, family and personal life, and work with the Cogan Foundation and other charitable agencies. View more information here. View digitized items here. 

Mary Ann Sorrentino received a BA in psychology from Elmira College (New York) and did graduate research at the University of Florence in Italy. Mary Ann Sorrentino worked as a health and human service administrator, coordinated an alcohol treatment program, and was executive director of Opportunities for Women, before becoming executive director of Planned Parenthood of Rhode Island in 1977. She and her husband, Albert Ciullo, have a daughter Luisa.

One week before Luisa's confirmation into the Roman Catholic Church in May 1985, their priest called a meeting with the family to question Luisa about her beliefs about abortion. Although Father Francis Egan allowed Luisa to be confirmed, shortly thereafter the church excommunicated Mary Ann Sorrentino. Mary Ann Sorrentino was the first person in the United States to be publicly excommunicated for being pro-choice. In January 1986, a priest narrating an anti-abortion television broadcast mentioned the excommunication, which prompted Mary Ann Sorrentino to state publicly her criticisms of the church's decision and its stance on abortion. At the same time, debate escalated over a proposed amendment to the Rhode Island constitution (Proposition 14) that would outlaw abortion and some forms of birth control. Articles about the controversy surrounding Mary Ann Sorrentino's excommunication appeared in newspapers and magazines across the country; Mary Ann Sorrentino appeared on the television talk show "Donahue" in February, and "Redbook" published an article in June. In November 1986 the amendment failed. Mary Ann Sorrentino resigned from Planned Parenthood in 1987, began a public relations and media relations consulting firm (mass communications), and continued to give speeches and write editorials and essays.

The Mary Ann Sorrentino papers about her excommunication from the Catholic Church consist of correspondence, clippings, and other materials. These papers relate to the practice of abortion, the authority of the Catholic Church over its members, and general discussion of religion and morality with respect to abortion. View finding aid here.

The Womxn Project is a non-profit organization in Rhode Island focused on building a strong, feminist, community-based movement to further human rights of Rhode Islanders by using art and activism to advance education and social change. The Womxn Project stirs social awareness and invites political action to inclusively further womxn's rights through creative advocacy campaigns and collaborative art projects.

This collection contains records and items that were created to advocate for the passing of the Reproductive Privacy Act in 2019. Materials include canvassing packets, memorabilia, handmaid's costumes worn at lobbying events at the Rhode Island Statehouse, community petition quilt squares, the community petition quilt, and petition scrolls that predated the quilt. View finding aid here.