Pembroke Center

Feminist Theory Archive

A research collection documenting the lives and scholarship of feminist theorists and scholars in the academy, spanning from the 1970s to the present.

Established in 2003, the Feminist Theory Archive documents the lives and work of notable feminist theorists and scholars of difference who examine sex and gender at the center of their theoretical study. The archive is a research collection that is open to the public and housed at Brown University's John Hay Library.

We use the following definition of feminist theory as our collecting guide:

Feminist theory is discourse that attempts to explain the systemic causes and effects of inequality among the sexes including how factors such as race, class and sexuality affect these inequalities. Feminist theory arises from many domains of knowledge including the humanities, social and natural sciences. Key areas of focus within feminist theory include discrimination and exclusion, objectification, power and oppression, and the social construction of identity.

The Feminist Theory Archive comprises personal and professional papers from pioneering scholars based in the United States and internationally. Notable scholars whose papers are available for research include Ann duCille, Anne Fausto-Sterling, Silvia Federici, Inderpal Grewal, and Hortense J. Spillers. Materials of interest include diaries, correspondence, draft writings, research files, lectures, photographs, and audiovisual recordings, among many other items.

In 2016, the Pembroke Center established the Black Feminist Theory Project. Scholars whose lives and work are applicable can now contribute their papers to the Feminist Theory Archive in the name of the initiative. 

Users can access all of the collections by viewing the Feminist Theory Archive LibGuide or guide to the archive. Researchers can also visit the John Hay Library and/or search the Brown University Library catalog using the term, "Feminist Theory Archive."

Inquiries from donors of collections and researchers should be directed to