Pembroke Center

Women and Gender at Brown

These collections center the lives of women and gender minorities connected to Brown University.

These collections center the lives of women and gender minorities connected to Brown University. They include papers of Brown community members and the Pembroke Center Oral History project.

This collecting area began with oral history interviews and has grown to include a wide variety of archival materials. Notable collections are the Sarah Doyle Center for Women and Gender records, the Anne Fausto-Sterling papers, the Kate Bornstein papers, and the Malana Krongelb Zine Collection.

For a full list of available collections, visit the Brown Library catalogue. Researchers can access these collections by visiting the John Hay Library.

For more information about donating or accessing material, please contact

The following collections represent some of the outstanding materials available within Women and Gender at Brown.

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 Christina Crosby, lesbian and feminist scholar, social justice activist, and co-founder of Sojourner House – a non-profit dedicated to supporting those affected by domestic and sexual violence in Rhode Island. Crosby worked as a Professor in the English Department and a Professor of Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Wesleyan University. Her scholarship focused on women in 19th-century British literature but turned toward disability studies after a near-fatal bicycle accident in 2003. In 2016, Crosby published A Body Undone: Living on After Great Pain documenting this experience. The collection documents Crosby's personal life, academic career, research, and writing, and includes photographs, correspondence, syllabi, handwritten notes, research articles, and writing drafts. The collection spans from 1949 to 2023. View finding aid here.

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 personal and professional papers of Johanna Fernández, Dominican-American Brown University alumna, scholar of 20th Century US history and the history of social movements at Baruch College, City University of New York, author of the award-winning The Young Lords: A Radical History (2020), and a social justice organizer, including as a notable student organizer for need blind admissions while as an undergraduate at Brown. Materials include photos, correspondence, syllabi, course readings, lecture notes, writing drafts and research, books, flyers, newspapers, and electronic records, dating from 1967 – 2022. 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 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.

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.