Pembroke Center

Current Faculty Seed Grants

The Pembroke Center's competitive seed grant program supports collaborative research initiatives that involve Brown faculty from the humanities, social sciences, creative arts, and health sciences.

After a hiatus caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the interdisciplinary faculty research program restarted in spring of 2022, and the following seed grants were awarded.

2021-22 Pembroke Center Seed Grants

Scholarship has established that the experience of pain is culturally defined. Faculty members involved in this project seek to investigate how the treatment of pain is equally embedded in the social, economic, and political contexts that shape individual experiences of illness and institutional structures of care. Admission to a hospital draws a patient away from familiar remedies and substitutes new — and sometimes dangerous — pharmacology. Increasingly, there is limited overlap between the patient’s medicine cabinet and the provider’s formulary. With efforts to reduce opiate prescription alongside documented bias in prescription rates, there is a renewed urgency to understand pain pharmacology across historical, spatial, and cultural borders.

This research group proposes a journal club and lecture series that will bring together humanists, social scientists, and allied health professionals. Monthly meetings and public events will generate interdisciplinary discussions and a range of potential outcomes with opportunity for impact in the university, the hospital system. and the diverse communities of Rhode Island.

Project website:

Project Directors
    •    William Page, Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine, Brown University
    •    Kim Adams, American Council of Learned Societies Emerging Voices Fellow, Stanford University, Brown University
    •    Fred Schiffman, Sigal Family Professor of Humanistic Medicine, Professor of Medicine, Brown University
    •    Sarah Williams, Louise Lamphere Visiting Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Gender Studies, Brown University

The C.O.M.P.A.S.S. Project will serve as a one-year digital humanities exploration of the visual and sonic possibilities for collecting, organizing, and presenting oral testimonies of women and girls who rap, DJ, and make beats. In turn, these findings will be used to support The Keeper Project, an ongoing research initiative led by hip hop artists, Akua Naru and Enongo Lumumba-Kasongo (aka SAMMUS), as well as eminent hip hop scholar Tricia Rose, Chancellor's Professor of Africana Studies, Associate Dean of the Faculty for Special Initiatives, and Director of the Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America at Brown. This project calls attention to the systematic erasure of women and girls from popular and scholarly accounts of hip hop artistry and innovation; and challenges these outcomes through the presentation of a rich counter-narrative, devised from careful documentation of their life stories, recorded works, headlines, hashtags, and notably, their absences. 

The C.O.M.P.A.S.S. Project will culminate in a public gathering, live music performance, and presentation in the spring semester of 2023.

Project Director
Enongo Lumumba-Kasongo, Mellon Gateway Postdoctoral Fellow, Music, Brown University

    •    Akua Naru, Hip Hop artist, producer, activist, and scholar; Race & Media Fellow at the Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America (CSREA), Brown University
    •    Tricia Rose, Chancellor's Professor of Africana Studies, Associate Dean of the Faculty for Special Initiatives, Director of the Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America, Brown University
    •    Ashley Champagne, Director, Center for Digital Scholarship, Brown University
    •    Karen Eberhart, Head of Collections Services and Metadata, John Hay Library, Brown University
    •    Cody Carvel, Digital Fellow, Center for Digital Scholarship, Brown University
    •    Student Researchers

Applications for the Pembroke Center’s faculty seed grants are reviewed each spring. Check the Interdisciplinary Faculty Seed Grants page for requirements and deadlines.

Contacts for Questions