Pembroke Center

Pembroke Seminar

The Pembroke Seminar is a singular institution at Brown and beyond.

Participants in the Pembroke SeminarThe Pembroke Seminar is a unique learning and research community comprising an intergenerational group of scholars — undergraduates, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, faculty, visiting scholars, and guests — who together pursue a set of critical questions in weekly meetings over the course of a year.

Convened by a prominent Brown faculty member or two-person faculty team, the seminar's research topic changes each year, but it is always explored by scholars with a diversity of expertise in a range of fields; it is common for seminars to include participants representing 20 or more disciplines. By convening emerging and advanced scholars who bring different disciplinary tools, methods, and approaches to bear on a subject of shared concern, the Pembroke Seminar enables scholars to think together in fresh ways, advance understanding, and transform how significant questions are confronted and addressed.

In recent years, scholars in the Pembroke Seminar have examined: how global histories of race, gender, and class are connected to structures of knowledge and power that are ordered by color; how debt as a condition and mode of governance is and has been narrated historically, legally, and otherwise, and how debt itself is a story; how exhaustion with theoretical approaches in the humanities led to the notion of "post-critique," and what that means for 21st-century literary and cultural studies, theories of sexuality and race, science studies, historiography and other domains; how imperialist curatorial practices intersect with human rights; and what intersecting philosophies and ethics underlay the transnational history of twentieth-century pacifism.

While the title and focus of the Pembroke Seminar is continually refreshed, the attention to questions of gender, sexuality, difference and intersectionality, and a willingness to question how knowledge is and has been produced, ensures that the Pembroke research agenda is, invariably, a feminist theoretical enterprise. Seminar participants

The Pembroke Seminar meets on Wednesdays, from 10:00 am – 12:30 pm.

For more information contact: or phone 401-863-2643.

What I enjoyed most about the Seminar is what I will carry with me: the ability to come together in conversation in a sustained and sustainable manner over the duration of the Seminar, which itself held the promise that we would continue to show up and show care, generously challenge genealogies and each other, and weave together our experiential worlds in an effort to envision more habitable futures for all beings and becomings.

Sareh Afshar Artemis A.W. and Martha Joukowsky Postdoctoral Fellow
Sareh Afshar

I find that I walk away from each week with more passion and fuel for the projects that I am currently working on.

Grace Xiao '24 Pembroke Seminar Undergraduate Fellow, Concentrator in History of Art and Architecture
Grace Xiao