Pembroke Center

Pembroke Center Publics Initiative and Lecture Series

The Pembroke Center Publics Initiative and Lecture Series brings to Brown guests whose work in any sphere, from academics to activism and well beyond, contends with issues of gender and sexuality in a transformative manner.

As a feminist research center devoted to critical scholarship on the struggles faced by people across national and transnational contexts, especially those whose gender identity or sexual orientation make them targets of violence, the Pembroke Center addresses real-world questions and commitments. The Publics Lecture Series features speakers whose work exemplifies breakthrough creativity in attending to these questions.

2023 Publics Lecture

All of Reproductive Justice: a talk by Dorothy Roberts

Dorothy Roberts

Wednesday, April 12, 2023
4:00 p.m.
Pembroke Hall 305

Dorothy Roberts is the 14th Penn Integrates Knowledge Professor and George A. Weiss University Professor of Law & Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania, with joint appointments in the Departments of Africana Studies and Sociology and the Law School, where she is the inaugural Raymond Pace and Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander Professor of Civil Rights. She is also the founding director of the Penn Program on Race, Science, and Society. An internationally recognized scholar, public intellectual, and social justice advocate, she has written and lectured extensively on race, gender, and class inequities in U.S. institutions and has been a leader in transforming public thinking and policy on reproductive freedom, child welfare, and bioethics. Roberts’ talk, “All of Reproductive Justice," will address the importance of recognizing, integrating, and acting on all the key principles of reproductive justice.

2022 Inaugural Publics Lecture

The inaugural Publics Lecture was held on April 27, 2022. Alexis Pauline Gumbs, who describes herself as a Queer Black Troublemaker and Black Feminist Love Evangelist, gave the talk "Nutmeg and the Scale of Revolution: for Audre Lorde." 

Alexis Pauline Gumbs photo Gumbs is a writer whose feminist critical and creative practice includes poetry, fiction, experimental writing, and founding a number of inventive initiatives. Those include the co-founding of a digital distribution initiative and the Black Feminist Film School, the founding of an online network and series of retreats and online intensives, the co-founding of UBUNTU A Women of Color Survivor-Led Coalition to End Gendered Violence, and work with Warrior Healers Organizing Trust and Earthseed Land Collective in Durham, NC. Gumbs also participated in the first visioning council of Kindred Southern Healing Justice Network and Southerners on New Ground, Allied Media Projects, Black Women’s Blueprint and the International Black Youth Summit.

Gumbs’s books include Undrowned: Black Feminist Lessons from Marine Mammals; The Eternal Life of Audre Lorde: Biography as Ceremony (forthcoming from Farrar, Straus and Giroux); Revolutionary Mothering: Love on the Front Lines; M Archive: After the End of the World; Dub: Finding Ceremony and Spill: Scenes of Black Feminist Fugitivity.

Watch the lecture. 




Complementary Programming

Gumbs’s book Spill: Scenes of Black Feminist Fugitivity is a work of literary criticism based on the archive of freedom-seeking Black women, including Hortense J. Spillers. Audience members attending Gumbs’s lecture had the chance to view the exhibition “Hortense J. Spillers: A Life Recorded” on the main floor of Pembroke Hall. The exhibition, part of the Pembroke Center’s 40th anniversary celebrations, featured items from Spillers’s collection, which is housed in the Pembroke Center’s Feminist Theory Archive in the name of the Black Feminist Theory Project.