Pembroke Center

The Pembroke Center at Brown University is an interdisciplinary research center that fosters critical scholarship on questions of gender and difference, broadly defined, in national and transnational contexts.

Visiting Scholar Chunfang Yi Concludes Successful Year at the Pembroke Center

Chungfang Yi teaches at Northwest University in China and is working on her Ph.D. at Nanjing University. She came to the Pembroke Center as a visiting scholar for the 2015-16 academic year, in part due to the Center's involvement with the Nanjing-Brown Joint Program in Gender Studies and the Humanities. Yi found the year at Brown to be essential to her development of the final theoretical formation for her dissertation, "Affect, Repetition, and the Self-Exiled Women in Edith Wharton's Later Novels."

Yi took part in the weekly Pembroke Seminar and said it, "opened her vision for her psychoanalytic study." She took numerous courses including: "Freud: Reader and Writer," with Suzanne Stewart-Steinberg, director of the Pembroke Center and professor of Italian Studies and Comparative Literature; "Faulker" with Arnold Weinstein, professor of Comparative Literature: and, "Introduction to Literary Theory" and "Repetition" with Susan Bernstein, professor of Comparative Literature and German Studies. Yi found the courses to be intellectually challenging and theoretically enriching. She also greatly enjoyed the lively academic atmosphere on campus. 

(Distributed August 15, 2016)

Welcoming Mary Murphy as the Pembroke Center's New Archivist

We are very pleased to announce that Mary Murphy has joined the Pembroke Center's staff. As the Pembroke Center Archivist, she oversees the Pembroke Center Archives, including the Christine Dunlap Farnham Archive and the Feminist Theory Archive. She comes to Brown from Harvard's Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America. To read more about Mary Murphy, please see page four of our most recent newsletter

The Pembroke Center is deeply grateful to the many donors to the Pembroke Center Archives Endowment who made her hire possible.

(Distributed August 1, 2016)

Congratulations to Jean E. Howard '70, Doctor of Humane Letters

As a distinguished scholar, teacher, and administrator at Columbia and a loyal alumna of Brown, you have dedicated your professional life to the study of early modern literature, the history of drama, and the advancement of diversity within higher education. Widely recognized as an expert in the study of Shakespeare, your research and writings have provided great insight into the socioeconomic and cultural conditions under which he shaped his representations of class and gender. You have served your students well, receiving multiple awards for teaching and mentoring, and you have set yourself apart as a skilled administrator through your direction of the Institute for Research on Women and Gender at Columbia and as Columbia’s first Vice Provost for Diversity Initiatives. We at Brown are fortunate to benefit from your service as a trustee emerita, an active member of the Advisory Council on Diversity and chair of the Pembroke Center Associates Council. For your exceptional commitment to the life of the mind, your drive to improve accessibility for young scholars, and your years of service to your alma mater, we honor you with the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa.

(Distributed May 31, 2016)

Getting Reel: Brown Women in Documentary Film

Saturday, May 28, 2016
11:00 am
List Auditorium, 64 College Street

Brown alumnae continue to take the documentary film field by storm, capturing some of the most prestigious prizes. No issue – from race to gender roles to religion – is off-limits. Award winning alumnae panelists had a no holds barred conversation about how they inspire, provoke, and engage their audiences. They discussed the motivations that stir them and the roadblocks they face in the world of documentary film.  Watch the video here.


Moderator: Betsy West ’73, P’17, Fred W. Friendly Professor of Professional Practice in Media and Society, Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism

Introduction: Jean E. Howard Ph.D. ’70, Chair, Pembroke Center Associates Council

This commencement forum is sponsored by the Pembroke Center Associates and the Women’s Leadership Council of Brown University.

(Distributed April 27, 2016)

An Evening with Award-Winning Playwright Sarah Ruhl ’97, MFA’01

Hosted by Victoria Westhead ’83, P’17, P’19, Pembroke Center Associates Council Vice-Chair 

Tuesday, April 26, 2016
6:30 pm
Brooklyn Heights, NY

Sarah Ruhl's plays include In the Next Room, or the vibrator play (Pulitzer Prize finalist, 2010; Tony Award nominee for best new play), The Clean House (Pulitzer Prize Finalist, 2005; The Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, 2004); Passion Play, a cycle (Pen American award, The Fourth Freedom Forum Playwriting Award from The Kennedy Center); Dead Man’s Cell Phone (Helen Hayes award); Melancholy Play; Eurydice; Orlando, Demeter in the City (NAACP nomination), Late: A Cowboy Song; Three Sisters; and most recently, Stage Kiss and Dear Elizabeth. She is also the author of 100 Essays I Don't Have Time to Write: On Umbrellas and Sword Fights, Parades and Dogs, Fire Alarms, Children, and Theater, which was selected as one of the "100 Notable Books of 2014" by the New York Times.

(Distributed April 25, 2016)

International Conference on Rape and War

Download the program here.

April 15-16, 2016
Friday 1:45 pm - 6:15 pm
Saturday 9:00 am - 4:30 pm

Pembroke Hall 305
172 Meeting Street, Providence


  • Kimberly Juanita Brown, Assistant Professor of English and Africana Studies, Mount Holyoke College
  • Dara Kay Cohen, Assistant Professor of Public Policy, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
  • Miriam Cooke, Braxton Craven Professor of Arab Cultures, Duke University
  • Donna DeCesare, Associate Professor of Journalism, University of Texas at Austin
  • Liangqin Jiang, Professor of History, Nanjing University
  • Yukiko Koga, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Hunter College
  • Wendy Kozol, Professor of Comparative American Studies, Oberlin College
  • Emma Kuby, Assistant Professor of History, Northern Illinois University
  • Jacqueline Rose, Professor of Humanities, Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities, University of London
  • Lyndsey Stonebridge, Professor of Modern Literature and History, University of East Anglia
  • Xiaming Yang, Professor of International Relations, Jiangsu Institute of Public Administration 
  • Lianhong Zhang, Professor of History, Nanjing Normal University

Part of the Pembroke Center's four-year research initiative, Seeing War Differently: Rethinking the Subject(s) of Warfare.

Image: "El Rapto de las Sabinas" by Mariano Salvador Maella [Public Domain] via Wikimedia Commons. 

EXHIBIT: A Natural History of Rape
Curated by Ariella Azoulay, Professor of Comparative Literature and Modern Culture and Media, this special exhibition has been mounted for the occasion of the Pembroke Center's Rape and War conference.

Pembroke Hall 305
172 Meeting Street, Providence

The exhibit will be on view:

Friday, April 15, 2016
8:30 am - 6:00 pm

Saturday, April 16, 2016
8:30 am - 5:00 pm

(Distributed April 8, 2016)
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