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Brooklyn Institute for Social Research
Upcoming Classes in NYC

(4.6-star rating across 29 reviews)

The Brooklyn Institute for Social Research, established in 2011, offers liberal arts education and research opportunities to local communities while supporting young scholars. With a mission to engage various intellectual traditions, the institute aims to provide accessible education and foster active, engaged citizens.

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Brooklyn Institute for Social Research

5 classes in-person in NYC have spots left, and 8 classes live online are available.

The Soviet Avant-Garde: Culture, Politics, Aesthetics

Brooklyn Institute for Social Research @ 68 Jay St, Brooklyn, NY

In this course, you'll explore artforms like Russian and Soviet avant-garde, Cubo-Futurism, and Constructivism. Learn the works of influential artists and examine their impact on the shifting ideological and institutional ideas during the early Soviet state. Uncover the avant-garde's quest for a "communistic expression of material structures" and its enduring legacy in the 20th century.

(29) All levels 21 and older
$335

4 sessions

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Racial Capitalism: Race, Class, and the Black Radical Tradition

Brooklyn Institute for Social Research @ 68 Jay St, Brooklyn, NY

Delve into the profound intersections of race, class, and capitalism in a thought-provoking exploration of contemporary radical movements. Join us for an in-depth examination of Cedric Robinson’s concept of racial capitalism and its implications for understanding modernity, nationalism, and Black Radicalism. Uncover the complexities of these interwoven systems through close readings and discussions led by expert scholars at the Brooklyn Institute for Social Research.

(29) All levels 21 and older
$335

4 sessions

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Waterfronts: Cities, Shipping, and the Sea

Brooklyn Institute for Social Research @ 68 Jay St, Brooklyn, NY

Does every “great” city possess a waterfront? Historical hubs of trade, waterfronts inculcate cultures that structure and permeate modern urban space—cultures of capital, labor, leisure, sex, and, in a de-industrial age, decay. Inextricable from the history of cities, waterfronts are, by extension, inextricable from the history of transnational capitalism. What can we learn, on the waterfront, about how waterways, transportation, and the city...

(29) All levels 21 and older
$335

4 sessions

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Erich Auerbach: Mimesis

Brooklyn Institute for Social Research @ 68 Jay St, Brooklyn, NY

Explore the profound insights of Erich Auerbach's "Mimesis" in a journey through Western literary tradition. Join us at the Brooklyn Institute for Social Research as we delve into Auerbach's groundbreaking analysis, unraveling the complexities of literary representation from Homer to modernity. Engage with timeless questions of realism, humanism, and the essence of literature in this captivating exploration of Auerbach's enduring legacy.

(29) All levels 21 and older
$335

4 sessions

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Fairy Tales: Seduction, Subversion, and Transformation

Brooklyn Institute for Social Research

Unlock the enchanting world of fairy tales as we explore their subversive power and timeless allure. Join us at the Brooklyn Institute for Social Research for an illuminating journey through canonical tales and contemporary retellings, alongside insightful analysis from leading theorists. Delve into the depths of stories like Bluebeard and Beauty and the Beast to unravel themes of power, sex, and transformation, and discover how these age-old narratives continue to resonate in our modern world.

(29) All levels 21 and older
$335

4 sessions

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The Soviet Avant-Garde: Culture, Politics, Aesthetics

Brooklyn Institute for Social Research @ Online Classroom

Explore Russian and Soviet avant-gardes during the first three decades of the 20th century. Discover how artists grappled with finding "communistic expression of material structures" and the shifting status of the arts in the early Soviet state. Dive into the works of Kazimir Malevich, El Lissitzky, Sergei Eisenstein, and more.

(29) All levels 21 and older
$335

4 sessions

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Saidiya Hartman: Scenes of Subjection

Brooklyn Institute for Social Research @ Online Classroom

Delve into the transformative insights of Saidiya Hartman's groundbreaking works on Black life and history. Join us at the Brooklyn Institute for Social Research as we explore Hartman's profound reimagining of freedom, agency, and the legacy of the Atlantic slave trade. Engage with critical questions on power, labor, and race in the postmodern era through an examination of Hartman's influential texts alongside other prominent scholars in the field.

(29) All levels 21 and older
$335

4 sessions

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Herman Melville’s The Confidence-Man

Brooklyn Institute for Social Research @ Online Classroom

Embark on a riveting exploration of trust, deceit, and existential uncertainty in Herman Melville’s masterpiece. Join us at the Brooklyn Institute for Social Research as we dissect The Confidence-Man, delving into its satire of capitalist modernity and probing questions of faith, knowledge, and societal norms. Unravel the complexities of Melville’s characters and their morally ambiguous world through close readings and insightful discussions led by expert scholars.

(29) All levels 21 and older
$335

4 sessions

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Racial Capitalism: Race, Class, and the Black Radical Tradition

Brooklyn Institute for Social Research @ Online Classroom

Delve into the profound intersections of race, class, and capitalism in a thought-provoking exploration of contemporary radical movements. Join us for an in-depth examination of Cedric Robinson’s concept of racial capitalism and its implications for understanding modernity, nationalism, and Black Radicalism. Uncover the complexities of these interwoven systems through close readings and discussions led by expert scholars at the Brooklyn Institute for Social Research.

(29) All levels 21 and older
$335

4 sessions

Gift it!

Mesopotamia: Civilization, Archaeology, and Material Culture

Brooklyn Institute for Social Research @ Online Classroom

Embark on a captivating exploration of Mesopotamian civilization through archaeology and material culture. Join us at the Brooklyn Institute for Social Research as we delve into the origins, structures, and legacy of this ancient society, unraveling its significance amidst historical interpretations and contemporary geopolitical contexts. Uncover the complexities of Mesopotamia's urbanization, social structures, and technological advancements, and discover how its material remains offer insights into our understanding of the past and present.

(29) All levels 21 and older
$335

4 sessions

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The Politics of Pregnancy: Gestation, Abortion, and Labor

Brooklyn Institute for Social Research @ Online Classroom

Delve into the complex terrain of pregnancy politics, exploring gestational labor, abortion rights, and reproductive justice. Join us at the Brooklyn Institute for Social Research for a deep dive into theoretical frameworks, historical perspectives, and contemporary debates surrounding the manufacture of human fetuses. Challenge conventional notions and scrutinize the intersections of gender, sexuality, and capitalist political economy in shaping reproductive realities.

(29) All levels 21 and older
$335

4 sessions

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Theorizing Repression: From Psychoanalysis to Counterinsurgency Theory

Brooklyn Institute for Social Research @ Online Classroom

Uncover the entwined history of psychoanalysis and state power in a captivating exploration of repression tactics. Join us at the Brooklyn Institute for Social Research as we delve into the intersections of Freudian theory with military strategy, urban policing, and guerrilla warfare. Through an array of diverse readings, we'll analyze how psychoanalytic concepts have been utilized to pathologize dissent and justify both state and revolutionary violence, raising critical questions about power, resistance, and the psyche.

(29) All levels 21 and older
$335

4 sessions

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What is Economic Democracy?

Brooklyn Institute for Social Research @ Online Classroom

Explore the contours of economic democracy in this thought-provoking course. Delve into its implications, challenges, and potential alternatives to capitalism. From theoretical discussions to real-world examples, uncover the complexities of democratizing production and consumption in today's global economy.

(29) All levels 21 and older
$335

4 sessions

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182 Brooklyn Institute for Social Research classes that have ended
Add to your wish list to find out about new dates

The Dystopian Imagination

Brooklyn Institute for Social Research @ 247 West 37th St, New York, NY

Thomas More’s sixteenth century treatise Utopia – literally, “no place” – coined the term “utopia” in its modern parlance: a planned, perfected vision of a possible society in some misty other geography or time.  Over the next several centuries, More’s peculiar mix of religious discipline and egalitarian traditionalism increasingly underlined the negative connotation that the concept of “utopia” acquired. In the...

(29) All levels 21 and older
No upcoming schedules
$315

4 sessions

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Politics of the City: Plato’s Republic

Brooklyn Institute for Social Research @ 247 West 37th St, New York, NY

From the ancient world to contemporary debates, the work of Plato is foundational in Western philosophy. As Alfred North Whitehead once quipped, “The safest general characterization of the European philosophical tradition is that it consists of a series of footnotes to Plato.” In particular, Plato’s Republicremains a vital touchstone for contemporary political and moral philosophers  trying to understand everything from the very...

(29) All levels 21 and older
No upcoming schedules
$315

4 sessions

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Signal and Noise: An Introduction to Statistics

Brooklyn Institute for Social Research @ 247 West 37th St, New York, NY

How do numbers relate to the world? What insights can we derive from data? How do we separate signal from noise? This course is an introduction to statistical thinking and its applications to data analysis at a level accessible to a broad audience with no prior statistical background.  We’ll learn and make intuitive the fundamental methods and concepts of data quantification: linear regression, logistic regression, probability distribution,...

(29) All levels 21 and older
No upcoming schedules
$315

4 sessions

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Kant’s Critical Aesthetics

Brooklyn Institute for Social Research @ 75 Broad St, New York, NY

Art was anything but peripheral to Kant’s philosophical project. In judging a thing to be beautiful, Kant maintained, we bridge “the great gulf” of nature and human freedom, and prepare ourselves to “love something, even nature, without interest”—that is, exercise moral judgment. Immensely influential in its time, the so-called “third Critique” inspired and gave energy to both German Idealism, which attempted to provide a rational...

(29) All levels 21 and older
No upcoming schedules
$315

4 sessions

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Feminist Science Fiction

Brooklyn Institute for Social Research @ 3009 Broadway, New York, NY

The world is not usually imagined for the benefit of women. What can feminist science fiction tell us about these oppressive arrangements and how the world might be otherwise? What makes a work of science fiction feminist? From utopia to dystopia, satire to space opera, in what ways does science fiction hold up a mirror to difficult realties? This course offers a selective introduction to critical themes in twentieth and twenty-first century...

(29) All levels 21 and older
No upcoming schedules
$315

4 sessions

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Socrates

Brooklyn Institute for Social Research @ 178 Stanton St, New York, NY

The trial, conviction, and execution of Socrates on the vote of the Athenian democracy is a founding myth in the history of Western philosophy. And yet very little is known with certainty about the historical Socrates, who himself wrote nothing, but whose way of life, as accounted by Plato (and others) has become a powerful and enduring paradigm of philosophical practice. To Athenian eyes and ears, Socrates was doubtless strange:  notoriously...

(29) All levels 21 and older
No upcoming schedules
$315

4 sessions

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Everyday Irrationalism: T. Adorno, Politics, and Reason

Brooklyn Institute for Social Research @ 30 Irving Pl, New York, NY

Students in the course will read selections from a number of Adorno’s works, including The Stars Down to Earth, Minima Moralia, and The Authoritarian Personality. We will look at the famous dispute between Adorno and philosopher of science Karl Popper both to understand the grounds of their debate but also to understand their vast areas of agreement between empirical research and critical theory. We will pose a series of questions that emerge from...

(29) All levels 21 and older
No upcoming schedules
$315

4 sessions

Gift it!
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