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Brooklyn Institute for Social Research

The Brooklyn Institute for Social Research (BISR) is an interdisciplinary teaching and research institute that offers critical, community-based education in the humanities and social sciences. Working in partnership with local businesses and cultural organizations, we integrate rigorous but accessible scholarly study with the everyday lives of working adults and re-imagine scholarship for the 21st century.

Founded in 2012 with a single course on Aristotle and Plato in the back of a New York City bar, we now work with national and international cultural organizations, local bookstores, cafes, businesses, and community spaces to offer a full curriculum of affordable seminars in subjects that range from philosophy and feminist theory to biology and economics. Our faculty are all gifted scholar-pedagogues with a broad array of expertise acquired through their doctoral work, academic and popular writing and, industry experience and in the classroom itself. As a labor-forward organization, we dedicate 70% of all tuition fees to supporting BISR faculty in their teaching and research endeavors.

Named after the Institute for Social Research in Frankfurt, Germany, BISR is actively pioneering a new model for scholarship in the twenty-first century that integrates a commitment to pedagogy, research, and public programming. The BISR Community Initiative, funded by public grants and private donations, brings classes and workshops to underserved communities. Through BISR Praxis and BISR OnSite we offer educational development to non-profits, labor unions, and private companies. And our BISR Office Hours program provides in depth, tailored one-on-one study for interested students. We also host film screenings, panel discussions, talks, and a podcast, and offer intensive Day-of-Learning seminars on single texts. BISR is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization. If you have any questions, please contact us at

Contact Information
Ajay Chaudhary, Executive Director
Suzanne Schneider, Director of Operations

247 W 37th Street
5th Floor
New York, NY
United States

North America

Year Established

Fellowships and Potential Scholarly Affiliations