Brown University

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Slavery unchained

Brown isn't the first university to establish a center examining forms of slavery. But few schools have had a more personal or public tussle with their history than Brown, an Ivy League institution named for a family whose fortune came partially from th
Brown's Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice confronts the university's — and America's — shame
By PHILIP EIL  |  May 03, 2013

At Brown, torture in watercolor

Stroll down College Street from Brown University during the next few weeks and you'll find Providence's iconic spires and skyscrapers slightly obscured by a banner hanging from a streetlight outside Brown's List Art Building.
Foreign affairs
By PHILIP EIL  |  April 05, 2013

The Cost of War

With the tenth anniversary of the war upon us, a team of economists, lawyers, humanitarian personnel, and political scientists has developed a comprehensive, by-the-numbers look at the human, financial, and social impacts of the Iraq conflict.
When assessing the cost to America of the war in Iraq, a blue-ribbon panel says President Obama is all wet
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  March 22, 2013

West on the new political landscape

Darrell West, former political science professor at Brown University, moved to the Brookings Institution think tank in Washington a few years back. But he never quite left Rhode Island behind.
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  January 04, 2013

These 10 exhibits will open your eyes

In March, the RISD Museum dusts off its two millennia-old mummy of a priest named Nesmin as part of "Made for Eternity" (March 15 to November 17), a small showcase of the institution's Egyptian treasures.
Strange and wondrous
By GREG COOK  |  December 28, 2012

Fantasy, reality, and the in-between

The fall brought bad news — R.K. Projects closed as founding duo Sam Keller and Tabitha Piseno decamped for new adventures in New York (though they've since announced plans to do additional projects here).
Lasting impressions
By GREG COOK  |  December 21, 2012


Brown/Trinity Rep MFA’s Machinal

Staging period plays might be an effective way of presenting a history course, if the inaccuracies in choices like Saint Joan and The Lion In Winter were corrected.
A tragic trajectory
By BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  December 14, 2012

Providence becomes a new crossroads for the thriller

There is a scene in Jon Land's forthcoming thriller novel Strong Rain Falling — set for release next summer — where Caitlin Strong finally arrives in her author's hometown: Providence, Rhode Island.
By PHILIP EIL  |  November 09, 2012

Brown’s Kiss of the Spider Woman

As novels ripe for musical adaptation go, Kiss of the Spider Woman is no Les Misérables .
Prison breaks
By BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  November 09, 2012

Breaking a 330-year-old code

Last Saturday morning, a small crowd gathered inside the entrance to Brown University's John Carter Brown Library.
By PHILIP EIL  |  October 19, 2012

Theresa Ganz at Brown; plus, Ed Osborn’s soundscapes

Theresa Ganz, who teaches photography at Brown University, grew up in New York City.
Another green world
By GREG COOK  |  October 05, 2012


Will race tip the balance?

Any hope that Barack Obama's election would usher in a "post-racial" politics was, of course, naïve. Race is the great American problem. The great American obsession.
Research from a Brown University professor points to an intriguing answer
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  September 21, 2012

Jin Shan’s space station at Brown

Jin Shan's "My dad is Li Gang!" presents a common bike and a spectacular spacecraft that seem to float in Brown University's David Winton Bell Gallery (64 College St, Providence, through November 4).
Space oddity
By GREG COOK  |  September 07, 2012

Tea, tin men, and Tomasi’s tome

Libertarians have been labeled many things, but compassionate isn't one of them.
By STEPHEN BEALE  |  August 17, 2012

Brown’s trio of tepid new plays

Brown/Trinity Playwrights Rep's annual trio of new plays has been on the boards at Leeds Theatre since July 11.
Growing pains
By BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  August 03, 2012

Joe must go; winds of change; the king of fuh

Brown University has already taken its disgraced alumnus Joe Paterno's name off an award doled out every year to the school's outstanding male freshman athlete. But there is still a question about whether Coach Paterno should be ejected from the Brown A
Brown hall of shame
By PHILLIPE AND JORGE  |  July 27, 2012


Brown’s Weinstein on what literature says about our morning, noon, and night

Earlier this week, National Public Radio's "On Point with Tom Ashbrook" spent an hour picking the brain of Brown University's Arnold Weinstein, professor of comparative literature and author of Morning, Noon, and Night: Finding the Meaning of Life's St
Growing Up
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  July 13, 2012

‘Rolemodelplaytime’ at Brown’s Bell Gallery

Randy Regier's Dime Star is a story about disappointment. A traveling salesman's sample cases are stacked up, displaying vintage '60s (looking) toys — a "Dime Star" space cowboy policeman and his human-headed space horse, wristwatches ("Shows exact tim
Serious fun
By GREG COOK  |  June 22, 2012

‘Homecoming’ at Brown’s List Art Center

A sign of a thriving art community is its influence, the way other artists adopt and adapt its looks and methods and thinking.
Body works
By GREG COOK  |  June 15, 2012

Lucas Foglia’s ‘A Natural Order’ looks at self-sufficiency

In 2006, after finishing undergraduate studies at Brown University and photographing a series on community gardens managed by Providence's Southside Community Land Trust, Lucas Foglia bought a minivan, put a bed in the back, and drove south "to photogra
Of humans and nature
By GREG COOK  |  April 13, 2012

Local heroes of 2012

In this 15th annual edition of the Providence Phoenix 's Best issue, we highlight people and organizations who are doing exceptionally good work — local heroes who often labor behind the scenes, but are changing their communities for the better.

By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  April 13, 2012


Coffee with Brown University’s Puzzlemaster

In September of 2010, the New York Times published a week's worth of crossword puzzles created by Brown University students
By PHILIP EIL  |  April 13, 2012

Breaking down the cost of Brown; birth control mirth; business as usual

Mayor Angel Taveras and Brown University are locked in a nasty fight over upping the school's payments to the city. And the university's governing board has announced it will hike tuition and fees by 3.5 percent next year.
Hill hiking
By PHILLIPE AND JORGE  |  February 17, 2012

‘Taoist Gods’ and ‘Immortals’ at Brown and RISD

As China marked the beginning of the Year of the Dragon with lion and dragon dances and fireworks last week, Brown University's Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology was debuting "Taoist Gods from China: Ceremonial Paintings from the Mien".
The language of aesthetics
By GREG COOK  |  February 03, 2012

The Providence Postcard Project: Love letters to a city

The Big Blue Bug is here.
By PHILIP EIL  |  February 03, 2012

Smell and the evolution of disgust

"Odors have a power of persuasion stronger than that of words, appearances, emotions, or will," Peter Süskind writes in his psychological thriller, Perfume (1985).
The Senses
By MAGGIE LANGE  |  January 20, 2012


Shows worth seeing in the new year

From centuries-old Taoist visions to the ways technology can channel emotions, local exhibits this winter prompt comparisons between then and now.
Eyes wide open
By GREG COOK  |  December 30, 2011

Brown/Trinity Rep Consortium’s Parade

Parade might be the best musical, as well as the most unlikely one, that you've never seen. Its one-line plot description isn't exactly alluring.
An unfortunate man
By BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  December 09, 2011

“Nostalgia Machines” at Brown’s Bell Gallery

Jonathan Schipper's Measuring Angst (2009) might be a complicated machine built to help you ponder whether your life would be better if you could take back the stupid thing you did last night.
Reconsidering the future
By GREG COOK  |  November 25, 2011

A feisty Lady Windermere’s Fan at Brown

Late 19th-century England may have imprisoned, ostracized, and fatally broke the health of Oscar Wilde, but not before he took up his pen and successfully dueled with British hypocrisy in several successful social satires.
Social insecurity
By BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  November 11, 2011