The Pembroke Center for Teaching and Research on Women is grateful to accept the National Council for Research on Women's Lifetime Achievement Award. Receiving the award this evening is especially meaningful as we celebrated our thirtieth anniversary this academic year. I would like to thank the Center’s former directors – Joan Wallach Scott, Karen Newman, Ellen Rooney, and Elizabeth Weed – for helping build such a strong foundation for our work.
The Center’s transnational research agenda examines the circulation of bodies and markets, technologies, and transnational labor. Our research framing is not solely on gender but additionally on difference – such as race, ethnicity, class, language, citizenship, and so forth. The Center’s research informs many of the policy debates that surround issues of gender equity, reproductive rights, human rights, education, work, and violence. Our focus is both theoretical and practical, concerned with real world issues and important choices faced by those who seek to reform existing social institutions and create new ones.
Since our founding, we have awarded 91 postdoctoral fellowships, providing critical support to young scholars who spend a year at the Pembroke Center where they work with other scholars from a variety of disciplines. By supporting these scholars, the Pembroke Center plays a crucial role in developing the careers of outstanding feminist scholars, many of whom go on to hold senior leadership positions at universities in the United States and around the world. Our investment in transnational research includes the Center’s ongoing “Nanjing-Brown Joint Program in Gender Studies and the Humanities,” which meets in China and the U.S.
The Pembroke Center’s teaching program – including our Gender and Sexuality Studies concentration – has trained hundreds of undergraduates, women and men, in a wide variety of fields who pursue their own work and activism with a gendered perspective. They are capable of offering insightful social critiques so that wider publics become aware of the inequalities faced by women and girls and are moved to action.
The Pembroke Center’s Feminist Theory Archives preserve the work of scholars who have transformed their disciplines and the landscape of universities around the world. To date, over a hundred of the world’s leading feminist scholars have pledged their personal papers and research materials. This growing collection offers unique perspectives on the risk taking work that brought feminism to the vanguard of academic research and challenged entrenched thinking starting in the late 1960s. An impressive legacy of wider debates and path-breaking projects continues today.
Looking forward, next year we will be offering seed grants for Brown faculty who wish to create novel research groups from different disciplines to explore transnational issues of common concern. We will be supporting innovate combinations of researchers from the humanities, social sciences, creative arts, health sciences, and science and technology studies, and we look forward to sharing the fruits of this new collaborative research with groups throughout the NCRW network.
The Pembroke Center is building new bridges between higher education and the world of policy making and implementation on a range of issues. We have the privilege and pleasure of educating many talented young adults so they can think for themselves and analyze major social issues in productive ways. Brown is a university with need blind admissions and great diversity in its student body. Our students learn by working on research projects in the U.S. and all over the world. These students represent new generations of potential collaborators for activist groups, NGOs, the professions, and the government -- working on issues nuanced by gender, diversity, and global perspectives.
The Center has benefitted from excellent leadership at Brown. After eleven wondrous years with Ruth Simmons at the helm, we are now welcoming another woman leader, public health economist Christina Paxson, as our new president.
Thank you so much for this wonderful award.