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Slavery unchained

Brown's Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice confronts the university's — and America's — shame
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 the traffic and trade of human beings.
By PHILIP EIL  |  May 01, 2013

At Brown, torture in watercolor

Foreign affairs
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.
By PHILIP EIL  |  April 03, 2013

The Cost of War

When assessing the cost to America of the war in Iraq, a blue-ribbon panel says President Obama is all wet
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.
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  March 20, 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 02, 2013

These 10 exhibits will open your eyes

Strange and wondrous
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.
By GREG COOK  |  December 26, 2012

Fantasy, reality, and the in-between

Lasting impressions
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).
By GREG COOK  |  December 18, 2012

Brown/Trinity Rep MFA’s Machinal

A tragic trajectory
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.
By BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  December 12, 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 07, 2012

Brown’s Kiss of the Spider Woman

Prison breaks
As novels ripe for musical adaptation go, Kiss of the Spider Woman is no Les Misérables .
By BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  November 07, 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 18, 2012

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

Another green world
Theresa Ganz, who teaches photography at Brown University, grew up in New York City.
By GREG COOK  |  October 02, 2012

Will race tip the balance?

Research from a Brown University professor points to an intriguing answer
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.
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  September 21, 2012

Jin Shan’s space station at Brown

Space oddity
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).
By GREG COOK  |  September 04, 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 15, 2012

Brown’s trio of tepid new plays

Growing pains
Brown/Trinity Playwrights Rep's annual trio of new plays has been on the boards at Leeds Theatre since July 11.
By BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  July 31, 2012

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

Growing Up
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 Stages Through Books .
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  July 11, 2012

‘Rolemodelplaytime’ at Brown’s Bell Gallery

Serious fun
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 time twice a day — anywhere in the world"), a clock.
By GREG COOK  |  June 19, 2012

‘Homecoming’ at Brown’s List Art Center

Body works
A sign of a thriving art community is its influence, the way other artists adopt and adapt its looks and methods and thinking.
By GREG COOK  |  June 13, 2012

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

Of humans and nature
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 photograph people who had responded to current day events ..."
By GREG COOK  |  April 10, 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 11, 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 11, 2012

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

The language of aesthetics
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".
By GREG COOK  |  January 31, 2012

The Providence Postcard Project: Love letters to a city

The Big Blue Bug is here.
By PHILIP EIL  |  February 01, 2012

Smell and the evolution of disgust

The Senses
"Odors have a power of persuasion stronger than that of words, appearances, emotions, or will," Peter Süskind writes in his psychological thriller, Perfume (1985).
By MAGGIE LANGE  |  January 18, 2012

Shows worth seeing in the new year

Eyes wide open
From centuries-old Taoist visions to the ways technology can channel emotions, local exhibits this winter prompt comparisons between then and now.
By GREG COOK  |  December 28, 2011

Brown/Trinity Rep Consortium’s Parade

An unfortunate man
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.
By BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  December 07, 2011

“Nostalgia Machines” at Brown’s Bell Gallery

Reconsidering the future
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.
By GREG COOK  |  November 21, 2011

A feisty Lady Windermere’s Fan at Brown

Social insecurity
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.
By BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  November 08, 2011

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