News From SHASS

Malick Ghachem, professor of history and head of MIT's history faculty, speaks during a question-and-answer session after his lecture, "Neutrality, Diversity, and the University."

Judgment, reason, and the university

Peter Dizikes | MIT News

November 22, 2023

MIT’s Malick Ghachem extends the “Dialogues across Differences” lecture series with a talk about the past and present of university politics.

“Effective policymakers can’t afford to be ignorant about the science and technology advances that drive our society,” says MIT student and Air Force ROTC participant Liberty Ladd, who expects to graduate this spring with a BS in political science and mechanical engineering and a master's in political science.

Liberty Ladd: Going above and beyond

Angelina Parrillo | MIT News correspondent

November 22, 2023

For the political science and mechanical engineering student, who is also an Air Force ROTC member, systematic change starts with personal actions.

Attendees examine the ideas and information under discussion during the first "Civil Discourse" event at MIT.

A civil discourse on climate change

Benjamin Daniel | School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences

November 20, 2023

A recent forum was the first in a series planned at MIT this year, part of an initiative meant to encourage the open exchange of ideas.

In a new paper, MIT professor of philosophy Kevin Dorst explores how people might rationally come to hold very different views about some political matters.

How do reasonable people disagree?

Peter Dizikes | MIT News

November 20, 2023

A study by philosopher Kevin Dorst explains how political differences can result from a process of “rational polarization.”

Left to right: MIT students Anica Liu, Margaret Yu, and Angela Li enjoy food and laughs at the Heritage Meets Heritage event.

Celebrating diversity and cultural connections

Michael Brindley | School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences

November 17, 2023

At a “Heritage Meets Heritage” event, MIT students enjoy conversations, trivia, and delicacies from around the world.

A public panel discussion at MIT featuring foreign policy scholars examined China-Russia alignment.

Foreign policy scholars examine the China-Russia relationship

Peter Dizikes | MIT News

November 17, 2023

An expert panel discussed the strengths, and limits, of the alignment between the two world powers and U.S. rivals.

MIT Professor Emeritus Willard Johnson

Professor Emeritus Willard R. Johnson, political scientist who specialized in African studies, dies at 87

Department of Political Science

November 15, 2023

A pioneering Black faculty member, Johnson was also a major supporter of the anti-apartheid movement at the Institute.

Héctor Beltrán is the author of the new book, “Code Work: Hacking Across the U.S./México Techno-Borderlands,” published by Princeton University Press.

Writing code, and decoding the world

Peter Dizikes | MIT News

November 14, 2023

Héctor Beltrán’s new book examines hackers in Mexico, whose work leads them to reflect on the roles they play in society.

Top row, left to right: Isaiah Andrews, Joshua Bennett, Megan Black, William Deringer, E.J. Green, and Nathaniel Hendren. Bottom row, left to right: Caley Horan, Robin Wolfe Scheffler, Frank Schilbach, Caitlin Talmadge, and Leslie Tilley.

Meet the 2023 tenured professors in the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences

Michael Brindley | School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences

November 9, 2023

Faculty members granted tenure in economics; history; literature; music; philosophy; political science; and science, technology, and society.

Lerna Ekmekcioglu is MIT’s McMillan-Stewart Associate Professor of History and the director of MIT’s Women’s and Gender Studies Program.

Centering feminism

Benjamin Daniel | School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences

November 7, 2023

Professor Lerna Ekmekcioglu investigates marginalized women and potential empowerment.

The virtual Starr Forum, “The Israel-Hamas conflict: Expert perspectives on the ongoing crisis,” took place on Nov. 1. Top row, from left: Marsin Alshamary; David Kirkpatrick. Bottom row: Peter Krause; Steven Simon.

Panel examines Israel-Hamas conflict

Peter Dizikes | MIT News

November 7, 2023

As military action continues, experts at an MIT event analyze what may lie ahead.

MIT Associate Professor Megan Black is an environmental historian who studies the politics of resource extraction, breaking new ground in detailing U.S. government involvement in mining.

History from the ground up

Peter Dizikes | MIT News

November 5, 2023

Associate Professor Megan Black’s research digs into mining, power, and environmental politics in the US.

An experiment co-authored by MIT researchers shows that people’s stated political news consumption does not always match what they’re really viewing.

In online news, do mouse clicks speak louder than words?

Peter Dizikes | MIT News

November 2, 2023

Partisan media might deepen political polarization, but we should measure people’s media habits more carefully before drawing conclusions, researchers say.

Forging climate connections across the Institute

Office of the Vice President for Research

November 1, 2023

Inaugural Fast Forward Faculty Fund grants aim to spur new work on climate change and deepen collaboration at MIT.

Professor Malick Ghachem (left) led a discussion with Richard Ovenden about the relevance of the research library to contemporary debates over academic freedom and free expression.

Books under attack, then and now

Brigham Fay | MIT Libraries

October 26, 2023

Richard Ovenden, Bodley’s Librarian at the University of Oxford, inaugurates a new campus series on academic freedom and expression.

MIT alumnus Morris Chang, founder and former longtime head of TSMC, the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, spoke at MIT about the semiconductor industry, as part of the Manufacturing@MIT Distinguished Speaker Series.

Morris Chang ’52, SM ’53 describes the secrets of semiconductor success

Peter Dizikes | MIT News

October 25, 2023

At MIT, a driving force in the chip-making industry discusses the rise of TSMC and Taiwan as a manufacturing center.

“The vision for the Policy Lab is to deliver a return to society by getting MIT’s research and expertise into the hands of decision-makers around the country and around the world who are in positions to use it,” explains Drew Story, managing director of the MIT Policy Lab at the Center for International Studies.

Q&A: Magnifying research impact with policymakers

MIT Center for International Studies

October 23, 2023

Drew Story describes the MIT Policy Lab, which is designed to support researchers who aim to affect public policy.

Daron Acemoglu co-leads the MIT Shaping the Future of Work Initiative.

Institute Professor Daron Acemoglu Wins A.SK Social Science Award

Benjamin Daniel | School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences

October 18, 2023

The award honors research on public policy with a focus on economic and governmental reforms.

"The American political system is founded on the notion of an informed, engaged public, so we should strive to understand both what citizens think and how they come to these conclusions," says political science postdoc Chloe Wittenberg PhD ’23.

Analyzing pathways to persuasion

Leda Zimmerman | Department of Political Science

October 18, 2023

When it comes to shaping political beliefs, MIT postdoc Chloe Wittenberg PhD ’23 finds video captivates, but might not beat text.

The full-scale reconstruction of the Cybersyn Operations Room is hexagonal and measures 72 square meters, with seven fiberglass armchairs equipped with buttons for remotely controlling screens on the room’s walls.

Designing a revolution

Michael Brindley | School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences

October 16, 2023

An MIT professor and students collaborate with Chilean partners for an exhibition marking 50 years since the Allende presidency.

MIT economist Nathaniel Hendren studies the drivers of economic opportunity in America.

Nathaniel Hendren wants to understand the conditions of opportunity

Peter Dizikes | MIT News

October 12, 2023

The MIT professor of economics studies social mobility and examines which policies can give people a chance to thrive.

“I think of Writers’ Group and the literature that goes on here as some of MIT’s best kept secrets,” says Anne Hudson, who’s been a member on and off since 2002.

One of MIT’s “best-kept secrets” offers an outlet for creative writing

Zach Winn | MIT News

October 10, 2023

The MIT’s Writers’ Group has helped community members channel their creative energies since 2002.

The Middle East Entrepreneurs of Tomorrow (MEET) program regularly gets about 1,500 applicants for each new cohort. Every year it selects 120 new students, split evenly between Palestinians and Jewish Israelis, and between boys and girls.

Empowering students to bring change in the Middle East

Zach Winn | MIT News

October 6, 2023

The Middle East Entrepreneurs of Tomorrow (MEET) program uses an MIT-inspired curriculum and MISTI student instructors to help young Palestinians and Israelis find common ground.

Aja Grande is now a PhD candidate in MIT’s HASTS (History, Anthropology, Science, Technology and Society) program, and part of her dissertation tracks how Hawaiian culture and people’s relationship with the land has evolved throughout time.

A reciprocal relationship with the land in Hawaiʻi

Laura Rosado | MIT News correspondent

October 5, 2023

Through community-based research with organizations that work to “hoʻomomona hou i ka ʻāina,” or “restore that which feeds back to abundance,” PhD student Aja Grande has embarked on a healing journey of her own.

Top row, left to right: Danah Alfailakawi, Nina Dewi Toft Djanegara, Alessandra Jungs de Almeida, and Amber Mackey. Bottom row, from left to right: Somayeh Tohidi, Vanessa Noemi Velez, and Biyi Wen.

MIT SHASS Diversity Predoctoral Fellowship Program welcomes 2023-24 class

Michael Brindley | School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences

October 5, 2023

The fellowship program enhances diversity in SHASS and provides fellows with professional support and mentoring.