Said and Done

April 2012 Edition
Published by the Office of the Dean
MIT School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences




"When I mentioned that I was interviewing him to two econ buffs, they each gasped and said, ‘I love Daron Acemoglu,’ as if I were talking about Keith Richards."

— Adam Davison, The New York Times                          




ECONOMICS | New research on the origins of power, prosperity, and poverty 
It is among the most significant questions for human well-being: Why do some nations become wealthy and powerful, while others remain mired in poverty? In a new book, MIT economist Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson of Harvard assert that above all else, political institutions—not culture or natural resources—determine the wealth of nations. Their ideas have major policy implications and are receiving international attention. 
Story by Peter Dizikes at MIT News | Major reviews, interviews, videos  


ANTHROPOLOGY | Why don’t more women enter the engineering profession? 
Study by MIT anthropologist Susan Silbey finds that the further women get from the engineering classroom, the less they like the field. Interning and emerging women engineers find they “are too often relegated to ‘female’ roles of note-taker, organizer or manager,” and “don’t think they want to do this kind of work.” 
Story by Peter Dizikes at MIT News


New Research: L, Daron Acemoglu; R: Susan Silbey 


SHASS Research Fund recipients announced
The SHASS Research Fund supports research in the areas of humanities, arts, and social sciences that shows promise of making an important contribution to the proposed area of activity. The 2012 funded projects are in the disciplines of Anthropology, History, Music, Theater, and Science, Technology, and Society.  
More about these exceptional projects

MIT establishes Center for Art, Science & Technology 
A $1.5M grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation will launch CAST, the Center for Art, Science and Technology, which will advance MIT’s leadership in integrating the arts into the curriculum and research of institutions of higher learning. MIT SHASS Dean Deborah Fitzgerald notes, “We are committed to a culture where the arts, science and technology thrive as interrelated, mutually informing modes of exploration, knowledge and discovery.”
Story at MIT News


Research Portfolio 
Research is the engine for the School's capacity to help meet the world's great challenges. To name just a few areas of impact, the School's research helps alleviate poverty, safeguard elections, steer economies, understand the past and present, improve health policy, articulate morality, assess the impact of new technologies, understand human language, and create new forms at the juncture of art and science.
Research Portfolio





Think you're funny?  Prove it!  
Apply for a grant from the De Florez Fund for Humor. That's right, at MIT you can be funded for being funny. Each year, the de Florez Fund supports projects that pass the hilarity test. Are you funny enough to meet the challenge?  
Full StoryApplication




Faculty Promotions
The MIT School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences is pleased to announce nine faculty promotions, which are effective 1 July 2012. Warm congratulations to all!  


Three MIT economics doctoral students among the most promising in the world 
Annually, The Review of Economic Studies European Meetings selects seven of the most promising graduating doctoral students in economics and finance in the world to present their research to audiences in Europe. Three MIT SHASS Ph.D. students—Gabriel Carroll, Melissa Dell, and Nathan Hendren—have been honored as participants in the 2012 tour.   


Promoted to full Professor, July 2012:  Adam Berinsky, Andrea Campbell, Shankar Raman  


Philosopher Stephen Yablo is elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences also receives Guggenheim Fellowship 
Yablo, Professor of Philosophy in MIT's School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences, has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences — and has been awarded a 2012 Fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. 

Economists Autor and Finkelstein elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences 

Autor and Finkelstein are among the leaders from academia, business, public affairs, the humanities, and the arts elected as new members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.   


Elected to the American Academy: Stephen Yablo, Amy Finkelstein, David Autor               

Adrian Jimenez-Galindo ’15  and Eric Trac ’13 win 2012 Isabelle de Courtivron Prizes
Prize from the Center for Bilingual/Bicultural Studies honors cross-cultural fluency — an ability key to leadership and success in today's global world.
More | Related: The Benefits of Bilingualism | New York Times

Broadhead, Kaiser, Rose named 2012 MacVicar Faculty Fellows 
Three of the four professors named 2012 MacVicar Faculty Fellows for their outstanding undergraduate teaching, mentoring and educational innovation are from SHASS.  
Story at MIT News  | Gallery: Meet the MacVicars 

2012 SHASS MacVicar Faculty Fellows: William Broadhead, David Kaiser, and Nancy Lin Rose


Anthropologist Erica Caple James awarded the 2012 Levitan Prize in the Humanities  
James, Associate Professor of Anthropology, has received the James A. ('45) and Ruth Levitan Prize in the Humanities. The $25,000 prize is awarded annually as a research fund to support innovative and creative scholarship in the humanities. Professor James's project is for research on the impact of anti-terrorism measures on charitable giving.   

Composer Keeril Makan receives 2012 Guggenheim Fellowship
Makan, Associate Professor of Music, in MIT's School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences, has been awarded a 2012 Fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation for “prior achievement and exceptional promise.”  
Story + links to profile and recordings


Best Paper award to Silbey and Huising from Regulation and Governance  
"Governing the Gap" articulates the nuances of aligning regulatory ideals with real world conditions to achieve safety in science labs.   

Shigeru Miyagawa receives President's Award from the OCW Consortium   
MIT linguistics professor Shigeru Miyagawa has been selected to receive the President's Award for OpenCourseWare Excellence (ACE) for his contributions to the global OpenCourseWare and Open Education movements. 
More at MIT News


 Award recipients: Erica Caple James, Shigeru Miyagawa, Keeril Makan


April 27
Marina Silva | MIT Political Science Distinguished Speaker Series
Silva, Former Minister for the Environment of Brazil, will talk about Global Sustainability and the Environment (Talk will be in Portuguese with an English translator)

May 4
MIT Symphony Orchestra season finale features Katzin '12 and Chen '13
The orchestra will spotlight two talented MIT students. The evening will include Chen's performance of Prokofiev's first Piano Concerto, and the premiere of Katzin's "Schrödinger’s Cat: a Musical Journey into the Strange World of Quantum Physics." 
Full story

May 3-4 | Symposium 
Unbound: Speculations on the Future of the Book
Is the book an artifact on its deathbed or a mutable medium transitioning into future forms? Symposium will showcase writers, artists, and scholars.
Future Book website + register

May 4
Communication Forum | Electronic Literature and Future Books 
MIT's Communication Forum, which conducts a conversation for scholars and citizens, has explored media and change for more than 30 years.
Story + Spring Events 




News Clips | March-April 2012 
MIT's humanities, arts, social science research in the national and international media


MIT SHASS welcomes PEN New England to new home at MIT 
Dean Deborah Fitzgerald and members of the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences welcomed the PEN New England organization to the group’s new home at MIT during a reception held at the MIT Faculty Club on Monday March 5, 2012. The gathering brought together novelists, poets, scholars, publishers, agents, and gave a foretaste of creative collaborations between the PEN and MIT communities.  

A Golden Age of Science Writing
The School's Graduate Program in Science Writing celebrated its 10th anniversary at a symposium in March. The gathering focused on the future of science, and the future of science writing.
Story at MIT News 

New Mellon Postdoctoral Fellows join the MIT community
With the generous support of the Mellon Foundation, the MIT School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences awards postdoctoral fellowships each year to promising young scholars working at the intersection of humanities disciplines, or between humanities and other disciplines. We are delighted to welcome three Mellon Postdoctoral Fellows for 2012-2014: Rebecca Dirksen, Julia Panko, and Marcella Szablewicz.   

door opening to light filled room         


Video TED talk by Sherry Turkle: Connected, But Alone?
As we expect more from technology, do we expect less from each other? Sherry Turkle, Abby Rockefeller Mauzé Professor of Science, Technology, and Science at MIT SHASS, studies how our devices and online personas are redefining human connection and communication.

Video | Daron Acemoglu: Why Nations Fail
It is among the most significant questions in economics: Why do some nations become wealthy and powerful, while others remain mired in poverty? MIT Economist Daron Acemoglu discuss the powerful ideas in his new book, Why Nations Fail.  





What's happening

Welcome to our social media community


RSS News | RSS Multimedia

Great Ideas Exhibit 
Take a look 



Emblem of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences