Said and Done

March 2013 Edition
Published by the Office of the Dean
MIT School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences




"Meeting great challenges requires technical and scientific creativity, and an understanding of the world’s complexities — political, cultural, and economic. The MIT SHASS disciplines empower young engineers and scientists, with multi-dimensional perspectives and critical thinking skills—so their vital innovations, and their lives, can succeed."

— Deborah K. Fitzgerald, Kenan Sahin Dean, MIT School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences



MIT Burchard Scholars for 2013 announced 
The School has named 32 undergraduate students as Burchard Scholars for 2013. The award recognizes MIT sophomores and juniors who have demonstrated outstanding abilities and academic excellence in some aspect of the humanities, arts, and social sciences, as well as in science and engineering. 


Esther Duflo selected as a 2013 Dan David Prize laureate 
Honored for research on strategies to alleviate poverty through disease prevention. "It is imaginable," write the judges, "that the cumulative impact of Duflo's work against poverty and ill health has the future potential to improve the lives of hundreds of millions of the planet's poorest inhabitants."

Bengt Robert Holmström named a fellow of the American Finance Association
Holmström, Paul A. Samuelson Professor of Economics, has been named a 2013 Fellow of the American Finance Association. The award recognizes those who have made distinguished and sustained contributions to the field of finance.

R: Bengt Holmström, Paul A. Samuelson Professor of Economics at MIT


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, MIT SHASS research helps alleviate poverty, safeguard elections, steer economies, understand the past and present, inform health policy, assess the impact of new technologies, understand human language, and create new forms at the juncture of art and science.
Research Portfolio


The research of MIT's School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences appears principally in the form of books and publications, and music and theater productions. These gems of the School provide new knowledge and analysis, innovation and insight, guidance for policy, and nourishment for lives.  
Take a look 

New Books  

L to R:  3.11, Richard Samuels, Ford International Professor of Political Science, and Director, Center for International Studies; Fragments and Assemblages, Arthur Bahr, Associate Professor of Literature; The Properties of Violence: Sandy Alexandre, Associate Professor of Literature 


A new theory on the deep roots of human speech | Shigeru Miyagawa
MIT researchers say the balance of evidence suggests human language is a grafting of two communication forms found elsewhere in the animal kingdom: the elaborate songs of birds, and information-bearing expression seen in various other animals. “It’s this adventitious combination that triggered human language,” says Shigeru Miyagawa, MIT Professor of Linguistics, and co-author of a paper in the journal Frontiers in Psychology.  
Story | Paper | Shigeru Miyagawa 


What is "natural" and what is "social"? | Sally Haslanger
In an interview to discuss her new book, Resisting Reality, MIT Professor of Philosophy says "The supposed line between the 'natural' and the 'social' is of crucial importance for theories of justice: the 'natural' is not as fixed as we might think, and the 'social' can be much more fixed than we imagined. Some differences between us must be respected, and others should be overcome—but which are which?" 
Interview | Resisting Reality | Sally Haslanger


The science of politics | Jens Hainmueller 
A common piece of received wisdom about the Cold War is that the spread of Western culture helped bring down the Berlin Wall. It is an appealing hypothesis. But is it true? Several years ago, political scientist Jens Hainmueller figured out a way to test it. 
More | Jens Hainmueller 


Japan, after the disaster | Richard Samuels 
After the catastrophic earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear meltdowns in Japan in 2011, many observers expected a wave of political and social change to sweep the island nation. In his new book, 3.11, MIT political scientist Richard Samuels delivers the first full-length, scholarly analysis of Japanese politics since the triple disaster.
More | Richard Samuels 


L to R: Jens Hainmueller, Associate Professor of Political Science; Sally Haslanger, Professor of Philosophy; Shigeru Miyagawa, Professor of Linguistics, and Kochi-Manjiro Professor of Japanese
Language and Culture



"It’s a labor of love" | Mark Harvey 
A major force in the international jazz scene, Harvey and the Aardvark Jazz Orchestra celebrate their 40th anniversary season with the release of "Evocations," chosen by Jazz Record as a Best of 2012 release. Harvey, is a composer, trumpeter, lecturer in MIT Music section, and music director of Aardvark.  
Evocation CD  | Boston Globe |  About Mark Harvey

Ziporyn debuts Eviyan trio to acclaim
Eviyan is a new collaboration between legendary singer/violinist Iva Bittova, guitarist Gyan Riley and Evan Ziporyn, MIT Professor of Music. The three performer/composers of Eviyan, all have their roots in the classical tradition, which values both technical mastery and precision.


Report identifies keys for new American innovation
From Main Street firms to multinationals, improvements are possible in funding research, and in encouraging collaboration among American manufacturers.
Story |  Download report



              “There is no reason manufacturing has to disappear in an
               advanced industrial society. There is much greater innovative
               capacity all across the United States than we realized.”  

                    — Suzanne Berger, Dorman-Starbuck Professor of Political Science, 
                       Co-chair of the PIE Commission (Production in the Innovation Economy)



Knight Fellowships celebrates 30th Anniversary 
Over the last three decades, 310 experienced science journalists from around the world have spent a full academic year at MIT as part of the Knight Science Journalism Fellowship. They’ve taken classes, gotten to know professors and students, spent time in labs and libraries, and experienced dozens of special seminars with leading researchers. An additional 300 have come to campus for weeklong “boot camps” on specific topics in science.


First MIT Economics course for edX is underway 
14.73x | The Challenges of Global Poverty. Free & Online—for Anyone, Anywhere, Anytime.  
Introduction to issues of poverty and development economics, as conceptualized by leading economists and political scientists. 

Nate Silver presents forecasting work as antidote to ‘terrible’ political pundits
Statistician and political polling analyst Nate Silver discussed his career and—perhaps the most influential political blog in the world—in conversation with acclaimed writer Seth Mnookin, who co-directs MIT's Graduate Program in Science Writing. 
Watch video of Event | Story | Seth Mnookin | MIT Communications Forum 


L to R: Seth Mnookin, co-director MIT Graduate Program in Science Writing; Logo, 538 ; Nate Silver, New York Times columnist



Spring 2013
CAST | Spring Sound Series 
20 leading sound artists.  4 world premiere concerts. 13 lectures and demos.  CAST presents a series in celebration of the new: new compositions, new instruments, new groups and musical styles. 
Concerts + PerformancesLectures + Demonstrations  | Spring Classes

2 April |  4pm | MIT Media Lab
Arthur Miller Lecture on Science and Ethics
"Brave Neuro World? Reality and Hype in Neuroethics," a talk by Martha Farah, Director, Center for Neuroscience and Society; Annenberg Professor in the Natural Sciences, University of Pennsylvania. Sponsored by the Program in Science, Technology, and Society

27 April | 8pm | Kresge Auditorium
The 50th Anniversary of Jazz at MIT | Festival Jazz Gala Concert 
MIT Music and Theater Arts observes the golden anniversary of its jazz program this spring with an exhibit in the Lewis Music Library, panel discussions with jazz artists and alumni, and a gala concert at which the MIT Festival Jazz Ensemble will perform the world premiere of a work by Chick Corea, commissioned by the Council for the Arts at MIT.
Story + Concert Information  | Festival Jazz Ensemble playing Dizzy Gillespie 

MIT SHASS | All Events
Readings, book launches, seminars, performances, film screenings, and presentations (on subjects from military budgets to birding in Africa).  
Forthcoming events

Arts at MIT | All Events 
Concerts, theater, dance, installations, readings, exhibits, and boundary-defying works.   
Calendar of Events  



MIT Community | Apply by March 15
De Florez Fund for Humor Grants 
Apply online for a grant from the de Florez Fund for Humor. Each year, the Fund supports projects that share the virtues of humor with the MIT community. MIT students, staff, and faculty may apply. Proposals for grants under $500 are considered on a rolling basis throughout the year. Proposals for larger amounts are accepted once a semester, in fall and spring of each academic year; the spring date for larger amount proposals is March 15, 2013. 
Learn more + apply

MIT Undergraduates | Apply by April 5
The Ilona Karmel Writing Prizes 
The annual Ilona Karmel Writing Prize awards cash prizes to students for selected essays, poems, plays, fiction, science fiction, and science writing for the public, and scientific and engineering writing for professionals.
Learn more + apply 

MIT Undergraduates | Submit essay by April 16
The Kelly Essay Prize
The Kelly Essay Prize awards $800 to the award-winning essay(s). All forms of non-fiction prose are eligible for consideration. In addition to research essays written for HASS subjects, students may submit works of 12-20 pages in such genres as: personal essay, memoir, cultural commentary, creative non-fiction, travel writing, field reports, and science journalism. 
Learn more + apply  | News Story 

MIT Undergraduates | Apply for funding by April 16
Kelly-Douglas Traveling Fellowships
The Kelly-Douglas Fund supports travel outside MIT to pursue an independent project in an HASS field, or to collaborate in a humanitarian project. All MIT sophomores, juniors, and seniors wishing to travel during IAP or Summer to deepen their understanding of a field in the humanities, arts, and social sciences, or to contribute to a humanitarian project are eligible to apply. 
Learn more + apply




Forthcoming Events

SHASS Social Media
Welcome to a world-wide community


RSS News | RSS Multimedia


The Listening Room 

Allegro con brio, Quartet Op. 18, No. 6
Ludwig van Beethoven
performed by the MIT Chamber Music Society

Full Collection