Said and Done

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




"We are helping create a new lexicon and new tools for science in Kreyòl — and a new culture for deep learning in Haiti." 

— Michel DeGraff, MIT Associate Professor of Linguistics 




Michel DeGraff awarded $1m National Science Foundation grant   

MIT Associate Professor of Linguistics Michel DeGraff has received a new grant of $1 million from the National Science Foundation to support his innovative study of the value of native-language instruction in Haiti’s schools. The project includes developing classroom tools to teach science and math in Haitian Creole (Kreyòl) for the first time.
Story at MIT News  |  Interview with DeGraff

Susan Silbey honored for lab safety research and receives grant

Susan Silbey has received the 2012 Scott Award from ASA, a $25K Seed Grant from UCLA, and a grant from the MIT Simons Center for the Social Brain. Silbey is Leon and Anne Goldberg Professor of Humanities, Professor of Sociology and Anthropology, Professor of Behavioral and Policy Sciences, and Head of MIT Anthropology.

Junot Díaz named 2012 MacArthur Fellow and National Book Award finalist 
The MacArthur Fellowship is a $500,000 no-strings-attached grant for individuals who have shown exceptional creativity in their work and the promise to do more. In addition to the MacArthur "genius grant," Díaz is a finalist for the 2012 National Book Award for his novel, This is How You Lose Her
MacArthur Website |  Story at MIT News  |  National Book Award story


L to R: Michel DeGraff, Associate Professor of Linguistics; Susan Silbey, Leon and Anne Goldberg
Professor of Humanities; Junot 
Díaz, Professor of Writing 



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, articulate morality, assess the impact of new technologies, understand human language, and create new forms at the juncture of art and science.
Research Portfolio

Q & A with Michel DeGraff
Associate Professor Michel DeGraff recently received a $1 million grant from the National Science Foundation for his linguistics research in Haiti, which includes developing classroom tools to teach science and math in Haitian Creole (Kreyòl) for the first time. In this interview, he speaks about his vision for the research, about Haiti and Kreyòl, and how this project can be a model for reaching the millions of science-hungry students around the world who speak local languages like Haitian Creole.
Interview + Photographs

L: Fourth grade students at the Lekòl Kominotè Matènwa (Matènwa Community Learning Center) in La Gonave, Haiti, during a pilot project on teaching math with Kreyòl-based educational games and virtual manipulatives. R: Workshop with Haitian professors of physics and biology; Center: Flag of Haiti 


WGS Symposium launches new Borders Research Initiative   
"Citzenship is about more than passports, it's about belonging." What is citizenship and how is it affected by race and gender? How have concepts of identity evolved over time? and What role do race and gender play in contemporary border conflicts? These are among the central questions motivating the launch of the Borders Research Initiative in the MIT Women’s and Gender Studies program. The Initiative held its kickoff event October 12–13 at the Stata Center.


Medievalists explore the art of being interdisciplinary
“This is the intellectual version of the slow food movement," says Arthur Bahr, MIT Associate Professor of Literature. At the recent Babel Working Group conference, scholars from many disciplines explored large questions as a way of examining the proposition that today's great universities could generate even better research and pedagogy by encouraging a “rhythm of disciplinary attachment and detachment." 

3 Questions: Charles Stewart sizes up the 2012 election
MIT Professor of Political Science Charles Stewart III, a voting expert, weighs in on the state of the presidential campaign, the shifting demographics of America, and the tossup U.S. Senate races. 

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


L to R: Great Hall, Ellis Island, NYC; Arthur Bahr, MIT Associate Professor of Literature; 
Detail, "The Tower of Babel" by Pieter Bruegel the Elder



Apply by October 26
2013 Levitan Prize in the Humanities
| For SHASS Faculty 
The $25,000 Levitan Prize was inaugurated in 1990 and is awarded annually as a research fund to support innovative and creative scholarship in the humanities. All regular tenure track SHASS faculty working in humanities fields are eligible to apply.
Learn More + Apply

Apply by October 26
Research Fund
| For SHASS Faculty and Lecturers
The fund invites proposals for support of research in the areas of humanities, arts, and social sciences that shows promise of making an important contribution to the proposed area of activity.

Learn more + Apply 

Apply by November 13, 2012
Kelly Douglas Traveling Fellowships
 | For SHASS Faculty 
Fellowship applications for IAP 2013 travel are due at noon on November, 13, 2012. 
Learn More + Apply 

Apply Fall 2012
Kelly Douglas Teaching and Research Support | For SHASS Faculty 
The Fund will accept applications for IAP 2013 in the Fall of 2012. 
Learn More + Apply 

Apply by December 18
Palitz Fellowship for Summer Study in the Hague 
| For MIT Undergraduates
 The 6-month term as a Palitz Fellow includes the Spring semester in preparation with a faculty supervisor, followed by summer study in The Hague. Areas of study can include any aspect of culture, art, or history in the Dutch and Flemish Golden Age, for example: history of science, horticulture, or cartography; the art market; economic history; or the technologies of print making and book production.
Learn More + Apply


Center: Mauritshuis, Royal Picture Gallery; The Hague; the Netherlands


MIT SHASS Faculty Promotions
The MIT School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences is pleased to announce the following faculty promotions, which were effective July 2012. 
Story + Photographs

Faculty Profile | Devin Caughey 
Straddling the divide between the qualitative and quantitative eras of political science. Devin Caughey, newly appointed MIT Political Science instructor, has spent much of the last few years working with vintage polling data–information gathered in the 1930s and early 1940s, before pollsters learned to implement rigorous sampling techniques. 
Profile at Political Science

Journalist Borpujari Priyanka is 2012 Neuffer Fellow | Center for International Studies 
Borpujari, an independent journalist based in Mumbai, India, has been selected as the 2012-13 Elizabeth Neuffer Fellow. Borpujari is the eighth recipient of the annual fellowship, which gives a woman journalist working in print, broadcast or online media the opportunity to build skills while focusing exclusively on human rights journalism and social justice issues.
Full Story


L: Devin Caughey, MIT Political Science Instructor
R: Borpujari Priyanka, 2012 Neuffer Fellow, Center for International Studies 


MIT’s place in the world
Inaugural symposium addresses the Institute’s global engagement. Talks by MIT SHASS professors Michel DeGraff, Peter Donaldson, Esther Duflo, Philip Khoury, and Margery Resnick.   
Story + on-demand video of talks

Inaugural concert celebrates President Reif and Music at MIT
The inauguration of L. Rafael Reif as MIT’s 17th president presented the Institute with an excellent occasion to showcase its deep engagement with music. “More and more people are realizing that MIT is a hub of the arts,” says Evan Ziporyn, Kenan Sahin Distinguished Professor of Music, and Head, MIT Music and Theater Arts. 

Media Clips 
MIT SHASS in the national and international media 




Video: Junot Díaz's Reading at MIT Stata 
27 Sept 2012 — The Pultizer Prize-winning author and MIT Professor of Writing spoke to a standing-room-only audience at the Stata Center, taking many questions and reading from his new book This is How You Lose Her.  



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