MIT SCHOOL OF HUMANITIES, ARTS, AND SOCIAL SCIENCES
RECENT WORKS AND RESEARCH
MIT philosopher Justin Khoo and book cover; portrait by Allegra Boverman
The Meaning of If | Justin Khoo
“I’m trying to understand language from the perspective of a philosopher who’s worried about misuse of language leading to problems, and from the perspective of a descriptive linguist who wants to know how it is we in fact use our language and what we can say systematically about it.”
Story at MIT News | Justin Khoo | Related: Philosophy and Democracy
AI learns patterns of human language | Adam Albright & colleagues
“We wanted to see if we can emulate the kinds of knowledge and reasoning that humans bring to the task,” says Albright, an MIT Professor of Linguistics.
Story at MIT News
Wyn Kelley, Senior Lecturer, MIT Literature; photo by Richard Howard; book cover
A New Companion to Herman Melville | Wyn Kelley and Christopher Ohge, editors
With revelatory perspectives, and tools for reading, writing, and teaching, this New Companion offers both students and advanced scholars ways to read Melville in the twenty-first century.
Learn more | Wyn Kelley | Christopher Ohge
BLUEPRINT LABS | ECONOMICS
Still worth the trip? New busing research | Angrist, Pathak, and colleagues
Nobel laureate Joshua Angrist, Parag Pathak, and colleagues discover that "distance and travel boost integration for those who choose to travel, but have little or no effect on test scores and college attendance."
Working paper at NBER | Blueprint Labs | Blueprint on Twitter
Research to Policy: Medicaid and Children | Amy Finkelstein
Finkelstein finds that parental Medicaid sign-up does not lead to a substantial increase in enrolling eligible children in Medicaid—findings that set the stage for research to identify the barriers to enrolling more eligible children.
Story by Peter Dizikes for MIT News
COMPARATIVE MEDIA STUDIES
Tech in translation | Profile of Paul Roquet
"Roquet's forte is analyzing how new consumer technologies change the way people interact with their environments." For his innovative research and teaching, Roquet was granted tenure at MIT earlier this year."
Story by Peter Dizikes | Publications | Related story: On The Immersive Enclosure
Paul Roquet, Associate Professor, MIT Comparative Media Studies; with recent book; Roquet photograph by Allegra Boverman
MEET OUR STUDENTS
Questioning the nuclear umbrella | Jung Jae Kwon
“I wanted to understand how non-nuclear states achieve security,” says PhD student Kwon. He finds that, dissatisfied with security guarantees from the U.S., America’s junior allies want greater control over their own defenses.
Profile at MIT News
Forging political alliances through supply chains | Hao Zhang
Political Science PhD student Zhang studies the political economy of global production, state-business relations, and formal political theory. He has found that firms linked by supply chains and production relationships also share political goals.
Profile at MIT News
Hao Zhang, MIT PhD student in political science
John Tirman (1950-2022); photo by Allegra Boverman
CENTER FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDIES
John Tirman, Strategist, Author, Exec Director of CIS, dies at 72
We join the CIS community in honoring the life and legacy of John Tirman, our inspiring colleague whose “intense commitment to human rights, justice, and truth,” as Professor Kenneth Oye writes, made him a man of conscience for CIS—and far beyond. We are grateful for John’s life, vision, and humanity and will miss his wisdom and worldview.
In Memoriam | Tributes (submit here) | Biography + Publications
MAKING A JUST SOCIETY
The Greater Boston community is invited to this forthcoming MIT conference, October 5-7:
COMPARATIVE MEDIA STUDIES + MIT SHASS
"Bearing Witness/Seeking Justice: Videography in the Hands of the People."
“We’re encouraging people in the Greater Boston area to attend, including young people, concerned citizens, community-based organizations — everyone who cares about democracy, media, justice, and truth-telling." We welcome your voices, insights, experiences, and perspectives.
A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE
Burls are bark-covered growths that produce a wood with unique grain. Image: Wolfgang Kaehler via Getty Images
UNDARK MAGAZINE | KNIGHT SCIENCE JOURNALISM AT MIT
What is an old-growth tree actually worth?
In setting fines for timber poaching, experts are looking at different ways to calculate the financial value of trees, taking ecological value, wildlife corridors, recreational use, and aesthetic beauty into consideration.
Story at Undark
Illustration: Getty Images
UNDARK | KNIGHT SCIENCE JOURNALISM AT MIT
Book Review | The Cultural Roots of Emotion
In Between Us, psychologist Batja Mesquita argues that emotions aren’t universal, but inherited from social groups. Not only do different emotions hold different weight based on culture and context, but linguistic variations between cultures also shape emotion experiences.
Review by Emily Cataneo at Undark Magazine
CENTER FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDIES + SECURITY STUDIES PROGRAM
Clearinghouse: analysis + research about the war in Ukraine
The implications and consequences of the Russian assault on Ukraine will be felt for years. MIT CIS and SSP are closely involved via analysis, advice, and informing the public with regular updates.
Clearinghouse: Analysis + Research
SHASS ALUMNI STORIES
Calling all SHASS fields: Have you taught or mentored a student with a compelling post-graduation story? Media Relations Manager Stephen Oakes (firstname.lastname@example.org) would like to hear from you!
21st Century Democracy
Ethics, Computing, and AI: Perspectives from MIT
Computing and AI: Humanistic Perspectives from MIT
Published by SHASS Communications
Office of the Dean, MIT School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences
15 September 2022
Alison Lanier, Senior Communications Associate
Emily Hiestand, Advisor