New Faculty | Fall 2011

Welcoming a superb group of scholars

The School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences is pleased to present the newest members of the faculty. They come to us with diverse backgrounds and vast knowledge in their fields: social movement communication, women and gender issues of the Middle East and North Africa, 20th century mass entertainment in Japan, and political philosophy. We are very fortunate to have these excellent scholars join the School community.  



Sasha Costanza-Chock    

Comparative Media Studies

Sasha Costanza-Chock joins the MIT Faculty as Assistant Professor of Civic Media in the Comparative Media Studies Program and as co-PI of the Center for Civic Media. His work focuses on social movement communication, community based research and participatory design, media justice and communication rights, and digital inclusion.

He holds a Ph.D. from the Annenberg School for Communication Journalism at the University of Southern California, and is currently a Fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet Society at Harvard University. Sasha strives to connect research and teaching to civic engagement, community organizing, and public policy. He has served on the Board of Expert Advisors to the California Emerging Technology Fund, as a Knight Media Policy Fellow at the New America Foundation, and as a track coordinator for the Allied Media Conference.

He is a cofounder of, a mobile blogging platform for low-wage immigrant workers that recently won a UN World Summit Award for Mobile Content. More information about Sasha's work can be found at

Costanza-Chock | Profile at CMS



Lerna Ekmekcioglu


Lerna Ekmekcioglu received her undergraduate education at Bogazici University in Istanbul. She has a Ph.D. in History and Middle Eastern & Islamic Studies from New York University (2010). She specializes in women and gender issues in the Middle East and North Africa.

In 2010-11 she held a post-doctoral fellowship in the Armenian Studies Program of the University of Michigan where she also taught in the Department of History.

Currently she is revising a book tentatively titled Improvising Turkishness: Being Armenian in Post-Ottoman Istanbul. This is a first study of the formative years of the Turkish Armenian community in Istanbul. Focusing on Armenian and Turkish intellectuals, leaders, and spokespeople during the interwar years the project examines the ways in which Armenians publicly re-fashioned a new communal presence in the immediate aftermath of the 1915 Armenian genocide and during the first decade after the 1923 establishment of the Republic of Turkey.

Ekmekcioglu | Profile at History



Hiromu Nagahara


Hiromu Nagahara will join the MIT faculty this fall as Assistant Professor of History. A historian of modern Japan, his research explores the emergence of mass entertainment during the twentieth century, along with the critical discourse and regulatory regimes that surrounded it.

His Ph.D. thesis, "Unpopular Music: The Politics of Mass Culture in Modern Japan," traces the development of Japan's music industry and the efforts to critique and regulate the songs it produced. He received his Ph.D. in history from Harvard University in 2011.

Nagahara | Profile at History



Lucas Stanczyk

Political Science

Lucas Stanczyk will join the MIT faculty in the spring of 2012 as Assistant Professor of Political Science, after finishing his Ph.D. in Harvard’s Government Department. A political theorist by training, his research ranges across a variety of topics in political philosophy, constitutional and legal theory, and the history of moral and political thought.

His doctoral dissertation investigates the implications of the value of social justice for the organization of economic production in contemporary societies. He is also at work on a history of the modern concept of distributive justice and ideas of redistribution.

Lucas has held research fellowships at Harvard’s Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, the Project on Justice, Welfare and Economics, the Harvard Safra Center for Ethics, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. He was named a Shklar Prize Fellow in Government at Harvard and was awarded an Eliot Dissertation Fellowship. He holds degrees in law and civil law from McGill University.

Stanczyk | Profile at Political Science



Teppei Yamamoto

Political Science

Teppei Yamamoto is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at MIT. He obtained a BA in Liberal Arts from the University of Tokyo (2006) and a M.A. (2008) and Ph.D. (2011) in Politics from Princeton University, where he received a Charlotte Elizabeth Procter Fellowship for the year of 2010 to 2011.

His doctoral dissertation won the John T. Williams Dissertation Prize in 2010 from the Society for Political Methodology. He also studied at Lincoln College, the University of Oxford. His research has appeared in journals such as American Journal of Political Science and Statistical Science.

Yamamoto | Profile at Political Science