Gallery | the MIT SHASS MacVicar Faculty Fellows



                                                  The Best Part of My Job
                                                  The SHASS MacVicar Fellows on the significance—
                                                  and sheer fun—of teaching MIT students



2019 | Joshua Angrist​
Ford Professor of Economics
MIT Department of Economics

Research Areas
Economics of education and school reform; social programs and the labor market; the effects of immigration, labor market regulation and institutions; and econometric methods for program and policy evaluation. ​
Story at MIT News

“Joshua Angrist is a path-breaking scholar whose brilliant work has advanced the cause of transparency, robustness, and ultimately credibility in empirical economics and public policy for over three decades.” — Parag Pathak, the Jane Berkowitz Carlton and Dennis William Carlton Professor of Microeconomics​ 

2019 | Graham Jones 
Associate Professor of Anthropology

Research Areas
How people imbue language with meaning and value; ethnographic engagements with a wide range of commuities of speech and practice; how signifying practices shape moral and epistemological convictions. 
Story at MIT News

“Graham is without peer in my estimation, always leaving a positive, indelible mark on the students. Graham’s classes transform the students, setting them on paths of lifelong learning and self-reflection.” — Susan Silbey, the Leon and Anne Goldberg Professor of Humanities, Sociology, and Anthropology 

2019 | T. L. Taylor​ 
Professor of Comparative Media Studies

Research Areas
Qualitative sociologist focused on internet and game studies for over two decades
Story at MIT News

“[Taylor is] always bringing a focus on the economic needs that are disproportionately important to first-gen students to our discussions. The passion that T. L. brings to our group’s work exemplifies the commitment to MIT’s undergraduate students that is a hallmark of a MacVicar Fellow.” — Scott Hughes, professor of physics​ 

2015 | Arthur Bahr
Alfred Henry and Jean Morrison Hayes Career Development Chair, and Associate Professor of Literature

Research areas
Old and Middle English literature; the structure and interpretation of medieval books; formalism(s), aesthetics, and the idea of the literary

Story at MIT News | Website

"Arthur is one of the most beloved professors in SHASS,” says Deborah K. Fitzgerald, Kenan Sahin Dean of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences. “His piercing intelligence, combined with his droll charm, make him one of the most sought-after teachers we have. Arthur is a master teacher because he loves his subject, always finding new ways to generate puzzles and challenges for MIT students. And Arthur has great respect and admiration for his students, trusting them to push themselves to ever deeper levels of understanding."

2013 | Emma Teng
T.T. and Wei Fong Chao Professor of Asian Civilizations
Associate Professor of Chinese Studies

Research areas
China-Taiwan relationships, Eurasian Identities, Chinese literature, East Asian cultures, Asian American studies
Story at MIT News  | Websites at History and FL&L

"I deeply appreciate the opportunity to teach at MIT because I have many students from diverse backgrounds, including recent immigrants, and American-born students who are the first in their family to attend college. Listening to their struggles, and understanding the fierce courage and determination they bring to their educations, is truly inspiring. These students daily remind me what it's all for. I consider it a great privilege to teach MIT students."

2012 | William Broadhead
Class of 1945 Career Development Associate Professor of History

Research Areas
Ancient Greek and Roman worlds, history of ancient Italy from the 4th to the 1st centuries BC, with a particular interest in relations between the Romans and the various Italian peoples subject to them
Story at MIT News 

"He taught with contagious enthusiasm. He took the time to ensure that his students have the best opportunities to further their learning and helped provide a way—an interactive, international way—for students to see the real-life applications of their studies." — from student nomination

2012 | David Kaiser 
Germeshausen Professor of the History of Science
Senior Lecturer, MIT Department of Physics

Research Areas
History research focuses on the development of physics in the United States during the Cold War, looking at how the discipline has evolved at the intersection of politics, culture, and the changing shape of higher education. Physics research focuses on early-universe cosmology, working at the interface of particle physics and gravitation.
Story at MIT News

“What truly captivates me about Professor Kaiser is his crucial role as the storyteller.… For me, David Kaiser’s stories provided the narrative I needed to make sense of my experiences at MIT.” — from student nomination 

2012 | Nancy Lin Rose 
Charles P. Kindleberger Professor of Applied Economics 

Research Areas
Empirical analysis of firm behavior and the economics of regulation
Story at MIT News 

“Professor Rose was by far one of the best professors I have encountered at MIT. Not only is she knowledgeable and energized about her subject material, but she actually cares that her students enjoy her class.”  — from student nomination

2010 | Norvin Richards 
Professor of Linguistics

Research areas
Syntax, endangered languages, Austronesian languages

“Every conceivable virtue is evident in Norvin’s teaching,” explains one of his colleagues. “His planning is extensive... he lays out the issues, data and analysis with clarity and beauty. Norvin is the kind of teacher who makes his audience think and ask questions because they find it fun to do so.” 

2009 | Diana Henderson
Professor of Literature, Dean for Curriculum and Faculty Support 
Partcipating faculty in Women and Gender Studies, and in Comparative Media Studies 

Research areas
Shakespeare, including performance cross-media; English Renaissance poetry and drama; modernism and world drama; gender studies

"Literature delights and challenges MIT students. It provides a welcoming place for these immensely talented, multifaceted students to grapple with their own basic assumptions about meaning, value, and character and to appreciate human creativity and the power of eloquence. The abilities to be at home with words and to communicate insights clearly are among the most valuable life skills students can attain—for careers, for work and play, for being a citizen."  


2008 | Stephen Tapscott
Professor of Literature

Research areas
Poetry and poetics;20th century American literature and culture; modernism; theory and practice of translation; 20th century Central European and Latin American poetry; creative writing

“One of my favorite poets, Nobel laureate Wislawa Szymborska, gets it just right about how people—specifically students—find they enjoy and need what my field offers." Read In Praise of My Sister, by Wislawa Szymborska

2007Jonathan Gruber
Professor of Economics

Research areas
Public finance and health economics

"Economics is primarily about the decisions we all make every day—whether it’s buying a second or third edition of a textbook or whether or not to carry an umbrella It’s really what our whole lives are about."  


2005 | Ruth Perry
Anne Friedlaender Professor of Literature

Research areas 
18th century studies; feminist literary and social history; the English novel; history of the family; British and American ballads and folk music; orality and literacy

“Literature classes are about understanding what’s meaningful in the world. The major texts we teach all help us think about what it means to be human.”

David Pesetsky

2005 | David Pesetsky
Ferrari P. Ward Professor of Modern Languages and Linguistics

Research areas

Syntax, morphology, syntax of music, Russian syntax, language acquisition
Q & A

"When you study linguistics, you are studying a huge body of knowledge about the language we speak that each one of us has in our heads. Each time we have a conversation with a friend, listen to the radio or mutter to ourselves, we are putting this knowledge to use in an incredibly sophisticated fashion.

Half the excitement of teaching linguistics is watching students uncover this knowledge in themselves, and seeing their "oh my" expressions as they learn the hidden acoustic ingredients of speech sounds and the crazy tricks our brains can play with words,  sentences and their meanings."

2004 | Anne McCants
Professor of History; Head, History

Research areas
Historical demography; early modern trade and consumption; standard of living in pre-industrial Europe

“People know that history is important, and they cite it all the time. The problem is that often what they know isn’t very accurate. And so decisions are often uninformed, because people have got the facts wrong about what really happened. Part of the MIT SHASS mission is to give MIT students a strong grounding, historically and culturally, and help them gain the critical thinking skills they need to take on whatever challenges lie ahead." 

2004 | Jean Jackson
Professor of Anthropology

Research areas
Indigenous mobilizing in Colombia; small-scale societies, anthropological linguistics






2003 | Peter Child
Class of 1949 Professor of Music, Composer 

Research areas
Composition and musical analysis

“We cultivate not just creativity but an understanding of ways to be creative in situations where there might not be a single right answer. Students have to learn about indefiniteness and ambiguity and how to achieve success through creative thinking when answers are not definite.”

2003 | Isabelle de Courtivron
Professor of French Studies, Emerita 

Research areas

French studies, feminist theory, bliingual and women writers, identity and creativity

2002 | David Thorburn
Professor of Literature and Comparative Media
Director, MIT Communications Forum

Research areas
20th century literature, media history

“Teaching literature to MIT students and being taught by them has nourished my soul for 35 years.”


Related Feature: The Best Part of My Job

The SHASS MacVicar Fellows on the significance
and sheer fun—of teaching MIT students



Former MIT SHASS MacVicar Faculty Fellows


2001 - David Mindell, Science, Technology, and Society 
2001 - Janet Sonenberg, Music and Theater Arts 
1997 - Lowell Lindgren, Music and Theater Arts 
1995 - Margery Resnick, Foreign Languages and Literatures
1995 - Arthur Steinberg, Anthropology 
1995 - Marcus Thompson, Music and Theater Arts
1993 - Charles Stewart III, Political Science
1993 - Irene Tayler, Literature