New Faculty | Fall 2014
Welcoming a superb group of scholars 

The School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences is very pleased to present the newest members of the MIT SHASS faculty. They come to us with diverse backgrounds and vast knowledge in their areas of research: empirics of matching markets; nineteenth- and twentieth-century representations of childhood and the history of children's literature; international political economy, and formal and quantitative methodology; the intersection of philosophy and linguistics; causes and consequences of ethnic conflict; intersection of science, technology, and urban politics in US history; the meaning of natural language expressions; moral philosophy; and game theory, microeconomic theory, and political economy.

Please join us in welcoming these excellent scholars into the School community.  




Nikhil Agarwal  


Nikhil Agarwal joins MIT's Economics faculty in the Fall of 2014 as an Assistant Professor. He received his PhD from Harvard University and was a postdoc at the Cowles Foundation at Yale University.

He studies the empirics of matching markets, or markets where prices do not clear the market. The applications he studies include medical residency markets, kidney donation, and public school choice. His current research focuses on developing methods to analyze data from these markets in order to answer questions about the effects of design on outcomes.

Profile at MIT Economics




Charlotte Brathwaite

Music and Theater Arts

Charlotte Brathwaite joins MIT as an Assistant Professor of Theater Arts. Prior to coming to MIT, she was a Visiting Professor of Theater and Dance at Amherst College. She holds a Bachelors of Arts from the Amsterdam School for the Arts in the Netherlands and a Master of Fine Arts in Directing from the Yale School of Drama.

Charlotte is co-founder of the Berlin-based performance group Naturaleza Humana. She has assistant directed for Yale Repertory Theater, Lincoln Center, Yale Opera, Richard Foreman, Robert Wilson, Francesca Zambello, and Christian Rath. She has shadowed Director Joel Zwick on set at Disney Studios in Los Angeles. This summer she assisted director Peter Sellars’s production of A Midsummer Nights Dream at the Stratford Festival in Canada. She is recipient of a Princess Grace Foundation George C. Wolfe Award and the Julian Milton Kaufman Prize for Directing Yale University.

Profile at MIT Theater Arts




Marah Gubar


Marah Gubar joins MIT’s Literature faculty in Fall 2014 as an Associate Professor. Previously, she was an Associate Professor of English at the University of Pittsburgh, where she directed the nationally recognized Children’s Literature Program. She earned her PhD in English from Princeton University and did her undergraduate work at the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor), where she received a B.A. in English and a B.F.A. in Musical Theatre.

She teaches and writes about children’s literature from a variety of periods, but she is especially interested in nineteenth- and twentieth-century representations of childhood and the history of children’s theatre. Her book Artful Dodgers: Reconceiving the Golden Age of Children’s Literature came out from Oxford University Press in 2009 and won the Children’s Literature Association’s Book Award. She has also received several teaching prizes, including the Association of Princeton Graduate Alumni Teaching Award and the Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award—the highest teaching honor given to faculty at Pitt.

Profile at MIT Literature




In Song Kim

Political Science

In Song Kim joins the MIT faculty as an Assistant Professor of Political Science. He received his PhD from the Department of Politics at Princeton University, and was awarded the Harold W. Dodds Fellowship for 2012 to 2013 academic year.

His research interests include international political economy, formal and quantitative methodology. His dissertation examines firm-level political incentives to lobby for trade liberalization. In Song is also interested in “Big Data” analysis of international trade. He is developing methods for dimension reduction and visualization to investigate how the structure of international trade around the globe has evolved over time.

Profile at MIT Political Science




Justin Khoo

Linguistics and Philosophy

Justin Khoo joins the MIT faculty as an Assistant Professor of Philosophy. He earned his PhD from Yale in 2013, and was a postdoc in MIT Philosophy last year. His research interests are in philosophy of language, philosophical logic, and metaphysics.

Justin is currently working on topics at the border between philosophy and linguistics. He has papers on the meaning and conversational pragmatics of conditionals ("if ... then"), modals ("may," "must"), and their interaction. More broadly, he is interested in the nature of language and communication.

Profile at MIT Philosohphy



Evan Lieberman

Political Science

Evan Lieberman joins MIT as the Total Professor of Political Science and Contemporary Africa. Previously, Lieberman was a member of the faculty at Princeton University for 12 years, and a Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Scholar at Yale University. He received his PhD from the University of California, Berkeley, and his BA from Princeton.

Lieberman’s research is concerned with understanding the causes and consequences of ethnic conflict, and the determinants of good governance and policy-making, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. He also writes and teaches on research methods for comparative analysis. Lieberman is the author of two scholarly books, Race and Regionalism in the Politics of Taxation (Cambridge, 2003) and Boundaries of Contagion: How Ethnic Politics Have Shaped Government Responses to AIDS (Princeton, 2009) and numerous scholarly articles. He received the David Collier mid-career achievement award at the 2014 annual meeting of the American Political Science Association.

Profile at MIT Political Science




Jennifer Light

Program in Science, Technology, and Society

Jennifer Light joins the MIT faculty as Professor of Science, Technology, and Society and Professor of Urban Studies and Planning (by courtesy). Previously, Light was at Northwestern University, where she was Professor of Communication, History, and Sociology. She holds degrees from Harvard and the University of Cambridge.

Light is fascinated by technocratic thinking, and its uses in programs of social reform and social control. Professor Light has been a member of the Institute for Advanced Study and received the Catherine Bauer Wurster Prize from the Society for American City and Regional Planning History. Her latest book, From Voice to Influence: Understanding Citizenship in a Digital Age, co-edited with Danielle Allen, is forthcoming from University of Chicago Press in Spring 2015.

Profile at MIT STS



Roger Schwarzschild

Linguistics and Philosophy

Roger Schwarzschild joins the MIT faculty in Fall 2014 as Professor of Linguistics. His work addresses the meaning of natural language expressions. His research foci include plurality, comparatives, measure phrases, and intonational focus. He has taught at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and at Bar-Ilan University.

Profile at MIT Linguistics




Kieran Setiya

Linguistics and Philosophy

Kieran Setiya joins the MIT faculty as Professor of Philosophy. He holds a PhD from Princeton University along with a B.A. in Philosophy from the University of Cambridge, and taught previously at the University of Pittsburgh.

Setiya's primary interests are in moral philosophy and its intersections with metaphysics, epistemology, and the philosophy of mind. He is the author of two books, Reasons without Rationalism (Princeton University Press, 2007), and Knowing Right From Wrong (Oxford University Press, 2012). His current work is on the place of love in moral philosophy, the ethics of procreation, and the midlife crisis.

Kieran Setiya's webpage



Alex Wolitzky


Alex Wolitzky joins the MIT faculty as an Assistant Professor of Economics. Previously, he was an Assistant Professor of Economics at Stanford University, and before that a postdoc at Microsoft Research. He earned his PhD in Economics from MIT and did his undergraduate work at Harvard University, where he received an A.B. in Economics and Mathematics.

His main areas of research are game theory, microeconomic theory, and political economy. In game theory, Wolitzky is interested in models of bargaining, repeated games, reputation-formation, and networks, and in robust behavior in games. In political economy, he is interested in models of conflict and institutions and their implications for economic outcomes. Wolitzky's current research projects include a model for comparing centralized and decentralized enforcement of social norms, and a model of optimal taxation and redistribution under the threat of political reform. His research has been published in journals including Econometrica, American Economic Review, and Review of Economic Studies.

Profile at MIT Economics