Twelve SHASS Research Fund recipients announced for 2015

Research on patient/doctor decision models; language technology for distance learning; U.S. class inequality; political violence; non-profit housing; electronic music archives; gender and history; identity and power; new music and theater works


               The SHASS Research Fund supports MIT research in the
               humanities, arts, or social sciences that shows promise
               of making an important contribution to the proposed
               area of activity.


Congratulations to the 2015 Recipients


Takako Aikawa | Senior Lecturer in Japanese
To support the design of an effective curriculum to support the JaJan distance language learning tool, a collaboration between MIT and Kanda University of International Studies in Chiba, Japan. The aim is to assess the effectiveness of technology on language learning and to identify the most effective practices in the use of JaJan, which can provide a basis for the development of programs to teach all languages.
Takako Aikawa's website

Fotini Christia | Associate Professor of Political Science
To support exploratory research into political attitudes toward sectarian violence and United States foreign policy in southern Iraq. By surveying pilgrims to Shiite religious sites in that region, Christia hopes to gain unique insight into the political and economic views held by Shiites from both Iraq and Iran.
Fotini Christia's website

Michael Cuthbert | Homer Burnell Career Development Professor, Associate Professor of Music
To support the completion of the Electronic Medieval Musical Score Archive Project, which encodes the entire repertory of polyphonic music from 1300–1420 into computer-searchable formats.
Michael Cuthbert's website

Lerna Ekmekcioglu | McMillan-Stewart Career Development Assistant Professor of History
Support for archival research associated with a monograph, tentatively titled Suffering Remnants of an Ancient Christian Nation: A Gendered Reading of Modern Armenian History, which investigates gendered representations of the nascent state of Armenia in the aftermath of the First World War.
Lerna Ekmekcioglu's website

Robert Fogelson | Professor of History and Urban Studies
Support for travel and research toward a book project that explores the rapid decline of non-profit cooperative housing in New York City. The research will focus on the United Housing Foundation, a consortium of labor unions at the forefront of the non-profit housing movement, and Co-op City, the largest housing cooperative in the country.
Robert Fogelson's website

Eric J. Goldberg | Associate Professor of History
To support research toward a book project, tentatively titled With Practice, Skill, and Cunning: Hunting and Identity in Frankish Europe, AD 312–987. The project will explore the changing mores of hunting in post-Roman Europe and its relationship to secular manhood, Frankish identity, and aristocratic power.
Eric J. Goldberg's website

Frederick Harris Jr. | Director of Wind and Jazz Ensembles
Support for the production of a documentary film on the life of contemporary conductor and composer Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, entitled Through Music I Commune With the Universe: Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, A Life in Music.
Frederick Harris Jr.'s website

Anna Kohler | Senior Lecturer, Music and Theater Arts
To support the conversion of seminal theater performances from the past thirty-five years, currently on deteriorating videotape, to digital formats. The digital archive will then be available as a resource for MIT students and faculty.
Anna Kohler's website

Elena Ruehr | Lecturer in Music
Support for the final production and release of a CD of six new original works for violin, viola, cello, and piano. These pieces — including "Lift," a composition for solo cello dedicated to 2014 Nobel Peace Prize co-recipient Malala Yousafzai — were written over the past seventeen years at MIT.
Elena Ruehr's website

Jay Scheib | Director of Theater Arts
Support for the development of a new interdisciplinary performance project, which uses the Eighteenth Century Sturm und Drang movement as a point of departure to remix Goethe’s classic bildungsroman of unrequited love, The Sorrows of Young Werther.
Jay Scheib's website

Paulo Somaini | Assistant Professor of Economics
To support research that attempts to establish a model of patient/surgeon decision-making in order to analyze the benefits of cadaveric kidney transplants. This new empirically-based model will be used to construct and evaluate various alternatives to the existing market.
Paulo Somaini's website

Christine Walley | Associate Professor of Anthropology
To support the final stage of the Exit Zero Project, a collaborative transmedia history project undertaken in partnership with the Southeast Chicago Historical Museum. Exit Zero leverages personal narratives and archival materials from a former steel mill community in Southeast Chicago to document the impacts of deindustrialization and expanding class inequalities in the United States.
Christine Walley's website


Suggested Links

MIT's Mission in the Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences

About the SHASS Research Fund

The Power of the Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences at MIT

MIT SHASS Research and Innovation 
generating great ideas to meet the world's great challenges 

MIT SHASS is home to research that has a global impact, and to graduate programs recognized as among the finest in the world. With 13 academic fields, the School's research portfolio includies international studies, linguistics, economics, poverty alleviation, history, literature, anthropology, digital humanities, philosophy, global studies and languages, music and theater, writing, political science, security studies, women's and gender studies, and comparative media studies.
Research Portfolio