New Faculty
 | Fall 2015
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: ecology and globalization; trade reforms in India; post–Cold War Cuba; a humanistic account of the global diabetes crisis; and the political history of Mexico’s rural training schools for teachers. Please join us in welcoming these excellent scholars into the School community.




David Atkin  


David Atkin joins MIT's Economics faculty in the fall of 2015 as an Assistant Professor. He received his PhD from Princeton University and served most recently as a J-PAL affiliate.

Atkin's research focuses on the impacts of trade liberalization on the poor in the developing world. His recent work has studied the role of regional taste differences in altering the impacts of trade reforms in India, educational responses to the rise of export-oriented manufacturing in Mexico, the costs of moving goods within Africa, barriers to technology adoption in Pakistan, exporting and productivity among rug-makers in Egypt, and the welfare effects of retail globalization in Mexico.

David Atkin's website




William Deringer

Program in Science, Technology, and Society

William Deringer joins MIT as an Assistant Professor in the Program in Science, Technology, and Society. He earned his M.A. (2009) and PhD (2012) in the History of Science from Princeton University,

A historian by training, he studies how practices of technical knowledge, particularly calculations, have worked in political and economic settings, from the early-modern period to the present. He is particularly interested in the history of the social sciences, in historical and social studies of finance, and in the role of numbers in politics and public discourse.

Profile at MIT STS




Paloma Duong

Global Studies and Languages

Paloma Duong joins the MIT faculty as an Assistant Professor of Latin American Studies in Global Studies and Languages, having received her PhD from Columbia University in 2014. 

Duong's research focuses on the intersection of culture and politics in 20th and 21st century Latin America. She is currently writing about democratic imaginaries, new media, and participatory forms of culture in post-Cold War Cuba, including blogs, performances, and music. Her work and her teaching draw from cultural studies, political philosophy, and literary and media theory to examine the aesthetic dimensions of citizenship, and the history and reception of Marxism, in Latin America.

Profile at MIT GSL




Caley Horan


Caley Horan joins the MIT faculty as an Assistant Professor of History. She received her PhD from the University of Minnesota in 2011, and comes to MIT from Princeton University.
Horan's research and teaching interests include business history and the history of capitalism, cold war culture, risk and prediction, and the history of gender and sexuality. She is currently working on a book manuscript, Actuarial Age, which explores the cultural life of insurance and the role of risk-based thinking in shaping American institutions and daily life during the second half of the twentieth century.

Profile at MIT History




Amy Moran-Thomas


Amy Moran-Thomas joins the MIT faculty as an Assistant Professor of Anthropology. She received her PhD in Anthropology from Princeton University in 2012, and held postdoctoral fellowships at Princeton and Brown University before coming to MIT.

Moran-Thomas's research bridges the anthropology of health and environment with ethnographic studies of science and technology. Her current book project, blending non-fiction stories and science writing with ethnographic and historical analyses, offers a humanistic account of the global diabetes epidemic.

Profile at MIT Anthropology



Tanalís Padilla


Tanalís Padilla joins the MIT faculty as Associate Professor of History. She received her PhD from the University of California, San Diego, in 2001. 

Padilla's first book, Rural Resistance in the Land of Zapata: The Jaramillista Movement and the Myth of the Pax Priísta, 1940-1962 (Duke University Press, 2008) recounts the history of an agrarian movement that turned to armed struggle. Her current book manuscript, "The Unintended Lessons of Revolution: School Teachers in the Mexican Countryside, 1940-1980,” traces the history of Mexico’s rural training schools for teachers, and analyzes the process by which rural schoolteachers went from agents of state consolidation to activists against a government that increasingly abandoned its commitment to social justice.

Profile at MIT History




Robin Scheffler

Program in Science, Technology, and Society

Robin Scheffler joins the MIT faculty as Assistant Professor of Science, Technology, and Society. He earned his PhD in the history of science and medicine from Yale University.

Scheffler is a historian of the modern biological and biomedical sciences and their intersections with developments in American history. He is currently working on a project that follows the history of cancer virus research in the twentieth century from legislature to laboratory, documenting its origins and impact on the modern biological sciences. Other projects include the history of biotechnology industry and a chemical biography of dioxins.

Profile at MIT STS



Frank Schilbach


Frank Schillbach joins the MIT faculty as an Assistant Professor of Economics. He earned his PhD in economics from Harvard University in 2015. His recent publications include “Alcohol and Self-Control: A Field Experiment in India” and, along with with Esther Duflo, Michael
Kremer, and Jon Robinson, “Technology Diffusion and Appropriate Use: Evidence from Western Kenya”. 

Profile at MIT Economics




Bettina Stoetzer

Global Studies and Languages

Bettina Stoetzer joins the MIT faculty as Assistant Professor in Global Studies and Languages. She received her PhD in Cultural Anthropology at the University of California Santa Cruz in 2011, and holds an M.A. in Sociology, Anthropology and Media Studies from the University of Goettingen, Germany. Before coming to MIT, she was a Harper Fellow in the Society of Fellows at the University of Chicago.

Stoetzer’s research focuses on the intersections of ecology, globalization, and urban social justice. Her current book project, "Ruderal City: Ecologies of Migration and Urban Life," illustrates that human-environment relations have become a key register through which urban citizenship is articulated in contemporary Europe.

Profile at MIT GSL



Leslie Tilley

Music and Theater Arts

Leslie Tilley joins the MIT faculty as an Assistant Professor of Music and Theater Arts. She earned her PhD in Ethno-musicology from the University of British Columbia in 2013.

Tilley's current research and recent publication focuses on the analysis of group-improvised music forms from Bali, Indonesia. Through recording, transcription, analysis, and ethnographic research, she attempts to uncover inherent rules governing improvisation.

MIT Music website