SHASS announces 10 Research Fund recipients for 2018

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 2018 Recipients

Nikhil Agarwal | Assistant Professor, Economics
The near-universal coverage of dialysis treatments under Medicare, including people under age 65, is unique in the US healthcare system. Agarwal plans to use his SHASS research funding to analyze previously collected data to explore whether and how Medicare reimbursement rates affect the quiality of dialysis care and patient outcomes.
Nikhil Agarwals's website

Charlotte Brathwaite | Assistant Professor, Music and Theater Arts
SHASS research funding will support Forgotten Paradise: Grazettes Sun, a film project by director Brathwaite. Inspired by being united with her estranged brother for the first time, Brathwaite plans to take a small crew on a research trip to the Gold Coast (Ghana, Benin and Togo) to excavate the jigsaw puzzle of history and memory and to identify locations significant to her own ancestry and the trans-Atlantic slave trade.
Charlotte Brathwaite's website

Sarah Brown | Director of Design, Music and Theater Arts
SHASS research funding will allow Brown to join the prodution of Gregory Spears’ opera, Fellow Travelers, which dramatizes the lives of Americans whose careers were ended and lives transformed during the “Lavender Scare,” a period in the Cold War when LGBTQ people were expelled from the federal government because of their sexual identities.
Sarah Brown's website

Lerna Ekmekcioglu | Associate Professor, History
Ekmekcioglu's funding will support her ongoing book and digital humanities project, Feminism in Armenian: An Interpretive Anthology and a Digital Archive. With Melissa Bilal, a visiting scholar with MIT History, Ekmekcioglu traces the development of Armenian feminist thought from the 1860s to the 1960s. It will be the first collection in English on the topic.
Lerna Ekmekcioglu's website

Malick Ghachem | Associate Professor of History
Ghachem's book on the rise of plantation capitalism in Haiti during the 1720s, The Old Regime and the Haitian Revolution, will be translated into French with the support of SHASS research funding, making the work available to Francophone scholars in France and elsewhere in the French-speaking world. Funding will also allow Ghachem to present his research in France upon its publication by Éditions Karthala and the Centre International de recherches sur les esclavages.
Malick Gachem's website

Frederick Harris, Jr. | Director of the Wind and Jazz Ensembles, Music and Theater Arts
With the support of SHASS research funding, Harris plans to begin researching the life and musical career of Herb Pomeroy (1930-2007) toward a biography, whose working title is It’s the Note You Don’t Play: The musical life of Herb Pomeroy. In addition to portraying Pomeroy's personal life, this book will also provide analysis of the three major areas of his musicianship: trumpeter, director/conductor, and educator.
Frederick Harris Jr's website

Mark Harvey | Senior Lecturer, Music and Theater Arts
SHASS Research Funds will enable the recording and production of a new album of original compositions by Harvey, all performed with the Aardvark Jazz Orchestra. The centerpiece will be “Swamp-a-Rama,” a composition at turns satirical and serious that responds to the current socio-political climate in the United States.
Mark Harvey's website

Sabine Iatridou | Professor, Linguistics
In Dutch and German, question words (such as “what”) are identical to existential words (such as “something”). Why does a single word have these two different meanings? Which meaning came first in the development of the language? What does that tell us about the development of language more generally? Iatridou will explore these questions with the support of SHASS research funding in coordination with colleagues from the University of Amsterdam.
Sabine Iatridou's website

Seth Mnookin | Professor, Comparative Media Studies/Writing
SHASS Research Funds will support a new book focused on the cultural, historical, and scientific underpinnings of how we age as well as on research efforts designed to extend both lifespan and healthspan. In addition to providing a detailed overview of research that could reframe how we think about aging, the book will offer readers a guide to what age-related issues can be mitigated by changes to lifestyle, medical interventions, or pharmacological interventions—and which paths to avoid.
Seth Mnookin's website

Ariel White | Assistant Professor, Political Science
With an unprecedented amount of material, White and her colleagues will use a textual analysis tool to analyze the language used to report on crime, asking whether and to what extent local media outlets focus more on crimes committed by non-white suspects. They will also analyze the relationship between reporting trends and actual crime statistics to see whether these publications accurately reflect the level and type of crime.
Ariel White'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 
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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.
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