MIT SHASS welcomes new faculty.
Six new professors join the MIT community. 


Dean Melissa Nobles and the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences warmly welcome six new professors to the MIT community. They arrive with diverse backgrounds and vast knowledge in their areas of research, which include technology and identity; imperial and modern China; musical ensembles; immigration and voting law; cyber warfare; and the history of environmental management.


Héctor Beltrán 

Assistant Professor of Anthropology


Héctor Beltrán is returning to MIT as an Assistant Professor of Anthropology who draws upon his background in computer science to understand how the technical aspects of computing intersect with issues of identity, race, ethnicity, class, and nation. He first came to MIT as an undergraduate, when he earned a BS in Computer Science and Engineering before completing his PhD in Anthropology and an MA in Folklore at UC Berkeley. Beltrán’s current book manuscript, Code Work: Hacking Across the US/México Borderlands, follows the lives of Mexican hackers as they navigate the political and economic unevenness of North America’s computer programming sector. 


Beltrán's webpage at MIT Anthropology



Megan Black

Assistant Professor of History


Megan Black, a new Associate Professor of History at MIT, is a historian of U.S. environmental management and foreign relations in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Her first book, The Global Interior: Mineral Frontiers and American Power, analyzes the surprising role of the U.S. Department of the Interior in pursuing minerals in Indigenous lands, formal territories, foreign nations, the oceans, and outer space. This work garnered four prizes in different subfields, including the George Perkins Marsh Prize from the American Society of Environmental History. Professor Black has published articles and review essays in The Journal of American History, Modern American History, Diplomatic History, and American Quarterly.


Black's webpage at MIT History



Tristan Brown 

Assistant Professor of History


Tristan Brown joins MIT History as an Assistant Professor and a social and cultural historian of late imperial and modern China. Educated at Harvard and Columbia, he has held research fellowships at St John's College, Cambridge, and Stanford University has published articles in T'oung PaoLate Imperial China, and Archives des Sciences Sociales des Religions. His scholarship is centered on the ways in which law, science, environment, and religion interacted in China from the seventeenth to the early twentieth centuries. Currently Brown is at work on his first book project, which explores the uses of cosmology in imperial Chinese law.


Brown's webpage at MIT History


Natalie Lin Douglas

Assistant Professor of Music


In Fall 2020, Natalie Lin Douglas was appointed Assistant Professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Music and Theater Arts. New Zealand-born violinist, educator, and arts entrepreneur Natalie Lin Douglas is the founder of Kinetic, a Houston-based conductorless ensemble. Committed to showcasing diverse, under-represented, and newly composed classical music through flexible chamber and orchestral ensemble formats, Kinetic has been praised for its “visually arresting… superb performance,” as well as its “thoughtful, incisive programming” (Arts+Culture Texas). She completed her Doctor of Musical Arts at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, under the mentorship of Paul Kantor and Karim Al-Zand. 


Douglas's website



Erik Lin-Greenberg

Assistant Professor of Political Science


Erik Lin-Greenberg returns to MIT this fall as an Assistant Professor of Political Science; he previously earned his MS and BS in Political Science from MIT before going on to achieve his PhD at Columbia University. Lin-Greenberg’s research focuses on emerging military technology and how those new technologies affect conflict dynamic and use of force. His current book research project explores the frontier topics of remote warfighting technologies, such as drones and cyber warfare, affect how crises escalate. Lin-Greenberg’s writing appears in a number of academic and policy outlets including Security Studies, Journal of Peace Research, International Peacekeeping, The Washington Post, Foreign Policy, and War on the Rocks


Lin-Greenberg's webpage at MIT Political Science



Asya Magazinnik

Assistant Professor of Political Science


Asya Magazinnik began as an Assistant Professor of Political Science at MIT in January 2020. Her scholarship considers the intersection of federalism and democratic representation, focusing on American institutions, electoral geography, quantitative methods, and casual inference. She earned her PhD in political science from Princeton and is currently at work on projects that span topics from immigration policy to voting laws and minority representation to housing and land use. She previously studied at Vassar College and University of Chicago; her scholarship has been supported by numerous grants and fellowships, notably the National Science Foundation and the Russell Sage Foundation.


Magazinnik's webpage at MIT Political Science