MIT economist Nathaniel Hendren outside MIT Sloan at 50 Memorial Drive in Cambridge wearing a blue sport coat, a light blue striped shirt, and grey slacks

MIT economist Nathaniel Hendren studies the drivers of economic opportunity in America. Photo: Bryce Vickmark


Professor Nathaniel Hendren PhD ’12 has spent the last decade studying economic mobility among people in the workforce and across racial and ethnic groups and has co-authored a series of published papers with important empirical results shedding light on the conditions of opportunity in the U.S. today.
Story at MIT News


MIT history professor Lerna Ekmekcioglu in front of a window with boats on a body of water outside the window

Professor Lerna Ekmekcioglu

Investigating marginalized women and their potential empowerment
MIT history professor and director of the Women's and Gender Studies program Lerna Ekmekcioglu is investigating a burly, more intersectional brand of feminism informed both by her heritage and extensive research.
Story at SHASS News


MIT musicians and tour staff with the Sao Sebastiao community on the Taruma Acu River in the state of Amazonas, Brazil

MIT musicians and tour staff with the São Sebastião community on the Tarumã Açu River in the state of Amazonas, Brazil. Photo by Uatumã Campos Roch.

Hearing Amazônia 
Hearing Amazônia is a consciousness-raising project sponsored by the Center for Arts, Science, & Technology featuring nearly 80 student musicians communing with Indigenous Amazonians in the Brazilian Amazon.
Story at SHASS News


Professor Daron Acemoglu


Institute professor Daron Acemoglu wins A.SK Social Science Award
The award honors research on public policy with a focus on economic and governmental reforms. 
Story at MIT News

MIT selects Open Data Award winners
The MIT School of Science and the MIT Libraries selected the MIT Prize for Open Data award winners to highlight the value of open data at MIT and to encourage the next generation of researchers. 
Story at MIT Libraries


Aja Grande standing in a grassy, forested area wearing a white shirt

Aja Grande. Photo: Sachi Mura with Gretchen Ertl

A reciprocal relationship with the land in Hawai'i
PhD student Aja Grande is investigating how Hawaiian culture and people's relationship with the land has evolved over time. 
Story at MIT News


MIT literature professor Joshua Bennett and MIT president Sally Kornbluth on a blue background with lighter blue spots

MIT SHASS literature professor Joshua Bennett and MIT president Sally Kornbluth. 

Curiosity Unbounded: Joshua Bennett and Sally Kornbluth 
In a conversation with MIT president Sally Kornbluth, literature professor Joshua Bennett talks about the power of words, the beauty of quiet things, and about the value in learning for its own sake.

Q&A: Magnifying research impact with policymakers 
Drew Story describes the MIT Policy Lab, which is designed to support researchers who aim to affect public policy.

One of MIT’s “best-kept secrets” offers an outlet for creative writing 
The MIT’s Writers’ Group has helped community members channel their creative energies since 2002.


A vender navigates his way through the traffic trying to sell framed photos, including a portrait of the president, on Uhuru Highway in Nairobi

A vendor navigates his way through the traffic trying to sell framed photos, including a portrait of the president, on Uhuru Highway in Nairobi. Photo: Sarah Waiswa


Why technical skills aren't enough
MIT president Sally Kornbluth speaks with the Higher Ed Spotlightpodcast about the importance of incorporating the humanities into STEM education and the necessity of breaking down silos between disciplines to tackle pressing issues like AI and climate change.
Podcast in Higher Ed Spotlight

Through a car window in a Nairobi traffic jam, a view of global economics
History professor Kenda Mutongi observes a microcosm of global economic impacts while waiting for traffic to move during a trip to Kenya.
Story in The Washington Post

Understanding the role of the speaker of the House
Charles Stewart III, political science professor, speaks with journalist Soledad O'Brien about the role and history of the speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. 
Story in Matter of Fact

A provocative prescription for fixing US health insurance
Economics professor Amy Finkelstein speaks with Forbes about her new book, We've Got You Covered: Rebooting American Healthcare. 
Story in Forbes

In Argentina, the U.S. Dollar could soon become king
Economics professor Ivan Werning speaks with the New York Times about an Argentinian presidential candidate's proposal to adopt the dollar as its currency
Story in the New York Times

The three faces of Ataturk
Mustafa Kemal, who renamed himself "Ataturk", sought to outline a new vision for the future of Turkey. MIT history professor and director of the Women's and Gender Studies program Lerna Ekmekcioglu contributed to a discussion of Ataturk's legacy on NPR's Throughline podcast.
Podcast in Throughline


Tim the Beaver mascot (center) wearing a red and white balloon crown giving two thumbs up with four Fall Family Fair attendees holding plates of food

Tim the Beaver and four Fall Family Fair attendees celebrate good food and fun at MIT's Stratton Student Center. Photo: Allegra Boverman.

The Fall Family Fair offered a good time for the MIT community
Dozens of members of the MIT SHASS community gathered for food, fun, and festivities at the Stratton Student Center for the SHASS Fall Family Fair. The event, which launched with a welcome from SHASS Dean Agustin Rayo, featured face painting, sweet treats, a variety of culinary and cultural delights, and a special appearance from Tim the Beaver! 

A civil discourse on climate change
Philosophers at MIT have launched a project to foster civil discourseinside and outside college and university classrooms. The first forum, which focused on climate change, begins a series planned at MIT this year, part of an initiative meant to encourage the open exchange of ideas.

MIT Starr Forum panel examines Israel-Hamas conflict
A panel of experts at an MIT public event on November 1 evaluated the dynamics of the conflict, and discussed the elements that could be necessary for longer-term stability — while noting that any ideas about a lasting resolution are necessarily speculative.

Take a look at the SHASS event calendar


Update your health care options during open enrollment
It's time for Open Enrollment! MIT Benefits Open Enrollment for the 2024 calendar year is open now through November 17. Learn more about health plan changes including premiums, copays, deductibles, and other items of interest.

Do you use public transportation? MIT wants to hear from you.
Cambridge campus students, faculty and staff – please check your inbox for your invitation to complete the Commuter Survey, even if you don’t commute to campus. Once you submit the survey, you will be entered for a chance to win one of 500 $25 prizes, your choice of TechCASH or a donation in your name to a non-profit via the MIT Community Service Fund. We hope you will take 3-5 minutes to participate in this important survey that helps shape how the Institute, the city, and the state provide and evolve transportation services including parking, bike programs, bus, and MBTA services.

Published by SHASS Communications
Office of the Dean, MIT School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences
November 9, 2023
Benjamin Daniel, Communications Officer