Anthropology Research

This is a sample research listing page. At present, it includes both research pages and news items. The items shown below are those tagged with the research area "Anthropology." They are sorted by Post Date, most recent first. All tagged items are shown on one page.

This area at the top is the same as on other news archive pages - you can place multiple paragraphs and images and whatever.

The 2023 cohort with Prof. Helen Elaine Lee (left) and guide Pedro Moreira (center) at the Rio Museum of Art

MIT SHASS undergraduates study race, place, and modernity in Brazil

MIT undergraduates visit São Paulo for the Independent Activities Period (IAP) subject “Race, Place, and Modernity in the Americas. More

The Social Lives of Medical Objects

An anthropology course explores the unexpected social questions behind everyday medical devices   More

Broken jobs, broken media, and working-class voters 


Portrait of Professor Amy Moran-Thomas

Amy Moran-Thomas receives the Edgerton Faculty Achievement Award

Anthropologist recognized for interdisciplinary work on health, climate, and equity More

Portrait of MIT Professor Heather Paxson

Culture is a meaning-making practice
Heather Paxson, Wm. Kenan Jr. Professor of Anthropology

"Anthropologists originated the modern understanding of 'culture,' as describing a shared field of beliefs, values, and habituated ways of behaving that give meaning to daily life. What does anthropology have to say about “MIT culture”? More

portrait of Bettina Stoetzer, MIT anthropologist

Expanding imagination for a livable future

A conversation with MIT anthropologist Bettina Stoetzer about shaping a livable future, her new book, and her MIT class on "Gender, Race, and Environmental Justice." More

detail,We the People

A Sampler of MIT Research on U.S. Democracy

A distilled selection of key research, news, and media commentaries from the past year on the state of U.S. democracy, from scholars in MIT's humanities and social science fields. What can leaders and We, the People do to sustain our democracy? Prepared for 6 January 2022.  More

Black Lives Matter gathering

Sustaining the Momentum
Edited by M. Amah Edoh, MIT Professor of Anthropology and Liliane Umubyeyi, co-founder, the African Futures Lab

What will it take to sustain the momentum of movements for racial justice sparked in 2020? Ideas in a new essay collection co-edited by Amah Edoh, MIT Professor of Anthropology, and Liliane Umubyeyi, co-founder/co-director of the African Futures Lab. More

detail, glowing light

Three MIT SHASS faculty receive inaugural Fang Fund awards

Funding will support projects by Fotini Christia (political science); Martin Hackl (linguistics); and Graham Jones (anthropology).  More

Detail, Native American territories, Massachusett

Indigeneity at MIT | A Conversation with David Shane Lowry '03 ('07)

Dr. Lowry is the Distinguished Fellow in Native American Studies at MIT, tasked with leading a conversation at MIT about the actions and responsibilities of the Institute in the history and current realities of Native American communities. A member of the Lumbee Tribe who trained as an anthropologist at MIT, Lowry focuses his research on people and institutions that impact personal and cultural healing.   More

Webinar Series | History of Now: Plagues & Pandemics

In the spring of 2020, as people around the world confronted the daily reality of the Covid-19 pandemic, many wondered how previous generations navigated similar crises. At MIT, an interdisciplinary team of humanistic faculty explored this question in a course that broke ground as a live, free MIT class, held in an open public webinar format so that anyone who wanted to attend could do so, from anywhere in the world. More

portrait of Lia Hsu-Rodriguez '21

Lia Hsu-Rodriguez '21 | Anthropology + Biology
Health Care Equity 

Hsu-Rodriguez's vision is to use her dual expertise in Anthropology and Biology in the public health and public policy sector to reduce healthcare inequality. More

Portrait, Caroline White Nockleby, PhD student at MIT

Caroline White-Nockleby, PhD student in MIT HASTS

Research to surface and address the socio-environmental complexities of renewable energy: "Renewables must be collected, stored, and transported; they require financing, metals extraction, and the processing of decommissioned materials. Energy access, mining, and waste deposition are material, geographically situated dynamics. Not everyone stands to benefit equally from renewable energy's potentials, and not everyone will be equally exposed to its socioenvironmental impacts." More

American flag and stethoscope

What has the pandemic revealed about the U.S. healthcare system — and what needs to change?

Seven MIT scholars see lessons and opportunities for U.S. healthcare More

detail, Hurricane Hattie Belize; painting by 'Pen' Delvin Cayetano, 1996. ©2018 Artists Rights Society

On planetary change and human health

MIT anthropologist Amy Moran-Thomas reflects on the deep connection between planetary and human well-being: “When I think of health now, I think of the disarray in bigger ecosystems and infrastructures that is also landing in human bodies.” More

Heavy rains in Mongolia

Climate change linked to rise and fall of medieval nomadic empires

Paleoclimatology provides important context for examining the activities of historic human societies. Meanwhile, present-day Mongolia is experiencing devastating droughts and winter weather as a result of global climate change. More

columns and laurel bramch

MIT SHASS welcomes new faculty.

The School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences warmly welcomes 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. More

Prof Buyandelger in a protective mask

Masks can reveal new possibilities
Manduhai Buyandelger | Anthropology

"In shamanic rituals and in computer-mediated virtual reality, a mask conceals one identity to reveal new possibilities. Seen in this light, virus protection masks offer an opportunity to replace a visage of fear with a public expression of strength as a community." — Manduhai Buyandelger, MIT Associate Professor of Anthropology More

Man in pandemic mask

Series | The Meanings of Masks

As The Washington Post has reported, "at the heart of the dismal US coronavirus response" is a "fraught relationship with masks." In this series of short commentaries, MIT faculty delve into the historic, creative, and cultural meanings of masks, offering new ways to think about, appreciate, and practice protective masking — currently a primary way to save lives and to contain the Covid-19 pandemic. More

Protest Mask: I Can't Breathe

A collective cry for justice | Graham M. Jones

"The mask is one of the most important human artifacts in all of anthropology. It is a tool of transformation that allows its wearers to transcend themselves, taking on timeless roles in ritual dramas, and as actors in a broader social drama." More

matches burning, interrupted

Research + Resources for the Pandemic

Research and commentary from the MIT SHASS faculty and graduate students to inform policy and increase public understanding about the complex pandemic landscape. Content areas include the impacts of the pandemic on healthcare, the economy, education, the 2020 elections, daily life, and democracy. There is also a channel with music and other creative works that offer contemplative space, meaning, and uplift. More

Photo of MIT anthropologist Heather Paxson

Taking refuge in the kitchen

Heather Paxson talks with the Radcliffe Institute on how the pandemic is changing the ways we eat. More

portrait of MIT anthropologist Amah Edoh

MIT Anthropologist Amah Edoh receives Baker Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching

This Institute-wide award is given every year to an MIT faculty member, recognizing an “exceptional interest and ability in the instruction of undergraduates.” It is the only teaching award in which the nomination and selection of the recipients is done entirely by students.   More

Portrait of Professor Amy Moran-Thomas

Amy Moran-Thomas receives the 2020 Levitan Prize in the Humanities

The award will support her in-progress book, Mine: A Family History of Place, Race, and Planetary Health, which will "excavate the cultural histories and everyday social fabrics behind the deep sedimentation of American generational identities and fossil fuel legacies.” More

Portrait of anthropologist Manduhai Buhandelger

An ethnology of disruptions in Cambridge, MA

At American Ethnologist, MIT anthropologist Manduhai Buyandelger tracks racism, virtual realities, and world building in Cambridge during the Covid-19 pandemic More

Understanding law in everyday life

Susan Silbey, a pioneer in studying popular attitudes toward the legal system, discussed her research while giving MIT’s annual Killian Lecture. More

Timothy Loh, MIT doctoral student

Meet Timothy Loh, doctoral student in the MIT HASTS program

“MIT is the best place to be an anthropologist studying issues of science and technology. It’s a place where we’re able to think deeply and critically about how scientific knowledge and authority is constructed." More

Anthropology and Studio Art Class

The Technology of Enchantment

In a new Anthropology + Studio Art maker class, MIT students investigate the human dimensions of interacting with technologies.

Heather Paxson, MIT Professor of Anthropoogy

Anthropology | Heather Paxson

"Incorporating anthropological thinking into the new College of Computing promises to help students become more effective and responsible coders, designers, and engineers. The study of anthropology can prepare students to live and work effectively and responsibly in a world of technological, demographic, and cultural exchanges." More

Mens et Manus America Initiative | Portal

This non-partisan MIT initiative convenes research-informed lectures and discussions to explore the major, long-term social, political, and economic issues brought to light in the 2016 US presidential election. We are asking: What can MIT do to help address current challenges in the U.S., and bolster the health of our democracy? Join us as we frame the issues and generate ideas for making a positive impact. More

Communities in the Cloud

Anthropology PhD student Steven Gonzalez studies the Cloud from within. More

US Map - made of people

Election Insights 2018
Research-based perspectives from MIT

Commentaries on key issues along with a lively playlist—Music for the Midterms—and an Election Booklist of works selected by faculty as illuminating for this moment in American history. More

Anthropologist Stephan Helmreich conducts fieldwork aboard the FLIP ship

As part of his ongoing research on how scientists think about the world, Helmreich wanted to know: What are the changing theories, models, and technologies that physical oceanographers use to apprehend and understand waves? More

Stefan Helmreich awarded 2017 Staley Prize

“Some people call this the Pulitzer Prize of anthropology. The prize is selected by an anonymous committee of scholars. It's a very competitive process, there are very intense debates, and this book emerged as a unanimous favorite.” More

In search of a meaningful life

Popular MIT anthropology course offers contemplation and dialogue on life's big questions. More

At MIT, Arlie Hochschild discusses U.S. political divisions and finding common ground

The event centered on Hochschild's most recent book, Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right (The New Press, September 2016). More

In search of a meaningful life

Popular MIT anthropology course offers contemplation and dialogue on life's big questions. More

Why do women leave engineering?

Study co-authored by Susan Silbey, Professor of Anthropology: Women who go to college intending to become engineers stay in the profession less often than men. Why is this? While multiple reasons have been offered in the past, a new study develops a novel explanation: The negative group dynamics women tend to experience during team-based work projects makes the profession less appealing. More

What does an
of Science do?

Meet Stefan Helmreich. In his new research on wave science, acclaimed MIT anthropologist Helmreich shows how waves are not only facts of nature, but a phenomenon mediated by considerable scientific and cultural interpretation. Read more

The Exit Zero Project 

“If you really want to understand why there is this expanding class inequality in the United States, one of the places you have to look is the long-term impact of deindustrialization. We have to think historically about how we got into this position and how we can come out of it.”  — Christine Walley, MIT Associate Professor of Anthropology 

Full Story at MIT News  

How should food safety be determined?