Making a Just Society | Courses for MIT Undergraduates

Jordan Isler '19, Aerospace Engineering + Political Science; photo by Jon Sachs

Students may arrive in this class expecting to learn about a straightforward roadmap to justice. They emerge with a more complex, nuanced and useful map — one that shows how power operates, as well as the many forms that justice and injustice can take.


Major in American Studies
One aim of American Studies is to understand the underlying system of beliefs that informs every aspect of American culture — its myths, institutions, politics and literature, its characteristic dreams and rituals. Another is to understand the American present in relation to the American past.
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Black Matters: Introduction to Black Studies
An interdisciplinary survey that draws on history, literature, anthropology, legal studies, media studies, performance, linguistics, and creative writing. Connects the experiences of African-Americans and of other American minorities, focusing on social, political, and cultural histories.
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Minor in African and African Diaspora Studies
The Minor Program in African and African Diaspora Studies is designed for students interested in the cultures, history, and experiences of the peoples of African descent on the continent, or elsewhere. The minor includes study of socio-economic and political systems and the histories, languages, and literatures.
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Concentration in African and African Diaspora Studies
The concentration offers a variety of subjects on the history, culture and structure of societies of African descent throughout the world, with special emphasis on those of the United States and the Caribbean. Students focus critical and analytic attention on issues of concern to black communities of the Western hemisphere, gaining a greater appreciation of the dynamic nature of those communities, and an understanding of the historical, humanistic, political and social dimensions of ethnicity and race.
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Major in Asian and Asian Diaspora Studies
The major is designed for intensive research on the languages, history, politics, and cultures of Asia and/or the Asian diasporas. The geographic region of Asia includes countries such as Bangladesh, China, India, Japan, Korea, Mongolia, Pakistan, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Vietnam. The program provides balanced coverage of language, humanistic, and social science offerings on the region.
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Major in Latin American and Latino/a Studies
The major is designed for students interested in the language, history, politics, and culture of Latin America and of Hispanics living in the U.S. Students are encouraged to develop a program that is both international and comparative in perspective and that takes into account the heterogeneous cultural experiences of people living in the vast territory loosely termed Latin America, as well as of those people living in the United States who identify themselves as Latino/a.
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Women's and Gender Studies
Each level of study in WGS (concentration, major, minor) provides an academic framework for a fuller understanding of the ways in which gender and other constructs have shaped our understanding of ourselves and of the communities and world in which we live.
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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.  


The world as we think the world should be | Meet theater director Charlotte Brathwaite

Charlotte Brathwaite's theater works in response to today's culture of violence violence is inspired by James Baldwin's message of universal love: "If I love you," he said, "I have to make you conscious of the things you do not see."


MIT and the Legacy of Slavery Project
Stories, Videos, Community Dialogue

“I believe the work of this class is important to the present — and to the future. Something I have always loved about the MIT community is that we seek, and we face, facts. What can history teach us now, as we work to invent the future? How can we make sure that the technologies we invent will contribute to making a better world for all?"   — L. Rafael Reif, President of MIT


MIT grad students organize summer institute to increase diversity in the philosophy field.

The academic pursuit of philosophy (like many other fields) has a serious diversity problem. To help remedy the issue, three MIT philosophy graduate students have organized an innovative program that brought a diverse cohort of undergraduates to the MIT campus this summer, where the students explored the full range of options for pursuing an academic career in philosophy.


Writer Ta-Nehisi Coates dazzles during two years as Visiting Scholar


“What I tell my students is that you here at MIT have access to great knowledge—more knowledge than 99.9 percent of people who have ever been on planet Earth, and I think you have some sort of moral duty to learn how to communicate that. Knowledge is power; power shouldn’t be hoarded.”