Past Events

Past Events

May 8, 2024

MIT Anthro Tea

May 8, 2024 May 8 4-5pm Anthro HQ E53-335

Come relax with us and enjoy some fun conversation! No need to RSVP, just show up and bring your friends!




May 6, 2024

“Seeds of Guamuchil”: Feminist activism-research and a women’s prison writing project in Mexico with Rosalva Aída Hernandez

Rosalva Aída Hernandez

Radcliffe Institute (Harvard)

May 6, 2024 Monday, May 6 - 4-5:30pm Margaret Cheney Room, 3-308

Mexican anthropologist Aída Hernández, currently a Fellow at Harvard's Radcliffe Institute, will join us to discuss her feminist activism-research in Mexico through the work of a creative writing project for imprisoned women she has helped lead. The event will feature a screening of a short film about the project: Semillas de Guamúchil (“Five women who discover creative writing in prison share their poetry now in their life at large”). We hope you can join us!

Apr 30, 2024

Elan Abrell's talk "The Ethical and Methodological Challenges of Animal-Centered Ethnography"

Elan Abrell

Assistant Professor Environmental Studies, Animal Studies, and Science and Technology Studies at Wesleyan University

Apr 30, 2024 Tue, Apr 30 11am-12:15pm E53-354

As a relatively new and evolving field within anthropology, multispecies ethnography challenges traditional human-centric perspectives by engaging with the complex web of relationships between humans and non-human entities, including plants, fungi, and animals.

Apr 29, 2024

Spring 2024 A • H • STS Colloquium - Christopher Heaney "Trepanning Incas: Ancient Peruvian Surgery and American Anthropology's Monroe Doctrine"

Assistant Professor Christopher Heaney

Penn State

Apr 29, 2024 Monday, Apr 29 2024 4-5:30pm E51-095

This lecture reconstructs the process by which "Inca trepanation" became an accepted scientificfact, and the looting and trade in "Inca" and Andean ancestors and crania it relied upon to provide further museum "specimens" to prove or disprove Indigenous skill at this high-risk maneuver. Central to this process was the work of Andean collectors and Peruvian surgeons like the anthropologist Julio C. Tello, whose authority was sought but effaced by Americanist anthropologists in the United States.

Apr 10, 2024

Free Film Screening: "The AntiSocial Network: Memes to Mayhem" Q&A with Directors afterward

Apr 10, 2024 5:45 - 7:45 45-230

Join directors Giorgio Angelini and Arthur Jones for a Q&A moderated by Prof. Gabriella Coleman (Harvard) co-sponsored by MIT Anthropology, MIT Philosophy, and MIT Schwarzman College of Computing Social and Ethical Responsibilities of Computing

Apr 9, 2024

Jason De León Book Talk "Soldiers and Kings: Survival and Hope in the World of Human Smuggling"

Jason De León

Director Cotsen Institute of Archaeology | Professor of Anthropology and Chicana/o and Central American Studies UCLA

Apr 9, 2024 Tue, April 9 4-5:30pm 56-114

In this talk Jason De León will discuss his new book "Soldiers and Kings", a long-term ethnographic study focused on understanding the daily lives of Honduran smugglers who profit from transporting migrants across the length of Mexico. Using the stories of several smugglers, he examines the relationship between transnational gangs and the clandestine migration industry, as well as the difficulties of doing ethnography in this violent and ethically challenging context.

Apr 8, 2024

Pan-American Computing: Regional Integration and U.S. Corporate Power at the Origins of South American Computer Markets

Colette Perold

Assistant Professor of Media Studies at the University of Colorado Boulder

Apr 8, 2024 4:00-5:30 pm, Monday, April 8th The Nexus in Hayden Library, 14S-130

Part of A • H • STS speaker series:

This talk from Colette Perold analyzes the role of U.S. empire in the creation of South American markets for tabulating equipment and early mainframe computers. Grounded in two major programs—the 1940 Census of the Americas and the 1960s Latin American Free Trade Association—this talk explores the role of data integration and trade integration as two components of a regional strategy for U.S. corporate dominance over hemispheric tabulating and computing industries.

Apr 5, 2024

HOLLOW TREE - Documentary Film Screening and Q&A with director, producer, + 3 protagonists

Apr 5, 2024 Fri, April 5th 2:30-4:30pm The Nexus in Hayden Library, 14S-130

HOLLOW TREE follows three teenagers coming of age in their sinking homeland of Louisiana. Their different perspectives shape their story.

The screening will be followed by a conversation with Director Kira Akerman, Producer Monique Walton, and the 3 protagonists. The Q&A will be moderated by Dr. Kate Brown, Professor of History of Science at MIT’s Program in Science, Technology, and Society.  Seating is limited. Please register.

The event is sponsored by The Living Climate Futures Group at MIT.

Apr 4, 2024

Héctor Beltrán Book Talk "Code Work: Hacking across the US/México Techno-Borderlands" at UCBerkeley Center for Ethnographic Research

Héctor Beltrán

MIT Anthropology

Apr 4, 2024 Thu, April 4th 7-8:30pm EST (4-5:30pm PST) 470 Stephens Hall UC Berkeley / virtual

The Center for Ethnographic Research at UC Berkeley welcomes MIT Anthropology Class of 1957 Career Development Assistant Professor Héctor Beltrán for a discussion of his book, "Code Work: Hacking across the US/México Techno-Borderlands"

Apr 3, 2024

Anthro Tea

Apr 3, 2024 Wed Apr 3 4-5pm Anthro HQ E53-335

Come relax with us and enjoy some fun conversation! No need to RSVP; just show up and bring your friends!

Mar 15, 2024

"Prototyping anthro-engineering for sustainability education and solution-building at MIT and beyond" MCSC Friday Lunch

Mar 15, 2024 Mar 15 12- 1 pm MCSC Office 105 Broadway (Building NE36) on the 7th floor.

Hear from undergraduate students and instructors involved in the MCSC-supported seed award project, “Anthro-Engineering Decarbonization at the Million Person Scale,” about their efforts to bridge anthropology and engineering to explore the design of a culturally appropriate, affordable, and sustainable intervention to create a pathway to decarbonization in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, the coldest and most polluted capital city in the world.

Presenters: Iselle Barrios (’25), Dr. Lauren Bonilla (MIT Anthropology), Grace Gardner (’24), Madeline Hon (’24), Kiran Mak (’25), and Ella Trumper (’24)

Mar 14, 2024

Braiding Knowledges to Transform Science: Climate Change, Cultural Places, and Food Sovereignty research at the Center for Braiding Indigenous Knowledges and Science

Dr. Sonya Atalay

Visiting Professor in MIT Anthropology • Provost Professor of Anthropology at UMass-Amherst • Director, NSF Center for Braiding Indigenous Knowledges and Science

Mar 14, 2024 Thursday, March 14th 4-5:30pm, Reception to follow in Bldg 56 Lobby 5:30 - 6pm 56-114

How do we bring previously disparate ways of knowing, Indigenous Knowledge and “Western” or mainstream science, into right relationship with one another for mutual thriving of land and culture? At a time of accelerating environmental change and complex, overlapping challenges, we need a plurality of perspectives to innovate solutions. This talk focuses on work being carried out by a team of international, interdisciplinary, predominantly Indigenous scientists from the US, Canada, Australia, and Aotearoa/New Zealand as part of the newly funded Center for Braiding Indigenous Knowledges and Science. I’ll share how our team, which includes archaeologists; climate, environmental, and water scientists; scholars with expertise in Indigenous knowledge systems and education, foodways, and museums and heritage, are collaborating to explore ethical practices and protocols of braiding knowledges, the seeds for building new research worlds. The talk highlights efforts to bring braiding methodologies into mainstream scientific practice through a transdisciplinary approach that reflects Indigenous understandings of place in which the urgent and interconnected areas of climate change, cultural places, and food sovereignty and security are the focus.
Dr. Sonya Atalay (Anishinaabe-Ojibwe) is an Indigenous archaeologist, utilizing community-based participatory methods to conduct research in full partnership with Indigenous communities. Dr. Atalay’s scholarship crosses disciplinary boundaries, incorporating aspects of cultural anthropology, archaeology, critical heritage studies, and Native American and Indigenous Studies. She’s currently involved in producing a series of research-based comics about repatriation of Native American ancestral remains, return of sacred objects and objects of cultural patrimony under the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) law, and is Director of the NSF-funded, multinational Center for Braiding Indigenous Knowledges and Science (CBIKS)
Mar 13, 2024

MIT Anthro Tea!

Mar 13, 2024 March 13th, 4-5pm Anthro HQ E53-335

Come relax with us and enjoy some fun conversation! No need to RSVP; just show up and bring your friends!

Mar 11, 2024

Rose Salane: The Art of the Archive

Rose Salane


Mar 11, 2024 4:00-5:30 pm, Monday, March 11, 2024 Building 10, Room 150 (MIT Museum Studio—note this is under the dome, off lobby 10, not in the Museum)

In this casual conversation, New York-based artist Rose Salane will describe her archival approach to documenting the forces of attraction that draw objects together. Salane has exhibited her “dynamic sets of object accumulation” at MIT’s List Visual Arts Center, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and MASS MoCA, among many other museums and galleries. This short Art21 film introduces her practice.

Light refreshments will be served.

Questions? Contact Prof. Graham Jones (

Photo credit:

Feb 28, 2024

Department Talk Series: Dr. Amy Moran-Thomas "Oil in Stereo: Ancestry Through Infrastructure"

Amy Moran-Thomas

Feb 28, 2024 Feb 28 12:20-1:10pm Boston University CAS 426 at 725 Commonwealth ave

Oil in Stereo: Ancestry Through Infrastructure, an ethnography of oil histories in western Pennsylvania, brings the texture of a family album to the interior dilemmas and sensory technologies of ecological destruction. Populating the abstractions of settler colonialism and hydrocarbon toxicity with the jarring intimacy of a kinship story, this genre experiment reflects on planetary health, questions of “slow violence” and intergenerational responsibility from the grounding of combustible family histories.
Feb 14, 2024

MIT Anthro Tea

Feb 14, 2024 Feb 14, 4-5pm Anthro HQ E53-335

Come relax with your friends and enjoy some conversation! No need to RSVP; just show up and bring your friends!

Feb 2, 2024

Talk by Stefan Helmreich "Ocean Waves Dangerous, Domesticated, and Diagnostic" for Anthropology of the Seas EASA Network - Webinar series

Stefan Helmreich

MIT Anthropology

Feb 2, 2024 Feb 2, 2024 3-5pm CET / 9-11am EST Zoom

Ocean waves of relentless approach have long been objects of apprehension and fear. From mariner folklore to literature to Hollywood films, oncoming waves — both outsized and unremitting — have been forces and symbols of, variously, nature unbound and social planning unprepared. How do coastal engineers and marine scientists understand such entities? This talk will center attention on how ocean waves become objects of measure, monitoring, and modeling and in the process, entities whose frightening dimensions might yield to prediction and control. The talk will offer case studies from wave research centers in the Netherlands, Oregon, and Bangladesh. Amplified waves emerge as avatars of the Thallasocene, forces and forms diagnostic of the age of a rising ocean.

Dec 6, 2023

Anthro Tea!

Dec 6, 2023 Dec 6 2023 4-5pm E53-335

Join MIT Anthropology for The Last Anthro Tea of Fall Semester 2023!

Wed 12/6, 4-5pm, E53-335

Come relax with us and enjoy some fun conversation! No need to RSVP, just show up and bring your friends!

Dec 5, 2023

Christine Taylor-Butler's MLK Scholar Presentation: "The Importance of Dreaming: Why Diversity Matters in STEM and Children’s Literature"

Christine Taylor-Butler

MIT Alumna ('81) + Current MLK Scholar

Dec 5, 2023 Dec 5 2023 12-1pm Hybrid

Synopsis: Christine Taylor-Butler, ‘81, MLK Visiting Scholar and author of children’s literature, shares her journey from living in an urban environment where systemic barriers limited access to opportunities to writing as an act of civil disobedience. Despite advances in education, students from urban and rural areas are still entering kindergarten with lower STEM literacy levels and are unable to make up the gap by grade twelve. She’ll discuss the importance of integrating STEM into all aspects of literature, the barriers that still remain in children’s publishing, and how books often fuel the “dreaming’ that helps children see potential beyond the boundaries of their neighborhoods.

Dec 1, 2023

Directions of Polarization, Social Norms, and Trust in Societies: Perspectives from behavioral sciences

Dec 1, 2023 Dec 1 2023 9AM - Dec 2 2023 5:30PM Wong Auditorium, Tang Center, MIT, 70 Memorial Dr, Cambridge, MA 02142, USA

MIT Anthropology Professor Manduhai Buyandelger will be giving a talk:  "Why Do Mongolians Love Elections? Electable Selves, Campaigning, and New Economies of Democratization"  for Session 3 4:30-6pm on December 1st, 2023.

Full Program Here

Buy Tickets Here