Recent News

Recent News

2022 GAD New Directions Awards: Christine J. Walley wins Honorable Mention

Amercian Anthropological Association Communities | Katie Nelson

August 25, 2022

2022 NEW DIRECTIONS AWARD - GROUP CATEGORY | Honorable Mention: Southeast Chicago Archive and Storytelling Project (SECASP)

Christine J. Walley, Director, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

 

The recently launched Southeast Chicago Archive and Storytelling Project (SECASP) (sechicagohistory.org)  is an online collaborative venture. It highlights materials donated to the all-volunteer Southeast Chicago Historical Museum by the multiracial working-class residents who historically settled in this former steel mill region. The website uses residents' saved objects – and the stories they told about them – to bring to life everyday experiences of work, immigration, job loss, and environmental contamination from the point of view of residents themselves. Offering an innovative perspective on visual and public anthropology traditions, the project takes a multimodal and collaborative approach to creating intergenerational conversation about working-class history and experience. The website includes four mini-documentaries or "Storylines" (including Mexican-American Journeys and The Memorial Day Massacre) as well as a Digital Archive (with 13 featured curations on topics such as "Black Experience in the Mills," "Women at Work," and "Union Life"). The website emerged after anthropologist and former Southeast Chicago resident Chris Walley and filmmaker Chris Boebel proposed the collaboration to Museum volunteers. The site has been created by a project team, including Creative Director Jeff Soyk, in conjunction with the Museum and community residents.

 

The GAD Awards Committee acknowledges the creativity, innovation, and broad dissemination of anthropological insights of SECASP, a collaborative digital project that exposes the public to the history and material culture of Chicago's ethnically diverse working-class neighborhoods.

 

MIT Anthropology's Prof. Graham Jones one of 2022 Bose Grant awardees

Aaron Braddock | Office of the Provost | MIT News

June 13, 2022

MIT Provost Cynthia Barnhart has announced three Professor Amar G. Bose Research Grants to support bold research projects across diverse areas of study including biology, engineering, and the humanities.

Among this year's recipients are Graham Jones of the Anthropology Section and Arvind Satayanaryan of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS). Their “Magical Data Visualization” proposal uses performance magic to create new visualizations that are responsive to the users’ intent, potentially impacting how misinformation spreads. 

 

Manduhai Buyandelger among inaugural MCSC Seed Award Recipients

Molly Chase | Climate and Sustainability Consortium | MIT News

May 23, 2022

The MIT Climate and Sustainability Consortium (MCSC) has awarded 20 projects a total of $5 million over two years in its first-ever 2022 MCSC Seed Awards program. The winning projects are led by principal investigators across all five of MIT’s schools.

The goal of the MCSC seed awards is to engage MIT researchers and link the economy-wide work of the consortium to ongoing and emerging climate and sustainability efforts across campus. The program offers further opportunity to build networks among the awarded projects to deepen the impact of each and ensure the total is greater than the sum of its parts.

Social dimensions and adaptation

  • Anthro-Engineering Decarbonization at the Million-Person Scale, Manduhai Buyandelger, professor in the Anthropology Program; Michael Short, Class of ’42 Associate Professor of Nuclear Science and Engineering in the Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering

 

In Memoriam | Arthur Steinberg, 1937-2022

Writers: Frederica Steinberg and Jean Jackson, Professor of Anthropology emerita | Edited by MIT SHASS Communications

May 12, 2022

 

Arthur Richard Steinberg, a nationally recognized educator  and professor emeritus of anthropology at MIT, died April 3, 2022. He was 85. A cofounder of the Center for Materials Research in Archaeology and Ethnology as well as the founder of an innovative interdisciplinary program for MIT’s first-year students, Steinberg had been a faculty member at the Institute for 38 years when he retired in 2002.

Living Climate Futures Event Shows a Holistic Way Forward in Climate Fight

article by Stephanie M. McPherson

May 2, 2022

The sun shone bright and warm on the Dertouzos Amphitheater at the Stata Center this past Earth Day. A banner stating “Our Future is Fossil Free — Divest Now” waved from between two trees as a panel of Indigenous leaders and thinkers from across the country talked about their experiences with climate activism and their worldviews that place humanity as one with the rest of the Earth.

 

Read the full story here

Amy Moran-Thomas receives the Edgerton Faculty Achievement Award

Story prepared by MIT SHASS Communications | Senior Writer: Kathryn O'Neill | Editorial and Design Director: Emily Hiestand

April 26, 2022

MIT anthropologist Moran-Thomas “stands out in this field by bringing a humanistic approach into dialogue with environmental and science studies to investigate how bodily health is shaped by social well-being at the community level and further conditioned by localized planetary imbalances." 
— from the Edgerton Award Selection Committee statement

 

Amy Moran-Thomas, the Alfred Henry and Jean Morrison Hayes Career Development Associate Professor of Anthropology, has received the 2021-22 Harold E. Edgerton Faculty Achievement Award in recognition of her “exceptional commitment to innovative and collaborative interdisciplinary approaches to resolving inequitable impacts on human health,” according to a statement released today by the 2019-20 Edgerton Award Selection Committee.

"Culture is a meaning-making practice" - Heather Paxson in "Said and Done"

Heather Paxson | SHASS "Said and Done" Magazine | photo by Allegra Boverman

April 15, 2022

Series: Points of View | On Culture

In this ongoing series sponsored by the Office of Tracie Jones, MIT SHASS Assistant Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, faculty and staff in MIT's humanistic fields share ideas, stories, and research-based commentary on the nature of culture and their experiences as part of the MIT community. We are honored that this inaugural commentary for the series is from Heather Paxson, the William Kenan Professor of Anthropology, head of MIT Anthropology, and a MacVicar Faculty Fellow. In this commentary, Professor Paxson provides some foundational thinking about how her field of anthropology — the scientific study of humanity including societies, behavior, cultural meaning, norms, and values — understands the concept of culture. 

"Expanding imagination for a livable future" - A conversation with Bettina Stoetzer in "Said and Done"

Interview by MIT SHASS Communications | MIT SHASS Said and Done Magazine

March 9, 2022

Series: Solving Climate | Humanistic Perspectives from MIT

In this ongoing series, MIT faculty, students, and alumni in the humanistic fields share perspectives that are significant for solving climate change and mitigating its myriad social and ecological impacts. Bettina Stoetzer is the Class of 1948 Career Development Associate Professor of Anthropology at MIT; her research combines perspectives on ecology and environmental change with an analysis of migration, race, and social justice. Here she shares insights from anthropology and from her forthcoming book, Ruderal City: Ecologies of Migration and Urban Life in Berlin (Duke University Press, 2022).

 

M. Amah Edoh's innovative course 21A.S01 makes University World News: "Global MIT reparations course takes open learning to new level"

Sharon Dell | University World News

November 12, 2021

“Education benefits when people with diverse backgrounds and different personal experiences are drawn into the conversation.”

That’s the premise posited for what has been described as an “audacious educational experiment” to be offered by Massachusetts Institute of Technology anthropology Professor M Amah Edoh.

The goal, according to MIT OpenCourseWare (OCW) Digital Publication Specialist Peter Chipman, who takes credit for this story’s opening statement, is to make open education “a two-way street” in which “the educational resources that emerge from classroom conversations at MIT are informed by the knowledge and experiences of people beyond the institute’s walls”. ... Chipman describes Edoh’s course format as a “first” for OCW. For 20 years, MIT’s OCW has been sharing content from some of the world’s top academics on its platform, openly and freely.

3 Questions: An anthropologist and a filmmaker on working-class lives in Chicago

Peter Dizikes | MIT News Office

September 22, 2021

The steel industry in the U.S. shrank dramatically in the 1970s and 1980s, with profound effects on the country’s industrial workforce. Suddenly, blue-collar workers who had spent their careers in the mills — often as part of multigenerational steelworking families — found themselves unable to earn a living as communities around them suffered and people lost the middle-class lives they had been fashioning. That process was chronicled in MIT anthropologist Christine Walley’s 2013 book “Exit Zero,” a case study of her own father’s travails as a southeast Chicago steelworker whose employer shut its mill in 1980. Walley’s husband, Chris Boebel, a filmmaker by training and media development director for MIT Open Learning, directed a documentary by the same name.