Past Events

Past Events

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

Nov 3, 2023

Drawn Together: An Evening with Lynda Barry

Lynda Barry

Cartoonist | Associate Professor of Art and Discovery Fellow at University of Wisconsin Madison.

Nov 3, 2023 6:00-7:30 pm MIT Museum, 314 Main Street

Why is there such a striking similarity between the lines drawn on paper by children who are in the middle of getting or explaining an idea, and the white board lines made by scientists who are doing the same thing?

Explore questions of representational and other kinds of drawing with cartoonist Lynda Barry, and discover how this powerful tool of connecting through a different way of thinking, seeing and being is right at our fingertips.

November 3, 2023     6:00-7:30 pm
$15 General Public   $5 MIT ID holders


Co-produced by the MIT Center for Art, Science & Technology (CAST), Morningside Academy for Design, MITx, MIT SHASS De Florez Fund For Humor,and MIT Anthropology.

Oct 5, 2023

Book Party Celebrating Stefan Helmreich's "A Book of Waves" Thu Oct 5 4-6pm

Oct 5, 2023 Thu Oct 5 2023 4-6pm @ Shore School, MIT Sailing Pavilion, Bldg 51, 134 Memorial Drive

Join MIT Anthropology to celebrate Stefan Helmreich's latest book, A Book of Waves.

Thursday, October 5, 4pm-6pm

@ Shore School, MIT Sailing Pavilion
Building 51
134 Memorial Drive

Oct 4, 2023

Anthro Tea!

Oct 4, 2023 4:00-5:00pm E53-335

Come join us for some fun conversation! No need to RSVP: just show up and bring your friends :D

Oct 2, 2023

Fall Colloquium with Aslı Zengin, Ph.D. "Violent Intimacies: The Trans Everyday, Extralegality and Police Violence in Turkey"

Aslı Zengin, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor | Rutgers University | Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Oct 2, 2023 4:00-5:30pm Rm. 14S-130 The Nexus, Hayden Library

MIT Anthropology • History at MIT •  MIT STS Colloquium:

"Violent Intimacies: The Trans Everyday, Extralegality and Police Violence in Turkey"  with Aslı Zengin, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor  | Rutgers University | Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies


This lecture examines the space of extralegality by centering trans women’s narratives of their past and present experiences of violence with the police in Istanbul over the past forty years. I deploy the concept of extralegality to discuss the sexual and gendered repertoire of security and the penal resources of the police, which, most of the time, occupy an ambiguous zone between the legal and the illegal. An examination of the changing relations (forms of conduct and contact) between the police and trans people—the disciplinary, regulatory, and punitive practices of the police regarding trans women’s lives, bodies, and sexual practices—helps us understand how sex/gender transgression, particularly transness, has constantly been a key extralegal site for the state to produce, enact, shape, and reinvent its regime of security through varying configurations of violence.  


Sep 29, 2023

MIT Museum Lunch & Learn with MIT Anthro MLK Scholar Christine Taylor Butler: "Who's the Villain? Raising the Stakes in Children's Literature"

Christine Taylor Butler

Sep 29, 2023 Friday, September 29, 12–1pm MIT Museum

In fiction, writers and readers often focus on the hero’s journey. But protagonists don’t always start as heroes. They’re reluctantly shaped and molded by the obstacles they face along the way. What’s a good story without an equally strong antagonist? Join MIT MLK visiting scholar Christine Taylor-Butler for a discussion on the role of villains in children’s storytelling and the multiple forms used in advancing the plot and raising the stakes. The motivations or lack thereof might surprise you.

Sep 22, 2023

Thinking After Latour: A Harvard + MIT Symposium

Sep 22, 2023 Sept 22 9:30AM-5:00PM + Sept 23 9:30AM-5:00PM Sept 22: Harvard BARKER CENTER, 12 Quincy St. Sept 23: MIT, MEDIA LAB, 75 Amherst St.

This September occasion is aimed at convening a group of remarkable scholars from across the disciplines—philosophy, history, ethnography, anthropology, sociology, colonial and indigenous studies, history of architecture, history of art, history of science, medicine, technology/STS, theater, and environmental studies—to see how we think back, and ahead, with the arc of Bruno Latour’s work.

The venue for the first day of the symposium is the Harvard Humanities Center, at 12 Quincy Street in Harvard Square; the venue for the second day is the MIT Media Lab, at 75 Amherst Street in Cambridge. A detailed program will be published shortly.

Session 1 (Friday Morning, Harvard): Contexts and Fields

  • “We have always been Modern! But you haven’t.” Projit Mukharji , Antoine Picon 
  • “A Serious Man”Steven Shapin, Isabelle Stengers 

Session 2 (Friday Afternoon, Harvard): Environment: Lab & Beyond Lab

  • “What’s in it for the Algae?” Leah Aronowsky
  • “Staging Sensitivity: Latour and the Strategies of Global Climate Science” Deborah Coen, Hélène Mialet
  • “Thinking with Hybrids: Pathogens, Disease, History, Coloniality” Amit Prasad

Session 3 (Saturday Morning, MIT) : Gaia without Purity Frédérique Aït-Touati, Paul Edwards, Naomi Oreskes, Anna Tsing  

Session 4 (Saturday Afternoon, MIT): Methods: Natural Science–Social Science–Arts Stefan Helmreich

  • “Crunchy Concepts, Slippery Angels; Thinking with Art after Latour”, Caroline Jones, Joseph Koerner, Michèle Lamont 
Sep 21, 2023

Designing the Impossible: The Magic and Creative Solutions Workshop

Jeannette Andrews

Sep 21, 2023 10:00 am-12:00 pm MIT Museum

Through her years of researching magic history, celebrated magician, artist and researcher Jeanette Andrews has developed specific magical methods for utilizing existing tools and strategies in unusual ways.

This workshop employs the design thinking seen in magic to rethink the world around us. Andrews will teach a magic effect based on Gestalt psychology and contemporary neuroscience that discusses how perceptual assumptions can help to create a desired effect.


Registration Seating is limited. Advance registration is strongly encouraged.

Register hereAges 18+ only

$30 General Public
$10 MIT ID holders

Sep 20, 2023

On Wonder: In Plain Listen

Jeannette Andrews

Sep 20, 2023 7:00-8:30pm MIT Museum

This two-part event is guided by celebrated artist, magician and researcher Jeanette Andrews.

The evening will begin with the Boston / MIT premiere of Andrews’ “In Plain Listen,” which uses a Morse-code-based musical notation system to create a musical score depicting the secret of one of the oldest pieces of magic in history purely in music form, performed in tandem with the original magic effect. MIT PhD student Valerie Chen will accompany on cello. “In Plain Listen” was originally commissioned and funded by the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts at the University of Houston.

A performed dialogue about the evolution of magic as a performance form will follow. Jeanette will then present pieces from her repertoire and be joined by Professor of Anthropology Graham M. Jones and Professor of Computer Science Arvind Satyanarayan in a conversation about magic, culture and visual communication.


Registration Ages 16+ Seating is limited. Advance purchase is recommended. Register here.

$15 General Public
$5 MIT ID holders

Sep 20, 2023

Anthro Tea!

Sep 20, 2023 4:00-5:00pm E53-335

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

Sep 18, 2023

Fall Colloquium with Dr. Sherine Farouk Hamdy "Comics and Multimodal Anthropology"

Dr. Sherine Farouk Hamdy

Professor, Anthropology | UC Irvine

Sep 18, 2023 4:00-5:30pm Rm E51-095

MIT Anthropology • History at MIT •  MIT STS Colloquium:

"Comics and Multimodal Anthropology" with Dr. Sherine Farouk Hamdy 

Professor, Anthropology | UC Irvine


In this talk, Sherine Hamdy will discuss how and why comics lend themselves to ethnographic research and analysis. Drawing on her own collaboration with artists, and on the work of feminist comics artists from the Arab world, the talk will consider the affordances of comics as a medium and what it brings more generally to both visual and medical anthropology. 

Sep 6, 2023

Anthro Tea!

Sep 6, 2023 4:00-5:00pm E53-335

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

May 10, 2023

Anthro Tea!

May 10, 2023 4:00-5:00pm E53-335

Come relax with us and enjoy some fun conversation: no need to RSVP!

Apr 26, 2023

Anthro Tea!

Apr 26, 2023 4:00-5:00pm E53-335

Come relax with us and enjoy some fun conversation: no need to RSVP!

Apr 25, 2023

Legacies of Coal: In Search of a Just Transition

Apr 25, 2023 Tue, April 25th, 11:30 AM - 1:30 PM 14S-130, The Nexus, Hayden Library

Sponsored by the MIT Climate Nucleus, co-hosted by the Environmental Solutions Initiative and MIT Anthropology


Mike Belding (Greene County, County Commissioner)
Veronica Coptis (Center for Coalfield Justice, former Executive Director)
Tonya Yoders (CCJ, Community Organizer for Greene County)

Registration link

This panel intends to illuminate local nuances in visions for the future of the region, and perhaps lead to brainstorming for research and/or policy that can support their interests - allowing for a dialogue where community partners know what capacity MIT has, and MIT begins to understand its role in public engagement. Greene County is one of the most salient examples of an at-risk region for climate injustices during the energy transition, and is a primary area of focus for ESI’s research.



Apr 10, 2023

Dr. Laurence Ralph Colloquium: "Juvenile Murder, Vengeance, and Grief"

Dr. Laurence Ralph

Princeton University

Apr 10, 2023 4:00-5:30pm 14S-130, The Nexus, Hayden Library

This talk will examine the ramifications of juvenile incarceration. A central focus of my discussion will be juvenile murder, as I discuss two separate, yet interrelated, cases in which teenage boys of color were killed by their peers. I ask: How does a victim’s family heal from homicide?