Past Events

Past Events

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?


Apr 6, 2023

MIT Anthropology Book Party!

Apr 6, 2023 4:00-6:00pm Salon West, Samberg Center


Celebrating works by: Manduhai Buyandelger | Stefan Helmreich | Amy Moran-Thomas | Heather Paxson |  Bettina Stoetzer


April 6th , 4 - 6pm, Salon West, Samberg Center

Apr 5, 2023

Anthro Tea!

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

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

Mar 22, 2023

Anthro Tea!

Mar 22, 2023 4:00-5:00pm E53-335

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

Mar 13, 2023

Colloquium: Dr. Michael J. Hathaway "Forays in Decolonizing Biology: Thinking about What Mushrooms Live For"

Dr. Michael J. Hathaway

Simon Fraser University

Mar 13, 2023 4:00-5:30pm 14S-130, The Nexus, Hayden Library

In this talk, Michael will provide an introduction to his latest book, What a Mushroom Lives For: Matsutake and the Worlds They Make, which was just published by Princeton University Press. For this STS and Anthropology-oriented audience at MIT, he will explore how we might explore the legacy of Enlightenment thinking and the English language in shaping the emergence of the discipline of biology.

Mar 8, 2023

Anthro Tea!

Mar 8, 2023 4:00-5:00pm E53-335

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

Mar 1, 2023

Stefan Helmreich MITx Panel "Encouraging Students to Share their Perspectives & Questions on Course Topics"

Mar 1, 2023 March 1, 11:30a-12:30p 36-144

MIT Open Learning Residential Education xTalks:  Learn how colleagues foster a community where students share different perspectives and ask questions to further their learning, and what digital tools support these efforts.

  • Stefan Helmreich, Elting E. Morison Professor of Anthropology, who will share his experience in 21A.500, 21A.303, 21A.505.
  • Maxine Jonas, Senior Lecturer in Biological Engineering, and Biological Engineering Communication Lab Fellow, who will share her experience in 20.309.

Residential Education staff will be available to share technical and pedagogical practices to support student learning. Attendees are welcome to participate in Q&A, and share their experience.

Feb 22, 2023

Anthro Tea!

Feb 22, 2023 4:00-5:00pm E53-335

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

Feb 16, 2023

Symbionts exhibition walk-through at MIT List, followed by dual book launch of Symbionts and What Is Life?

Feb 16, 2023 3pm: Symbionts Walkthrough, 4pm: Book Launch Party MIT List Visual Arts Center, The Cube (E15-001)

with Caroline A. Jones, Stefan Helmreich, and Sophia Roosth

Feb 8, 2023

Anthro Tea!

Feb 8, 2023 4:00-5:00pm E53-335

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