Past Events

Past Events

Jan 31, 2023
Jan 27, 2023

Ikaika Ramones lecture: "Rulers and Ruffians: Indigenous “Class Eugenics” in Hawaiʻi"

Ikaika Ramones

New York University

Jan 27, 2023 Friday 1/27 2:00-3:30PM E51-095

Jan 25, 2023

Akil Fletcher lecture - "Black Fantasy: Reformatting Black Identity in Final Fantasy XIV"

Akil Fletcher

University of California, Irvine

Jan 25, 2023 Wed 1/25, 11:00 AM -12:30 PM E51-095

Jan 23, 2023

Dina Asfaha lecture "Organic Clinicians and the Underground Hospital Network"

Dina Asfaha

University of Pennsylvania

Jan 23, 2023 Mon 1/23 2:00-3:30 PM E51-095

Dec 13, 2022

MIT WGS "Articulating Abortion" Series: Abortion Rights as Human Rights: The Continuing Fight for Reproductive Justice

Zakiya Luna, Dean's Distinguished Professorial Scholar

Department of Sociology at Washington University in St. Louis

Dec 13, 2022 Tuesday, December 13, 2022 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM 3-133

The Women's & Gender Studies presents the year-long Articulating Abortion series. It is with great honor we will welcome Professor Zakiya Luna to MIT campus. Professor Luna will defend reproductive rights as human rights.

Nov 28, 2022

Xenia Cherkaev Book Talk "Gleaning for Communism: The Soviet Socialist Household in Theory and Practice"

Xenia Cherkaev

Higher School of Economics, St. Petersburg

Nov 28, 2022 Mon, Nov. 28, 4-5:30PM 14S-130, The Nexus, Hayden Library

Xenia Cherkaev will speak about her forthcoming book Gleaning for Communism: The Soviet Socialist Household in Theory and Practice (Cornell UP 2023). The book tells a radically new story of how the Soviet system functioned and why it failed. Mediating between today’s popular narratives of “Soviet times” and the ownership categories of Soviet civil law, it shows the Soviet Union as an explicitly illiberal modern project, reliant in theory and fact on collectivist ethics. A historical ethnography, its narrative begins in the 2010s with former Leningrad residents’ stories of gleaning industrial scrap from worksites. Placing these stories in conversation with Soviet legal theories of property and with economic, political and social history, this book shows the Soviet Union as a “socialist household economy,” whose members were guaranteed “personal” rights to a commons of socialist property rather than private possessions. It traces the development of such “personal” rights though three historically significant turns – during the 1930s, 1960s and 1980s – and shows how the Soviet project unfolded in dialogue with contemporaneous neoliberal thought in one overarching debate about the possibility of a collectivist modern life.

Nov 16, 2022

MIT WGS "Articulating Abortion" Series: Race in the Roberts Court: Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization

Khiara M. Bridges

UC Berkeley School of Law

Nov 16, 2022 Wednesday, November 16, 2022, 4:30 PM - 6:30 PM 4-231

The Women's & Gender Studies presents the year-long Articulating Abortion series. It is with great honor we will welcome Professor Khiara M. Bridges to MIT campus. Professor Bridges will excavate the role of race in the Court's decision in Dobbs to reverse Roe v. Wade.

Oct 27, 2022

Cross-STS Series: "Food, Farms, and Factories: Transformations of the Industrial?"

Oct 27, 2022 Thursday, October 27, 2022, 4:30-6:00PM E51-095

with Alex Blanchette, Tufts Anthropology, and Deborah Fitzgerald, MIT STS

Join us for a roundtable discussion as we explore what makes industrialized food production so enduring. Together, we will think through agricultural pasts and futures, with an eye toward the ethics of making and eating food on a climate-changing planet.


Oct 26, 2022

AAA Anthropology Live: Online Event Series "The Stories We Tell — The Southeast Chicago Archive & Storytelling Project"

Oct 26, 2022 Wednesday, October 26, 2022, 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM Virtual

The Southeast Chicago Archive and Storytelling Project uses objects and stories donated by diverse residents of a former steel mill community in order to explore the transformation in what it means to be “working class” in the United States. This digital project includes mini-documentaries or interactive “storylines” created from these donated objects. The storylines explore such topics as experiences of immigration, historic union conflicts, the social impact of the mill closings, and environmental activism in a contemporary deindustrialized landscape. The discussion will focus on The Memorial Day Massacre storyline which explores one of the most famous events in U.S. labor history in which ten strikers were killed by Chicago police in 1937.

Oct 24, 2022

Fall 2022 Speaker Series: Mitali Thakor (HASTS '16), Artificial Intimacies: Eldercare Robots and Animate Companionship

Mitali Thakor, PhD. (HASTS '16)

Wesleyan University

Oct 24, 2022 Monday, October 24, 2022 4:00PM - 5:30PM 14S-130, The Nexus, Hayden Library

The demand for service robots has increased with the COVID-19 pandemic, and one of the primary sites for development of such robots is in eldercare nursing. Eldercare robots seem to promise a continuation of care not otherwise possible under current medical infrastructures in the US. These robots purport to stave off loneliness, provide a watchful eye to alert family members and emergency medical personnel, and enhance clients’ therapeutic care by engaging memory recall and language skill

Oct 17, 2022

Anthro Tea!

Oct 17, 2022 Monday, October 17, 2022 4:00PM - 5:00PM E53-335

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

Apr 27, 2022

Malcom Ferdinand: Climate Justice and Decolonial Ecologies

Malcom Ferdinand

Apr 27, 2022 April 27, 5:30-7pm Stata Center, MIT Building 32, Room 32-141

MIT Anthropology and French+ Programs present a book talk:

Malcom Ferdinand presents his new book, "Decolonial Ecology: Thinking from the Caribbean World"

Wednesday, April 27, 2022, 5:30 - 7:00pm

Room 32-141 (map)

Register on Eventbrite


Apr 22, 2022

Living Climate Futures

Apr 22, 2022 April 22 & 23 2022 MIT, various locations

Friday - Saturday, 22 - 23 April 2022

Living Climate Futures culminates in a two-day symposium of events and activities, April 22-23. Some events are open to the public and require Tim Tickets (see FAQ). Others are for the MIT community (preference to students) and community partners only.

Sign up on Eventbrite!

Jan 20, 2022

Graham Jones presenting: "Reviewer meets Reviewed: Magic’s reason: an anthropology of analogy" - A virtual seminar series of the Royal Anthropological Society

Graham Jones

MIT Anthropology

Jan 20, 2022 Thursday 20 January 2022 at 4.00-6.00pm (London/BST), 11am-1pm (Cambridge/EST) Virtual

The British Museum’s Anthropology Library and Research Centre, in conjunction with the Royal Anthropological Institute, is pleased to present ‘Reviewer meets Reviewed’, a discussion between author Professor Graham Jones  (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and reviewer Dr Katherine Swancutt  (Kings College London).

Thursday 20 January 2022 at 4.00-6.00pm (BST)

This webinar will be held on Zoom. Please register here:

In Magic's Reason, Graham M. Jones tells the entwined stories of anthropology and entertainment magic.

Nov 11, 2021

Héctor Beltrán presents "Making Latinx Makers" at Northwestern University Center for Latinx Digital Media Virtual Seminar

Héctor Beltrán

MIT Anthropology

Nov 11, 2021 11am-12pm ET, 12pm-1pm CT Virtual

Throughout the academic year, the Center for Latinx Digital Media invites you to a series of weekly seminars held over Zoom on Thursdays. You can now register (click here) to the next seminar of the Fall 2021 quarter, happening next Thursday, November 11 at 12-1 PM US CT. Professor Héctor Beltrán (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) will give a presentation entitled “Making Latinx Makers.”

Abstract: Popular “diversity in tech” discourse proposes ways to encourage “different” participants to join events aimed at empowering these communities through technology. Here I examine ethnographically how members of racialized groups are called upon to manage these differences themselves within maker and hacker collectives. To explore constructions of Latinidad within makerspaces I bring together scholarship on prototypes and participatory models with conceptual work on incompleteness advanced by Latinx Studies scholars.

Héctor Beltrán is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at MIT. He is a sociocultural anthropologist who draws upon his background in computer science to understand how the technical aspects of computing intersect with issues of identity, race, ethnicity, class, and nation.

This event is co-sponsored by the Alice Kaplan Institute for the Humanities, the Buffett Institute for Global Affairs, the Center for Global Culture and Communication, the Department of Communication Studies, the Department of Radio/Television/Film, the Latin American and Caribbean Studies Program, and the Latina and Latino Studies Program.

Register here:

Learn more information on the Center's website:

Oct 12, 2021

AI (Artificial Indigeneity): re-mattering Native America in an age of technological settling

David Shane Lowry

Distinguished Fellow, History MIT

Oct 12, 2021 Tuesday, October 12, 3:30-5:00pm Room E51-095

AI (Artificial Indigeneity): re-mattering Native America in an age of technological settling

David Shane Lowry, Distinguished Fellow, History MIT

Tuesday October 12, 3:30-5:00pm

Room E51-095

Sep 29, 2021

La Borinqueña book exhibition and talk with author, creator, graphic novelist, and illustrator, Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez

Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez

Sep 29, 2021 Wed. Sept. 29th at 7pm W20-307

The Association of Puerto Ricans at MIT, Latino Cultural Center, and Office of Multicultural Programs present:

La Borinqueña book exhibition and talk with author, creator, graphic novelist, and illustrator, Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez.

Wed. Sept. 29th at 7pm

Room W20-307

Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez is the writer and creator of the critically acclaimed and best-selling graphic novel La Borinqueña.

Learn the story of the superhero La Borinqueña, a student at Columbia University named Marisol Rios De La Luz majoring in Earth and Environmental Sciences.  During her study abroad trip to Puerto Rico, Marisol makes a discovery that gives her superhuman strength while exploring the island's caves, transforming her into La Borinqueña.

Co-sponsored by: Anthropology, Hermanas Unidas, Institute Community & Equity Office, MIT Libraries, Women’s and Gender Studies.



Sep 28, 2021

Wounding Wall: Infrastructure, Injury, and Rescue on the U.S.-Mexico Border

Ieva Jusionyte

Watson Family University Associate Professor of International Security and Anthropology, Brown University

Sep 28, 2021 Tuesday, September 28, 3:30-5:00pm Room E51-095

Wounding Wall: Infrastructure, Injury, and Rescue on the U.S.-Mexico Border

Ieva Jusionyte, Watson Family University Associate Professor of International Security and Anthropology, Brown University

Tuesday, September 28, 3:30-5:00pm

Room E51-095

May 27, 2021

"Ocean Waves, Ocean Science, Ocean Media" part of 'Making the Unknown Knowable' Online Seminar Series, University of Manchester

Stefan Helmreich

MIT Anthropology

May 27, 2021 27 May 2021, 10 - 11:30am (Cambridge MA EDT) | 3-4.30pm (London, UK BST) Virtual

This seminar is part of the Making the unknown knowable seminar series. Click here to read more



How do oceanographers apprehend ocean waves? This presentation draws on anthropological work I undertook among wave scientists in the United States to argue that what oceanographers take ocean waves to be has been strongly imprinted by the techniques, technologies, and media — maritime, photographic, filmic, information theoretic — through which waves have come to be known. I offer an account of ethnographic fieldwork I conducted on board the FLoating Instrument Platform (FLIP), a seagoing vessel managed by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, in La Jolla, California. FLIP is a singular vessel, one that, once at sea, can “flip” 90 degrees into a vertical position —with all the instrumentation inside swiveling correspondingly—to become a stable platform from which to measure wave action. Moving from an examination of the contemporary use of infrared and laser imaging to study waves from FLIP, I place the platform within a longer history of wave science, reaching back into the Cold War, when ocean observation projects were conditioned by nuclear-age American maritime expansion, particularly in the Pacific. I then flip to the recent present, as scientists turn from understanding waves not only as a kind of infrastructure for maritime networks, but also as avatars of anthropogenic climate change.

Join via Zoom:

Please note: a passcode is required. Email to request it.


Apr 26, 2021

Meritocracy and Democracy: The Social Life of Caste in India

Apr 26, 2021 April 26, 2021 4:30 PM to 6:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada) Virtual

Christine Walley hosts MIT Anthropology Program Talk on "Caste of Merit" with author Ajantha Subramanian, Dwai Banerjee from MIT STS will be the discussant.


from Harvard University Press "Caste of Merit" webpage:


"How the language of “merit” makes caste privilege invisible in contemporary India.

Just as Americans least disadvantaged by racism are most likely to endorse their country as post‐racial, Indians who have benefited from their upper-caste affiliation rush to declare their country post‐caste. In The Caste of Merit, Ajantha Subramanian challenges this comfortable assumption by illuminating the controversial relationships among technical education, caste formation, and economic stratification in modern India. Through in-depth study of the elite Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs)—widely seen as symbols of national promise—she reveals the continued workings of upper-caste privilege within the most modern institutions."