Recent News

Recent News

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.

Anthropology student Lia Hsu-Rodriguez '21 "Meet the MIT Bilinguals: Health Care Equity" for MIT SHASS Said and Done

Staff Writer: Alison Lanier | MIT SHASS Communications Office Said + Done Magazine | Photo: Liz Wahid

June 14, 2021

"At MIT, Lia pushed herself into challenging scenarios as she strove to first understand and then to help correct some of the profound inequalities embedded in the U.S. heath-care system."

Flipping the Ship: Ocean Waves, Media Orientations, and Objectivity at Sea

Stefan Helmreich | Media+Environment | Image: Stefan Helmreich

June 11, 2021

This article offers an anthropologically informed media studies account of work on The FLoating Instrument Platform (FLIP), as the author reports on working ethnographically alongside wave scientists in this Escheresque environment, a setting that often sees scientists shifting between aspirations to steady objectivism and moments of fleeting but motivating wonder. Placing FLIP in a longer history of physical oceanography, the author also argues that what wave scientists take ocean waves to be has been strongly imprinted by the techniques and technologies—mathematics, photography, spectral analysis, wave tanks—through which waves have been studied and come to be known.

Oximeters Used to Be Designed for Equity. What Happened?

Amy Moran-Thomas | WIRED Magazine | Image Credit: Amy Moran-Thomas

June 8, 2021

The gray oximeter sitting on my kitchen table looks like a record player. A product of the 1970s, its alarm for low blood oxygen levels is set by analog dial. I bought it on eBay late last year, after writing a story about the racial bias built into oximetry for the Boston Review. A professor of medicine at Yale, Meir Kryger, reached out afterward with a suggestion: I should also look into the models predating contemporary pulse oximeters, specifically one made by Hewlett-Packard. It’s a technological dinosaur, but in certain ways, its inner workings are more advanced than many devices that measure blood oxygen in hospitals today.

Keeping humanity central to solving climate change

Kelley Travers | MIT Energy Initiative Publication Date: April 22, 2021 | Photo: Abbie Trayler-Smith/Panos Pictures

April 26, 2021

MIT scholars are helping to solve the economic, cultural, and political dimensions of the world’s energy and climate challenges.


Announcing Relata - A Critical Search Tool

February 25, 2021

What might scholarly search look like if it privileged values of pluralism and critique? Relata, an experimental search tool based at MIT and developed in cooperation with Society for Cultural Anthropology, centers not individual works but the analytical moves or relations between them.

Amy Moran-Thomas "On planetary change and human health"

SHASS News | Image: Hurricane Hattie Belize, by Delvin "Pen" Cayetano, 1996, Oil on Canvas

December 8, 2020

MIT anthropologist Amy Moran-Thomas reflects on the deep connection.

“When I think of health now, I think of the disarray in bigger ecosystems and infrastructures that is also landing in human bodies.”