Our strength as an interdisciplinary program results, in part, from the diversity of faculty, students, and staff who contribute their ideas, creativity, and energy to the CMS community. From faculty who specialize in medieval literature or politics in Latin America to students who have worked in Chinese television production or created interactive poetry, CMS draws upon a variety of perspectives to inform its research and education.
James Paradis is the Robert M. Metcalfe Professor of Writing and Humanistic Studies and Head of CMS. He works on problems of the mutually-influential rise of professionalism and vernacular culture, the public reception of science, and the way in which fields of expertise are represented in popular media. His methods are comparative, and draw on cultural studies, biographical approaches, intellectual history, and the history of rhetoric to study science popularization, science fiction, science education, two-cultures controversies, science as entertainment, and vernacular science.
These interests are highlighted in his various books, articles, and edited collections, including T. H. Huxley: Man's Place in Nature (Nebraska 1978); Victorian Science and Victorian Values (with T. Postlewait, Rutgers 1984); Evolution and Ethics (with G. Williams, Princeton 1989); Textual Dynamics of the Professions (with C. Bazerman, Wisconsin 1991); and Samuel Butler: Victorian against the Grain (Toronto 2007).
Co-Director of the Graduate Program in Science Writing Professor of the Practice of Science Writing
Marcia Bartusiak has been covering the fields of astronomy and physics for three decades and is a member of the editorial board of Astronomy. In 2010, Bartusiak won the Watson Davis and Helen Miles Davis Prize for Best Book for a General Audience from the History of Science Society. In 2009 Bartusiak was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, cited for “exceptionally clear communication of the rich history, the intricate nature, and the modern practice of astronomy to the public at large,” and in 2006 was awarded the distinguished Andrew W. Gemant Award from the American Institute of Physics, a prize given annually to recognize "significant contributions to the cultural, artistic, or humanistic dimension of physics." In 1982, she was the first woman to receive the AIP Science Writing Award and won the award again in 2001 for Einstein's Unfinished Symphony. She was also a finalist in NASA's 1987 Journalist-in-Space competition. For the 1994-95 academic year, she was a Knight Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Director of Undergraduate Studies Associate Professor Foreign Languages and Literatures
Ian Condry is a cultural anthropologist interested in globalization from below, that is, cultural movements that go global without the push of major corporations or governments. He has written books on hip-hop as it developed in Japan (Hip-Hop Japan, 2006) and Japanese animation as a global force (The Soul of Anime, forthcoming). His current research explores social media in Japan and the US and its uses for activism, entertainment, and entrepreneurship. Condry teaches courses that emphasize ethnographic approaches to media and culture, including Japanese popular culture, anime and cinema, as well as a graduate level seminar in media theory and methods. He founded and organizes the MIT Cool Japan research project which uses scholarly seminars, interdisciplinary conferences and artistic events to examine the cultural connections, dangerous distortions, and critical potential of popular culture.
Director of the CMS Graduate Program Professor of Film and Media
Heather Hendershot studies conservative media and political movements, film and television genres, and American film history. She has held fellowships at Vassar College, New York University, and Princeton University, and she has also been a Guggenheim fellow.
Hendershot is particularly interested in the complicated relationship between "extremist" and "mainstream" conservatism and in how that relationship is negotiated by conservative media. Her courses emphasize the interplay between industrial, economic, and regulatory concerns and how those concerns affect what we see on the screen (big or little). Students are encouraged to consider the ways that TV and film writers, directors, and producers have attempted creativity and innovation while working within an industry that demands novelty but also often fears new approaches to character and narrative.
Hendershot is the editor of Nickelodeon Nation (2004) and the author of Saturday Morning Censors (1998), Shaking the World for Jesus (2004), and What's Fair on the Air? (2011). She is also the editor of Cinema Journal, the official publication of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies. She is currently researching a book on William F. Buckley Jr.'s Firing Line.
Co-Director of the Graduate Program in Science Writing
Associate Head Associate Professor of Digital Media
Nick Montfort's digital media projects include the blog Grand Text Auto, where he and five others write about computer narrative, poetry, games, and art; Ream, a 500-page poem written on one day; Mystery House Taken Over, a collaborative "occupation" of a classic game; Implementation, a novel on stickers written with Scott Rettberg; The Ed Report, a serialized novel written with William Gillespie; and the interactive fiction pieces Book and Volume, Ad Verbum, and Winchester's Nightmare.
His latest books are Racing the Beam: The Atari Video Computer System (2009, with Ian Bogost) and Riddle & Bind (2010).
Montfort edited The Electronic Literature Collection Volume 1 (with N. Katherine Hayles, Stephanie Strickland, and Scott Rettberg, ELO, 2006) and The New Media Reader (with Noah Wardrip-Fruin, The MIT Press, 2003). He wrote Twisty Little Passages: An Approach to Interactive Fiction (The MIT Press, 2003), and, with William Gillespie, 2002: A Palindrome Story (Spineless Books, 2002), which was acknowledged by the Oulipo as the world's longest literary palindrome. He is now investigating narrative variation in interactive fiction, the human meanings and machine functions of code, and the role of platforms in creative computing. Montfort and Ian Bogost are now writing Video Computer System: The Atari 2600 Platform.
Montfort's Ph.D. is in computer and information science from the University of Pennsylvania. He earned masters degrees at MIT (at the Media Lab) and Boston University (in creative writing — poetry). His personal site can be found at http://www.nickm.com.
Assistant Professor of Writing and Digital Media
Vivek Bald is a documentary filmmaker and scholar whose work focuses on histories of migration and diaspora, particularly from the South Asian subcontinent. His current work, which examines the desertion and settlement of Indian Muslim merchant sailors in U.S. port cities in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, is the basis for a forthcoming book, Bengali Harlem and the Hidden Histories of South Asian New York, and a documentary film, In Search of Bengali Harlem.
Edward Barrett is Senior Lecturer in the Program in Writing and Humanistic Studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where his research interests include Digital Communication, Writing and New Media, Digital Poetry, Technical Communication. His edited collections on digital communication include Contextual Media: Multimedia and Interpretation (1995), Sociomedia (1992), The Society of Text: Hypertext, Hypermedia, and the Social Construction of Information (1989), and Text, ConText, and HyperText: Writing with and for the Computer (1988). His co-authored textbooks include The MIT Guide to Teaching Web Site Design (2001) and The Mayfield Handbook of Technical and Scientific Writing (1998). His books of poetry include Down New Utrecht Avenue (2011), Bosston (2008), Or Current Resident (2005), Rub Out—Three Verse Novels (2003), Sheepshead Bay (2001), Breezy Point (2000), Practical Lullabies for Joe (1999), Common Preludes (1994), The Leaves Are Something This Year (1992), Theory of Transportation (1990), and 7x3 (1987). His plays and libretto for opera include Rhapsody Antigone (1982) and Shaman (1987). He is also the General Editor of the MIT Press Series on Digital Communication.
Nancy Baym is a Principal Researcher studying social media at Microsoft Research's NERD lab in Cambridge. She earned her Ph.D. at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1994. Prior to joining Microsoft Research, she was a Professor of Communication Studies at the University of Kansas. She has written about online community, digital media and personal relationships, and qualitative methods for internet research. She wrote the books Personal Connections in the Digital Age (Polity Press, 2010), Internet Inquiry: Conversations about Methods (co-edited with Annette Markham, Sage 2009), and Tune In, Log On: Soaps, Fandom and Online Community (Sage, 2000) as well as dozens of articles and book chapters. She was a co-founder of the Association of Internet Researchers and serves on the editorial boards of several journals including New Media & Society, The Information Society, the Journal of Communication, and the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication. In 2005 she won KU's Kemper Award for Teaching Excellence. Her current work examines relationships between artists (particularly musicians) and audiences and how social media have altered them in ways both exciting and problematic.
Assistant Professor of Civic Media
Sasha Costanza-Chock is a scholar and media maker who works in the interrelated areas of social movements and information and communication technologies; participatory technology design and community based participatory research; and the transnational movement for media justice and communication rights, including comunicación populár.
Dr. Costanza-Chock holds a Ph.D. from the Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism at the University of Southern California, where he was a Postdoctoral Research Associate; he is also a Fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University. While living in Los Angeles, he worked on a variety of civic media projects with community-based organizations, including the award-winning VozMob.net platform. More information about Sasha's work can be found at schock.cc.
Professor of Writing
Junot Díaz's fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, and The Best American Short Stories. His debut book, Drown, was met with unprecedented acclaim; it became a national bestseller, earned him a PEN/Malamud Award, and has since grown into a landmark of contemporary literature. His first novel, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, was published in 2007 and won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize. In 2012, the MacArthur Foundation awarded him a MacArthur Fellowship, popularly known as the "Genius Grant", $500,000 over five years, no strings attached.
Born in the Dominican Republic and raised in New Jersey, Díaz lives in New York City and is a professor of writing at MIT.
Adjunct Professor of Fiction
Joe Haldeman has a B.S. in astronomy from the University of Maryland. He teaches a science fiction writing workshop, reading and writing longer fiction, and reading and writing genre fiction. He was named the 2010 Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master. The Grand Master award is the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America's highest accolade and recognizes excellence for a lifetime of contributions to the genres of science fiction and fantasy.
Associate Professor of Digital Media
Fox Harrell is a researcher exploring the relationship between imaginative cognition and computation. His research involves developing new forms of computational narrative, gaming, social networking, and related technical-cultural media based in computer science, cognitive science, and digital media arts. The National Science Foundation has recognized Harrell with an NSF CAREER Award for his project “Computing for Advanced Identity Representation.” He has presented his work internationally; sites of his publications and presentations include the MIT Press, the University of Toronto Press, the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI), the International Symposium on Electronic Art (ISEA) the Digital Arts and Culture Conference, CTheory, and other book chapters, journals, and conferences. Harrell holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science and Cognitive Science from the University of California, San Diego. His other degrees include a Master's degree in Interactive Telecommunication from New York University, and a B.F.A. in Art, B.S. in Logic and Computation, and minor in Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University. He has worked as an interactive television producer and as a game designer. He is currently completing a book, Phantasmal Media: An Approach to Imagination, Computation, and Expression, under contract with the MIT Press.
Helen Elaine Lee
Professor of Fiction Writing
Helen Elaine Lee was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan. She graduated from Harvard Law School. Her short stories have appeared in Callaloo, SAGE and several anthologies, including Children of the Night: The Best Short Stories by Black Writers, 1967 to the Present, edited by Gloria Naylor, and Ancestral House: The Black Story in the Americas and Europe, edited by Charles Rowell. Professor Lee serves on the Board of PEN New England and is a member of its Freedom To Write Committee.
Professor of Science Writing
Professor Thomas Levenson is the winner of Walter P. Kistler Science Documentary Film Award, Peabody Award (shared), New York Chapter Emmy, and the AAAS/Westinghouse award. His articles and reviews have appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, The Boston Globe, Discover, The Sciences. Winner of the 2005 National Academies Communications Award for Origins.
Professor of the Practice
Alan Lightman is a physicist, novelist, and essayist. He was educated at Princeton University and at the California Institute of Technology, where he received a PhD in theoretical physics. Before coming to MIT, he was on the faculty of Harvard University. At MIT, Lightman was one the first people to receive dual faculty appointments in science and in the humanities and was John Burchard Professor of Humanities before becoming an Adjunct Professor to allow more time for his writing. Lightman is the author of five novels, two collections of essays, a book-length narrative poem, and several books on science. His writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Granta, the New Yorker, and the New York Review of Books, among other publications. His novel Einstein’s Dreams was an international bestseller and has been translated into 30 languages. His novel The Diagnosis was a finalist for the 2000 National Book Award in fiction. He is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and has won numerous other awards. Lightman is also the founding director of the Harpswell Foundation, which works to empower a new generation of women leaders in Cambodia.
Professor of Rhetoric and the History of Science
Kenneth Manning is Thomas Meloy Professor of Rhetoric and the History of Science. He received his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. from Harvard University (History of Science; 1970, 1971, and 1974). He joined the MIT faculty in 1974.
His first major work was a study of nineteenth-century mathematics. This was followed by Black Apollo of Science: The Life of Ernest Everett Just (1983), which won the Pfizer Award and the Lucy Hampton Bostick Award, and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, the Kennedy Book Award, and the National Book Critics Circle Award. He is currently studying the role of blacks in American medicine, and has authored a number of scholarly articles on blacks in science and medicine.
Lecturer in Comparative Media Studies and Literature
John Picker teaches courses in nineteenth-, twentieth-, and twenty-first century literature and media. He came to MIT from Harvard's English department. His interests include auditory culture, media history, and Victorian and Modernist studies.
His current book project explores the connections among sound, literature, race, and early electric communications technology and has the working title Analog Humanities: Literary Media and Language Machines from the Atlantic Cable to the Radio. He is the author of Victorian Soundscapes and a contributor to The Sound Studies Reader, edited by Jonathan Sterne. His essay "Two National Anthems" was published in A New Literary History of America, which was edited by Greil Marcus and Werner Sollors and on several best-of-2009 lists (Salon, NPR, Time Out New York, Boston Phoenix). His other writing includes chapters and articles in The Victorian World, Walt Whitman and Modern Music, Shakespearean Criticism, The American Scholar, New Literary History, ELH, and Victorian Studies, among other places.
His recent invited presentations include talks at MIT’s Comparative Media Studies Colloquium, (published as a podcast), the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences, University College Dublin, the Yale School of Architecture, and annual conventions of the Modern Language Association in Los Angeles and Boston. He delivered the keynote address at an international conference honoring Victorian Soundscapes that was co-organized by the Leeds Centre for Victorian Studies and the Leeds University Centre for English Music. He also has spoken about London street cries for the MLA’s “What’s the Word?” radio series. He is co-chair of the Victorian Literature and Culture seminar at Harvard’s Mahindra Humanities Center.
Visiting Professor of Rhetoric and Media Studies
Visiting from the University of Minnesota, Edward Schiappa conducts research in argumentation, classical rhetoric, media influence, and contemporary rhetorical theory. His current research explores the scope and function of rhetorical studies, including the relationship between rhetorical theory and critical media studies.
He has published 10 books and his research has appeared in such journals as Philosophy & Rhetoric, Quarterly Journal of Speech, Rhetoric Review, Argumentation, Communication Monographs, and Communication Theory.
He has served as editor of Argumentation and Advocacy and received NCA's Douglas W. Ehninger Distinguished Rhetorical Scholar Award in 2000 and the Rhetorical and Communication Theory Distinguished Scholar Award in 2006. He was named a National Communication Association Distinguished Scholar in 2009. He now holds the Paul W. Frenzel Chair of Liberal Arts in the University of Minnesota's Department of Communications Studies, where he teaches graduate courses on contemporary rhetorical theory, critical communication studies, rhetorical criticism, and popular culture criticism.
T.L. Taylor is a qualitative sociologist working in the field of internet and game studies. Her work focuses on the interrelation between culture, social practice, and technology in online leisure environments. She has spoken and written on topics such as network play and social life, values in design, intellectual property, co-creative practices, avatars, and gender & gaming. Her most recent research explores the professionalization of computer game play, examining the developing scene of high-end competitive play, spectatorship, and the growing institutionalization of e-sports.
More information about her work can be found at her website.
Professor of Literature MacVicar Faculty Fellow Director, MIT Communications Forum
David Thorburn is Professor of Literature at MIT and Director of the MIT Communications Forum. His most recent books (co-edited with Henry Jenkins) are Democracy and New Media and Rethinking Media Change, the launch volumes in the MIT Press series "Media in Transition" of which he is editor in chief. Other writings include Conrad's Romanticism and many essays and reviews on literature and media in such publications as Partisan Review, Commentary, The New York Times and The American Prospect as well as scholarly journals. He has published poetry in such magazines as The Atlantic Monthly, Threepenny Review and Slate. His essays on television, written in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and his course, "American Television: A Cultural History," were among the first in the country to examine the medium in a humanistic context. He has also edited collections of essays on romanticism and on John Updike as well as a widely used anthology of fiction, Initiation.
Prof. Thorburn was the founder and for twelve years the Director of the MIT Film and Media Studies Program, the ancestor of the Comparative Media Studies Program, MIT's first graduate program in the Humanities. Founded 25 years ago, the MIT Communications Forum sponsors lectures, panel discussions and occasional conferences devoted to the political and cultural impact of communications, with special emphasis on emerging technologies. Prof. Thorburn has been the Forum's director since 1996.
In 2002, Prof. Thorburn was named a MacVicar Faculty Fellow, MIT's highest teaching award. He received his A.B. degree from Princeton, his M.A. and Ph.D. from Stanford and taught in the English Department at Yale for ten years before joining the MIT faculty in 1976.
Professor of Comparative Media Studies (on leave for the 2013 academic year)
William Uricchio is Professor and Director of the Comparative Media Studies Program and Professor of Comparative Media History at Utrecht University in the Netherlands. He has held visiting professorships at Stockholm University, the Freie Universität Berlin, and Philips Universität Marburg; and Guggenheim, Fulbright and Humboldt fellowships have supported his research.
Uricchio considers the interplay of media technologies and cultural practices, and their role in (re-) constructing representation, knowledge and publics. In part, he researches and develops new histories of 'old' media (early photography, telephony, film, broadcasting, and new media) when they were new. And in part, he investigates the interactions of media cultures and their audiences through research into such areas as peer-to-peer communities and cultural citizenship, media and cultural identity, and historical representation in computer games and reenactments.
Uricchio's most recent books include Media Cultures (2006 Heidelberg), on responses to media in post 9/11 Germany and the US, and We Europeans? Media, New Collectivities and Europe (2009, Chicago). He is currently completing a manuscript on the concept of the televisual from the 17th century to the present.
Professor of Chinese Cultural Studies S.C. Fang Professor of Chinese Languages & Culture
Professor Jing Wang received her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Soon to join MIT’s Comparative Media Studies, she also serves as the Director of the Institute of Civic Media and Communication at Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou, China. Wang is the founder and organizer of New Media Action Lab, and serves as the Chair of the Advisory Board of Creative Commons China while sitting on the Advisory Board of Wikimedia Foundation. In spring 2009 she launched an NGO 2.0 project ("Chinese NGOs in the Web 2.0 Environment") undertaken in collaboration with three Chinese universities, Ogilvy & Mather China, and two Chinese NGO partner organizations. The project is building cross-sector collaboration with foundations, academia, grassroots NGOs, the media sector, Corporate Social Responsibility, the government, and software developers’ communities in China.
Professor of the History of Science and Technology
Rosalind Williams is a historian who uses imaginative literature as a source of evidence and insight into the history of technology. She has taught at MIT since 1982 and currently serves as the Dibner Professor for the History of Science and Technology in the Program in Science, Technology, and Society. She has also served as head of the STS Program and Dean for Undergraduate Education and Student Affairs at the Institute, as well as president of the Society for the History of Technology. She has written three books as well as essays and articles about the emergence of a predominantly human-built world and its implications for human life.
Assistant Professor of Contemporary Literature and Media
Eugenie Brinkema's research in film and media studies focuses on violence, affect, sexuality, aesthetics, and ethics in texts ranging from the horror film to the body of films dubbed “New European Extremism” to the visual and temporal forms of terrorism. Abiding research interests include embodiment and sensation in ultraviolent film and literature, critical and cultural theory, literary theory, and psychoanalysis and continental philosophy, while more recent areas of inquiry have explored French gastronomy, sound and color. She received her Ph.D. in 2010 from Brown University’s Department of Modern Culture and Media. While at Brown, she received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching, the Albert Spaulding Cook Prize in Comparative Literature, and the Joukowsky Outstanding Dissertation Award.
Her articles have appeared in numerous journals including differences, Camera Obscura, Angelaki, Criticism, The Journal of Speculative Philosophy, and in anthologies on director Michael Haneke and rape in art cinema. Her manuscript in progress, The Form of the Affect, interrogates the relationship between form and grief, disgust, nostalgia, anxiety, and joy in film, critical theory, psychoanalysis, and nineteenth- and twentieth-century continental philosophy. A future project reads the post-1960 horror film with Kierkegaard, Heidegger and Levinas in order to explore ethics, violence, duration and non-being.
Lister Brothers Career Development Associate Professor of History
Christopher Capozzola specializes in the political and cultural history of the United States from 1861 to 1945. He graduated from Harvard College and competed his Ph.D. at Columbia University in 2002. He has held fellowships from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Carnegie Scholars Program, and the Social Science Research Council. At MIT, he teaches courses in political and legal history, cultural history, and the history of race, gender, and class.
Professor Capozzola's research interests are in the history of war and politics in everyday life. His first book Uncle Sam Wants You: World War I and the Making of the Modern American Citizen will be published by Oxford University Press in Spring 2008. The book examines the relationship between citizens, voluntary associations, and the federal government during World War I, through explorations of military conscription and conscientious objection, homefront voluntarism, regulation of enemy aliens, and the emergence of civil liberties movements. An article based on his research won the Louis Pelzer Memorial Award of the Organization of American Historians and the Biennial Article Prize of the Society for Historians of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era.
A new project brings together his interests in citizenship, the military, and migration. Following the Flag: Soldiers, Citizens, and the Philippines is a transnational history of American soldiers in the Philippines and Filipino soldiers in the U.S. Military from 1898 to the war in Iraq. Based on government records, court cases, and oral histories, Following the Flag combines social and political history to explore the history of migration, military institutions, and U.S. foreign relations. An essay, "Minutemen for the World: Empire, Citizenship, and the National Guard, 1903-1924," will appear in Colonial Crucible: Transformations in the U.S. Imperial State (University of Wisconsin Press), next year.
He has published articles and essays in American Quarterly, Georgetown Law Journal, Journal of American History, Journal of Women's History, New England Quarterly, and Rethinking History, as well as in popular periodicals including The Boston Globe, Christian Science Monitor, The Nation, New Labor Forum, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and the Washington Post Book World.
Senior Lecturer, Foreign Languages and Literatures Section
Ellen W. Crocker is Senior Lecturer in German at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she has been teaching the full range of language courses since 1980. From 1989 to 1992 she served as Coordinator for German at MIT, and has been actively involved in the development of the curriculum for the beginning and intermediate-level courses in the German Studies Program. Outside of MIT she has taught German at the Middlebury Summer School in Vermont and for adult education courses in the Boston area. Before coming to MIT, Crocker taught English as a Foreign Language in Mannheim, Germany, and in Boston at Northeastern University and Harvard Summer School. She did her graduate study in Applied Linguistics and Modern German Literature at the Albert Ludwigs Universität in Freiburg, Germany (M.A., 1976).
Crocker is author and co-author for two college-level textbooks for German published in multiple editions by Boston-based firms: as co-author for the audio program and ancillaries for the introductory first-year textbook, Neue Horizonte, Dollenmayer and Hansen, D.C. Heath, fourth edition 1996; as author for the intermediate-level workbook for communicative strategies Reden-Mitreden-Dazwischenreden, Heinle and Heinle, second edition, 1990, co-authored in the first edition with Claire Kramsch.
She reviews numerous manuscripts and assists in the development process of German textbooks for several publishers, including Heinle and Heinle, Holt Rinehart Winston, Houghton Mifflin, McGraw-Hill, and Yale University Press.
In the area of materials development, her most recent research projects investigate the pedagogical design and the implementation of hypermedia for new learning environments. Her first experimental project in progress, In der Niederlausitz, is a multimedia CD-ROM designed with interactive functionality. Crocker is co-directing with MIT colleague Dr. Kurt Fendt Berliner sehen, a hypermedia documentary that is being developed in conjunction with the emerging numerous possibilities for collaboration on the World Wide Web.
Research Grants and Awards include: Provost's Fund 1996, National Endowment for the Arts 1994-96, Marion and Jasper Whiting Foundation Fellowship 1995, The Consortium for Language Teaching and Learning 1991-1995, Dean's Fund 1990.
Professor, Literature Section
Peter S. Donaldson was educated at Columbia (BA 64, PhD 74) and Cambridge (BA 66 MA 70), where he held the Euretta J. Kellett Fellowship. His early research on the convergence of Machiavellian and sacred politics led to the publication of a previously unknown treatise by Bishop Stephen Gardiner, Queen Mary's Chancellor, which uses passages from The Prince to reflect on English dynastic politics, and eventually to Machiavelli and Mystery of State (Cambridge U Press, 1988). Since the late 1980s he has focussed on two major research areas: Shakespeare on Film (Shakespearean Films/Shakespearean Directors and a series of articles now being revised for a book on Shakespeare and Media Allegory) and electronic projects involving Shakespeare across media. These include the Shakespeare Electronic Archive (http://shea.mit.edu), Hamlet on the Ramparts (http://shea.mit.edu/ramparts) and XMAS: Cross-Media Annotation System, which supports the use of DVDs, images, and texts in student on-line discussions, in class presentations and multimedia essays (http://web.mit.edu/shakspere/xmas). Donaldson has also been a pioneer in the use of media-rich presentations for scholarly and intepretive use, beginning with "Ghostly Texts and Virtual Performances: Old Hamlet in New Media" (SAA Plenary, 1993) and continuing with multimedia essay/presentations on many of the recent wave of Shakespeare films (e.g. "Digital Archives and Sibylline Fragments" Postmodern Culture 8.2  on Prospero's Books, online at Project Muse and at http://shea.mit.edu/eob). Donaldson is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society (UK), has held research fellowships from the NEH and ACLS, and was the first Lloyd Davis Visiting Professor of Shakespeare Studies at the University of Queensland (2006). In his spare time he takes pictures of small flowers in Vermont with a T-90 and collects Konica Pop cameras.
Professor Donaldson was the Head of the Literature Section from 1990 until 2005, as Ann Fetter Friedlaender Professor of Humanities from 1993 until 1998, and as Class of 1960 Fellow for Excellence in Teaching from 2001 until 2003.
Associate Professor, Program in Science, Technology, and Society
Natasha Dow Schüll is a cultural anthropologist, documentary filmmaker, and associate professor at MIT’s Program in Science, Technology, and Society. Her work concerns the intimate feedback between novel forms of technological interface and the changing ground of human experience in the contemporary world. She is particularly fascinated by digital consumer technologies and the new ways in which they mediate life. She recently completed a book based on extended research in Las Vegas among compulsive gamblers and the designers of the slot machines they play. Addiction by Design: Machine Gambling in Las Vegas, will be published by Princeton University Press in the Spring of 2012. Her current, ongoing research addresses the use of brain-imaging in neuroeconomics and neuromarketing. Her documentary film, Buffet: All You Can Eat Las Vegas, has screened multiple times on PBS and appeared in numerous film festivals.
Mary C. Fuller works on the history of early modern voyages, exploration, and colonization. Her teaching interests range from the great works of Renaissance poetry (Paradise Lost, the Faerie Queene) to the intellectual and practical aftermaths of Europe's encounter with America in the 15th century and beyond. She is also interested in material books and how readers use them, in the past and in the present. She has published articles on Caribbean poetry, exploration narratives and video games, early modern circumnavigations, and Renaissance narratives of travel to Russia, West Africa, Guiana, Newfoundland, and Istanbul, as well as Voyages in Print: English Travel to America: 1576-1624. Trips organized by MIT's Alumni Travel Program have gotten her to some of the places early travelers went as a guest lecturer. She has also been studying the Japanese martial art of aikido since 1992, and currently teaches classes both at New England Aikikai (Cambridge) and Portsmouth Aikikai (NH).
Elizabeth Garrels received a B.A. at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, in 1967, and a Masters and Ph.D. in Romance Languages from Harvard in 1974. She has taught at Harvard, Boston University, Universidad Central de Venezuela in Caracas, Boston College, UMass/Boston, and Amherst College and has been on the faculty at MIT (in Foreign Languages & Literatures) since 1979.
Her major research field is 19th- to 21st-century Hispanic-American cultural practices. After completion of current projects on 19th-century Argentine writer and politician Domingo Faustino Sarmiento, she plans to write and publish on the films of Spanish director Luis Buñuel.
Garrels is interested in cultural and media studies; the intersections among literature, history, and the visual arts, gender studies, Latin American studies, and Latin American and Spanish film studies. She is a member of LASA and the Instituto Iberoamericano, and she has received an SSRC grant, MIT's Levitan Prize in the Humanities, and the 2006 NECLAS Translation Prize for her work on Sarmiento's autobiography.
Associate Professor, Anthropology Program
Stefan Helmreich received his B.A. from University of California, Los Angeles (Anthropology, 1989) and his M.A. and Ph.D. from Stanford University (Anthropology, 1995). He has worked as a Postdoctoral Associate in Science and Technology Studies at Cornell University, an External Faculty Fellow at the Center for the Critical Analysis of Contemporary Culture at Rutgers University, and as Assistant Professor of Science and Society at New York University. Helmreich's anthropological research centers on contemporary biologists puzzling through the conceptual and technical boundaries of the category of life itself. He has written extensively on Artificial Life, a field dedicated to the computer simulation of living systems, notably in Silicon Second Nature: Culturing Artificial Life in a Digital World (University of California Press, 1998), which in 2001 won the Diana Forsythe Book Prize from the American Anthropological Association. His latest is a book about how scientific portraits of the oceans are transforming as marine biologists reimagine the sea through the language and techniques of genomics, bioinformatics, biotechnology, biodiversity mapping, and systems modeling. Entitled Alien Ocean: Anthropological Voyages in Microbial Seas (2009), the monograph zeroes in on recent work in marine microbiology, reporting on fieldwork undertaken with scientists at deep-sea hydrothermal vents and in areas of the open ocean outside national sovereignty.
Professor, Literature Section
Diana Henderson's areas of research and interest include gender studies, Shakespeare, early modern culture, modernism, and world drama. Her publications include the books Collaborations with the Past: Reshaping Shakespeare Across Time and Media, A Concise Companion to Shakespeare on Screen, Passion Made Public: Elizabethan Lyric, Gender and Performance, and articles in Shakespeare: The Movie 2, Shakespeare After Mass Media, A New History of Early English Drama, Virginia Woolf: Reading the Renaissance, and several volumes in Blackwell's Companion to Shakespeare. She is also an active participant in the CMI program and the working partnership with the Royal Shakespeare Company. In 2005, she was named the recipient of the Everett Moore Baker Memorial Award For Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching.
Graham Jones is a cultural and linguistic anthropologist with a broad interest in knowledge in practice, performance, and interaction. Drawing on nearly two years of fieldwork in France, his book Trade of the Tricks: Inside the Magician’s Craft (California, 2011) explores the production, circulation, and display of secrets within the subculture of entertainment magic. More recently, he has written about intercultural magic performances in colonial contact zones, and the resignification of magical practices by evangelical Christian conjurers. He has written extensively about the linguistic dimensions of Computer-Mediated Communication, with a particular focus on reflexive language. He teaches classes on a range of subjects, including: the anthropology of play; the language of mediated communication; and ethnographic research methods.
Senior Lecturer, Literature Section
Wyn Kelley, a member of the MIT Literature Faculty since 1985, has taught courses on American literature, literary genres (comedy, melodrama), women writers, and writing about literature, among others. She is author of Herman Melville: An Introduction (2008) and Melville's City: Literary and Urban Form in Nineteenth-Century New York (1996). Associate Editor of the Melville Society journal Leviathan, she has published in a number of journals and collections, including Melville and Hawthorne: Writing Relationship, Ungraspable Phantom: Essays on Moby-Dick, Melville and Women, "Whole Oceans Away": Melville in the Pacific, and the Cambridge Companion to Herman Melville. She is the editor of Blackwell Publishing's A Companion to Herman Melville and is also writing a student guide to Melville for Blackwell Publishers. A founding member of the Melville Society Cultural Project, based in New Bedford, MA, she works with the New Bedford Whaling Museum on projects, lecture series, exhibitions, and conferences related to Melville and the museum's concerns. She is currently working with the Project New Media Literacies group to produce a Teachers' Strategy Guide for using new media skills and competencies in language arts classrooms.
Alvin Kibel has taught at Wesleyan University, the City University of New York, and at the University of Reading, England, and has served for several years as the Head of the Literature Faculty. He has been on the advisory board of Partisan Review and has served as adviser to the National Endowment of the Humanities. His work has appeared in numerous journals, including The American Scholar, Partisan Review, Daedalus, and The New Republic, among others. He initiated the study of film as a subject in the Literature curriculum and initiated and regularly teaches our courses on Literature and Ethics, The End of Nature (subject dealing with literature and environmental issues), and our first-tier courses on the Foundations of Western Culture. He is currently completing a study of fin de siecle culture, and teaches a course on business ethics at MIT's Sloan School of Management.
Associate Professor/Director Tep, Department of Urban Studies and Planning
Eric Klopfer is the Director of the MIT Teacher Education Program and the Scheller Career Development Professor of Science Education and Educational Technology at MIT. Klopfer's research focuses on the development and use of computer games and simulations for building understanding of science and complex systems. His research explores simulations and games on desktop computers as well as handhelds. He currently runs the StarLogo project, a desktop platform that enables students and teachers to create computer simulations of complex systems. He is also the creator of StarLogo TNG, a new platform for helping kids create 3D simulations and games using a graphical programming language. On handhelds, Klopfer's work includes Participatory Simulations, which embed users inside of complex systems, and Augmented Reality simulations, which create a hybrid virtual/real space for exploring intricate scenarios in real time. He is the co-director of The Education Arcade, which is advancing the development and use of games in K-12 education.
Senior Lecturer, Music and Theater Arts Section
Martin Marks is a Senior Lecturer in the MIT Music and Theater Arts section. He earned his Ph.D. in Musicology from Harvard University. A music historian, his specialty is film music, about which he has written and lectured extensively. His book Music and the Silent Film was published in 1997 by Oxford University Press. He also performs and records piano accompaniments for many silent films. His work in this capacity is featured on the award-winning DVD collection Treasures from American Film Archives: 50 Preserved Films (2001), as well as on the follow-up collection More Treasures from American Film Archives, 1894-1931 (2004). Currently he is working on a textbook on Film Music. At MIT he also teaches classes relating to early music, opera, and musicals, as well as film studies classes.
Assistant Professor of French Studies
Bruno Perreau is an Assistant Professor of French Studies at MIT. He received his MA in European Studies from Loughborough University and PhD in Political Science from Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne University.
He was awarded fellowships in gender studies from the European University Institute (Florence), the European Commission and Paris VIII Saint Denis University (VEIL research program).
Perreau was a member in the School of Social Sciences at the Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton) in 2007-2008. He is currently a Newton Fellow in sociology at Cambridge University.
Prior to joining MIT, Perreau taught constitutional law at Paris XII Val de Marne University and political science as well as gender and queer studies at Sciences Po Paris, where he was also an academic advisor for international students.
He is a member of the scientific board of Sciences Po’s gender studies program (PRESAGE) and also serves on the editorial board of the academic journal Genre, sexualité et société.
Perreau’s main research focuses are gender, sexuality and the production of citizenship in Twentieth century France as well as family policies, the institutions of the Fifth republic and, more recently, literature and postcolonial textuality. His book Penser l’adoption (Presses universitaires de France, forthcoming January 2012) puts into question the institutional process for authorizing an adoption. It argues that institutions draw their authority from a heterosexual imaginary of the Nation, which is performed by means of a meticulous discursive control of the family.
Ravel was Editor for volumes 35 and 36 of Studies in Eighteenth-Century Culture, an annual publication of the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies. He is a Co-Founder of CÉSAR, a website devoted to the study of seventeenth and eighteenth-century French theater, and he is a principal investigator for the Comédie-Française Registers Project, a new initiative of MIT's Hyperstudio. Teaching interests include Old Regime and Revolutionary France, European cultural and intellectual history, the history of the book and comparative media studies, and Latin America.
Associate Professor, Music and Theater Arts Section
Director Jay Scheib recently premiered his adaptation of Tolstoy's The Power of Darkness with Pont Mühely in Budapest at the TRAFO House of Contemporary Arts.
Other recent works include The
Medea after Heiner Müller and Euripides at La Mama in New York City with subsequent performances in Istanbul and Adana Turkey, and
a multimedia adaptation titled In
this is the End of Sleeping after Chekhov’s Patonov
fragment for the Chekhov Now Festival in NYC.
Other credits include: New York Premier of Kevin Oakes’ The Vomit
Talk of Ghosts at the Flea Theater; The Demolition Downtown by Tennessee Williams at MIT (pictured at left); Musset’s Lorenzaccio
at the Loeb Drama Center; Koltès’ West Pier at the Ohio
Theatre; Falling and Waving, at Arts at St. Ann’s in Brooklyn.
Projects in Berlin include MARGARETHHAMLET at Schwedterstr 12; an
adaptation of Aeschylus’ trilogy ORESTIA AMERICA AMERICA, dreamlife of thousandaire affluence commissioned
by the Exiles Festival, Berliner Staatsbank; two new plays by Lothar Trolle,
Fernsehen and Vormittag in der Freiheit on the 3.Stock Volksbuehne
am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz in Berlin, co-production BAT. Other international credits: Glass/Moan
and THIS PLACE IS A DESERT, both in Budapest; The War Plays
by Edward Bond, and In the Solitude of the Cotton Fields by Bernard-Marie
Koltès, at the Mozarteum, Salzburg Austria. Winner of the Richard
Sherwood Award, The Wade Award and numerous fellowships, Scheib is a regular guest professor at the Mozarteum Institute für
Schauspiel und Regie, in Salzburg, Austria. He holds an MFA from Columbia University.
Jay Scheib is the Theater Arts major departure advisor advisor.
Assistant Professor, Program in Science, Technology, and Society
Hanna Rose Shell, a historian and media artist is as Assistant Professor in the Program on Science, Technology and Society. Her recent films include Locomotion in Water (2005), about the history of chronophotographic practice in science, and Secondhand (Pepe) (2007), co-directed with CMS-alum Vanessa Bertozzi, an exploration of textile recycling, diaspora cultures and cross-cultural history which recently screened all over Haiti, and at MOMA. Shell’s multimedia installations, based on her camouflage work, have been exhibited in Boston and Los Angeles. Her latest film BLIND is in final post-production. Shell received an M.A. in American Studies from Yale University in 2002, and a Ph.D. in the History of Science from Harvard in 2007. For her Ph.D., she focused on the history of camouflage in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, at the intersection of the histories of biology, military strategy, technology and film media practice. She was elected as a Junior Fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows in 2007, where she was in residence in 2008-2009, and will return in 2010-2011. Shell’s book Hide and Seek: Camouflage and the Media of Reconnaissance, will appear from Zone Books in Spring 2010. Shell edited a reprint of W.T. Hornaday’s Extermination of the American Bison (Smithsonian Press, 2002 ), and has published widely on natural history preservation and display practices, the history of ecology, experimental film history, and renaissance history of geology and art.
John E. Burchard Professor of the Humanities Professor, Foreign Languages and Literatures Section
Edward Baron Turk is the John E. Burchard Professor of the Humanities. He is the author of Marcel Carné and the Golden Age of French Cinema, which won prizes in both the United States and France, and of the critically acclaimed Hollywood Diva: A Biography of Jeanette MacDonald. He is also the author of Baroque Fiction-Making, a study of early seventeenth-century novel writing, and of numerous articles on French literature, cinema, and theater. He is currently preparing a new book on contemporary French theater and performance. Turk, who was knighted by the French government, is a chevalier in France's Order of Arts and Letters. He is also one of the prime architects of the Comparative Media Studies graduate program, steering it into existence in the late 1990s.
Associate Professor, Anthropology Program
Christine Walley is an associate professor in the Anthropology Program and also teaches classes in Women's Studies and Comparative Media Studies. Her research and teaching interests include: the environment, development, gender, documentary/ethnographic film, and theories of globalization and capitalism. She received a B.A. in anthropology from Pomona College in 1987 and a Ph.D in sociocultural anthropology from New York University in 1999. Her book, Rough Waters: Nature and Development in an East African Marine Park (Princeton University Press, 2004), is based on 19 months of fieldwork in East Africa. She has published on the controversial topic of female genital surgeries in Africa as well as the relationship between science and "indigenous knowledge." She has also recently begun work on a new book about social class and identity in the United States and is co-directing and producing a documentary video, Exit Zero, that explores changing community life in a former Midwestern steeltown.
Lecturer, Program in Writing and Humanistic Studies
Andrea Walsh, a historical sociologist, teaches in the Program in Writing and Humanistic Studies and in Women's and Gender Studies. She also is affiliated with the Comparative Media Studies Program. Her teaching and research interests center on gender, social movements, and media culture in the U.S. Dr. Walsh's publications include Women's Film and Female Experience: 1940-1950 and various articles on gender, visual media, and aging. Most recently she published a piece on the “everyday justice” practices of 19th century American women's rights activists who participated in dress reform, marriage reform, and holistic health initiatives. She is also currently writing about the portrayal of the first wave of American feminism in documentary film.