Said and Done for Summer 2014

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Published monthly during the School terms, and once in the summer, Said and Done is a photo-rich digest from MIT’s School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences, integrating feature articles with news and research to give a distilled overview of the school’s endeavors. For the complete online edition, visit Said and Done. Highlights of the Summer 2014 edition include:

HISTORYThe Historian’s Lab | Christopher Capozzola
“For historians our laboratories are libraries and archives. It’s where we play around with the raw materials, where we make discoveries. We experiment. We put one set of theoretical ideas about how society is structured, how culture works, next to the raw data — that might be a set of letters, or oral histories — in the same way that a chemist puts a theory against a particular set of chemicals in a reaction.”Story by Laurie Everett for Spectrum Continuum

LANGUAGE AND NATION-BUILDING A Creole solution for Haiti’s Woes | Michel DeGraff and Molly Ruggles 
In a piece for The New York Times, Professor of Linguistics Michel DeGraff and Molly Ruggles, Senior Educational Technology Consultant at MIT OEIT, write of the need for Haitian students to learn in Haitian Creole (Kreyòl), rather than in French, which is spoken by only 5 percent of the Haitian population. “Creole holds the potential to democratize knowledge, and thus liberate the masses from extreme poverty,” DeGraff and Ruggles explain.Commentary in The New York Times

ECONOMICS Q&A | David Autor on U.S. inequality issues among the “99 percent”
In an article in Science, MIT economist Autor moves the U.S. inequality discussion beyond the 1 percent vs. 99 percent comparison. In the long run, he says, “the best policies we have to combat inequality involve investing in our citizenry. Higher education, and public education, is America’s best idea. Those investments also include preschool, good primary and secondary schools, and adequate nutrition and health care.”Story by Peter Dizikes for MIT News

SHASS announces the 2014 Levitan Awards for Excellence in Teaching
The 2014 Levitan Awards recognize nine outstanding teachers, nominated by students.Story
KNIGHT SCIENCE JOURNALISM PROGRAM AT MIT Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Deborah Blum to head Knight Science Journalism at MIT Wade Roush is Interim Director 
Deborah Blum will join MIT in 2015 as the director of Knight Science Journalism at MIT, a fellowship program that enables superb mid-career journalists to spend a year at MIT studying everything from science and technology to history, literature, policy, and political science. Blum will assume the role in July 2015. During the 2014-15 academic year, the KSJ program will be led by Wade Roush, former editor-at-large at the online innovation news service Xconomy. Story  | From Wade Roush’s blog: “Back to the Future at MIT”

MUSIC + ENGINEERING Gamma sonification | MIT students make music from particle energy
Midway through Keeril Makan’s “Introduction to Composition” class, three MIT nuclear engineering students had invented a technique to create sound textures from the energy of the decaying atom. Story

POLITICAL SCIENCE 3 Questions | Johannes Haushofer on the psychology of poverty
Does a mental “feedback loop” prevent the poorest from exploring ways to change their lives?Story by Peter Dizikes for MIT News

INNOVATIONThe online SHASS Guide to Innovation in Education  
This new four-part websection includes a trove of information and resources about teaching innovation in our School. The section is designed for use by SHASS faculty who are thinking about developing a new class, or a new approach in an existing class. Information includes funding sources; guidelines and timelines; awards given; and examples of successful endeavors.Explore 
SCIENCE WRITING The New Yorker  | One of a Kind | Seth Mnookin 
What do you do if your child has an ultra-rare condition that is new to science?” In this New Yorker essay, Mnookin, co-director of the Graduate Program in Science Writing, explores how open science, next-generation sequencing, social media, and families are affecting the way rare diseases are discovered, studied, and treated.Article in The New Yorker (paywall removed for the summer) | Audio interview on WBUR

COMPARATIVE MEDIA STUDIES / WRITINGCoco Fusco joins MIT SHASS as an MLK Visiting Scholar for 2014-15
The School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences is honored and excited to welcome the acclaimed artist and writer Coco Fusco to the MIT community for the 2014-15 academic year. Fusco will serve as a visiting associate professor in the Comparative Media Studies/Writing (CMS/W) program. She will be hosted by Edward Schiappa, the John E. Burchard Professor of Humanities and head of CMS/W, and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Junot Díaz, the Rudge and Nancy Allen Professor of Writing.Story

The research of MIT’s School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences appears principally in the form of books, publications, and music and theater productions. These gems of the School provide new knowledge and analysis, innovation and insight, guidance for policy, and nourishment for lives.Take a look

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