The MIT Anthropology Program is dedicated to advanced research and publication in cultural anthropology; to undergraduate teaching that opens students to the fundamentals of cross-cultural understanding and social thought; and to graduate teaching in the history and social study of science and technology. Our undergraduate subjects cover a wide range, with special strengths in the study of the contemporary world and the social context of technology. The anthropology faculty maintains strong ties with other programs in the School of Engineering and the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Science, including Women's Studies, Latin American Studies, Comparative Media Studies, the Technology Policy Program, the History Faculty, and Science, Technology, and Society.

Personnel and Administration Changes

In July of 2000, Professor Susan Slyomovics succeeded Professor James Howe as head of the Anthropology Program. During 2000–2001, Susan Silbey, Professor of Sociology at Wellesley College, accepted a position in the MIT Anthropology Program at the rank of Full Professor, beginning July 1, 2001. Professor Silbey, a sociologist with a strong background in legal scholarship and ethnographic research, specializes in socio-legal studies and anthropology of the law. A highly regarded educator, awarded a prize for excellence in teaching at Wellesley College, she has produced outstanding scholarly studies on the study of law as social practice, further strengthening and consolidating our curriculum. Also, during 2000–2001, the reorganization of the Anthropology Program including the administrative separation from the Science, Technology and Society Program, was approved. This is to take effect as of July 1, 2001, with Rosemary Hegg serving as Program Administrator.

Program Contributions to the MIT and Outside Communities

The committees, boards, and task forces at MIT on which Anthropology Program members served this year include the Women's Studies Steering Committee, the Gender Equity Committee, the Kelly-Douglas Prize Committee, the Knight Fellowship Selection Committee, the admissions committee for CMS, and the steering committee of the doctoral program in the History and Social Study of Science and Technology (HSSST).

Professors Michael Fischer, Jean Jackson, and Howe, and Associate Professor Hugh Gusterson all play active roles in teaching, advising, and administration of the HSSST doctoral program, sponsored by the STS, History, and Anthropology Programs. Professor Arthur Steinberg continues as director of the Integrated Studies Program.

Outside MIT, Professor Jackson is on the advisory board of Cultural Survival and the editorial board of the Journal of Latin American Anthropology. Professor Slyomovics serves on seven boards. Professor Howe is President of the non-profit organization, Eagle Light Caretakers. Professor Gusterson was the Program Chair of the Society for Social Studies of Science (4S) Meeting 2001. He also serves on five other committees. Assistant Professor Christine Walley has worked on a range of projects with community development organizations on Mafia island in Tanzania (while doing follow up research on environmental issues) including the creation of a fund-raising video for a women's group.


In October 2000, Professor Slyomovics spoke about vernacular architecture at the International Workshop on the Reconstruction of Architectural Heritage, in Prishtina, Kosovo. Professor Walley presented a paper entitled "'Burying' Development in the Ground: Alternative Understanding of Progress within the Mafia Island Marine Park, Tanzania" at the American Anthropological Association meetings, San Francisco, 2000. Professor Howe gave a talk at the AAA Meetings in November 2000 entitled "The Art of Collaboration: A Happy Case Study." Professor Jackson's paper, "Colombia's Amazonian Indigenous Communities and the Civil War," was presented at the Conference on Indigenous Amazonia at the Millennium: Politics and Religion, at Tulane University, in January 2001. Professor Jackson has also given talks in Leipzig and Montreal. Professor Gusterson gave a number of talks on the Wen Ho Lee case and on the controversy over genetically-modified food.


Professor Slyomovics' coedited volume, Women and Power in the Middle East, was published by University of Pennsylvania Press, and a second edited volume, The Living Medina in the Maghrib, is in press. Professor Jackson's coedited volume, Indigenous Movements, Self-Representation and the State in Latin America, is in press at University of Texas Press. Professor Gusterson's edited volume, Securityscapes: An Anthropologist Encounters the Nuclear Complex is under contract with University of Minnesota Press. His article "The Virtual Nuclear Weapon's Laboratory in the New World Order" appeared in American Ethnologist 2 (1), 2001. Professor Howe published an article during 2001 entitled "The Kuna of Panama" in Endangered Peoples of Latin America: Struggles to Survive and Thrive, Westport CT: Greenwood Press. Professor Howe's book, A People Who Would Not Kneel, is being translated into Spanish, to be published next year by CIRMA, in Guatemala. Professor Walley's article "'They Scorn Us Because We are Uneducated': Science, Popular Knowledge and Power within the Mafia Island Marine Park, Tanzania", has been accepted for publication in a special issue of Anthropological Quarterly.

Susan Slyomovics

More information on the Anthropology Program can be found online at w://

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