MIT School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences soundings
Spring 2004 [ Previous issues ]

Book & CD notes

Noam Chomsky, Carlos P. Otero, ed., Chomsky on Democracy and Education. RoutledgeFalmer, 2003. Education stands at the intersection of Noam Chomsky's two lives as scholar and social critic. This edition gathers his impressive range of writings on these subjects, some previously unpublished. Middle East Illusions. Rowman & Littlefield, 2003. Explores the myths behind the peace process, the second Palestinian Intifada, and the Bush administration's response to the September 11 attacks on the United States. Noam Chomsky is Institute Professor Emeritus of Linguistics.

Thomas F. DeFrantz, Dancing Revelations—Alvin Ailey's Embodiment of African American Culture. Oxford University Press, 2003. This study, the first full-length examination of Ailey's entire range of choreography, considers its cultural sources, theories of African American performance, and the ways in which Ailey shaped African American participation in modern dance. Thomas F. DeFrantz is Class of 1948 Career Development Professor of Theater Arts.

Peter Diamond and Peter R. Orszag, Saving Social Security: A Balanced Approach. Brookings Institution Press, 2004. The authors' proposal aims at restoring long-term balance and sustainable solvency to the Social Security program without imposing additional burdens on the rest of the budget. Peter Diamond is Institute Professor of Economics.

Joseph Dumit, Picturing Personhood: Brain Scans and Biomedical Identity. Princeton University Press, 2004. Explores the cultural ramifications of brain-imaging technology by examining how PET (positron emission tomography) scans are created, and how they are being called on to answer myriad questions with far-reaching implications: Is depression an observable brain disease? Are criminals insane? Do men and women think differently? Joseph Dumit is Associate Professor of Anthropology and Science and Technology Studies.

Michael M.J. Fischer, Emergent Forms of Life and the Anthropological Voice. Duke University Press, 2004. Anthropology, Fischer explains, now operates in a series of third spaces well beyond the nineteenth- and twentieth-century dualisms of us/them, primitive/civilized, East/West, or North/South. He contends that more useful paradigms—such as informatics, multidimensional scaling, autoimmunity, and visual literacy beyond the frame—derive from the contemporary sciences and media technologies. Michael Fisher is Professor of Anthropology and Science and Technology Studies.

John Harbison, Four Psalms. New World Records, 2004. Commissioned to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the state of Israel. Performed by Majie Zeller, soprano; Lynn Torgove, mezzo-soprano; Frank Kelley, tenor; David Kravitz, baritone; The Cantata Singers & Ensemble; David Hoose, Conductor. John Harbison is Institute Professor of Music.

Meg Jacobs, William J. Novak, and Julian E. Zelizer, eds., The Democratic Experiment: New Directions in American Political History. Princeton University Press, 2003. This series of essays explores topics in American politics from the nation's founding to the present day, opening new avenues for historical research while offering bold claims about the tensions that have animated American public life. Revealing the fierce struggles that have taken place over the role of the federal government and the character of representative democracy, the authors trace the contested and dynamic evolution of national policy. Meg Jacobs is Assistant Professor of History.

Irving Singer, Three Philosophical Filmmakers: Hitchcock, Welles, Renoir. MIT Press, 2004. Singer's new book examines the ways in which meaning and techniques in the work of Hitchcock, Welles, and Renoir interact with their different views about the world. Irving Singer is Professor of Philosophy.

Evan Ziporyn, Shadow Bang. Cantaloupe Music, 2003. Complete puppet opera with music by Evan Ziporyn, vocals by I. Wayan Wija, performed by the Bang On A Can All-Stars. Evan Ziporyn is Kenan Sahin Distinguished Professor of Music and Head of the Music and Theater Arts Section.



Message from Dean Khoury


Conversation with
Professor Esther Duflo:
Saving the world, precisely

New international
minor at MIT


Honors & awards

Book & CD notes


All issues
This issue only