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Fall 1998


Sharp tongue, maverick mind

Dean's letter

Covering black holes, fossil worms, and a cure for cancer

What's in a word


Feeling most alive



New faculty

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Honors & awards

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Soundings is a publication of the School of Humanities and Social Science at MIT

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Dean's letter

Philip S. KhouryDear Friends,

I am pleased to send you the second issue of soundings, the newsletter of MIT's School of Humanities and Social Science. Since our debut issue appeared last spring, several changes have taken place within the School that deserve mention. First, we had a very successful faculty recruitment season. Fourteen new faculty joined our community this fall. The School of Humanities and Social Science now has 150 full-time faculty members, including 46 women faculty. We also have another 50 or more senior lecturers, lecturers, and writers-in-residence.

Other personnel changes of note are as follows: Paul L. Joskow, the Elizabeth and James Killian Professor of Economics and Management, stepped down as head of the Department of Economics after four years at its helm. Last May I awarded Paul Joskow the first-ever Dean's Award for Distinguished Service to the School of Humanities and Social Science for his outstanding contributions to the arts and the social sciences at MIT, and for positioning our top-ranked Department of Economics for continued national leadership in the next century. Paul's successor as department head is Olivier Blanchard, the Class of 1941 Professor of Economics and one of the world's leading macroeconomists.

I am pleased to welcome to the School Martha Fuller, our new assistant dean for resource development. Martha comes to us from Radcliffe College, where as director of development she led Radcliffe's highly successful capital campaign these past several years.

Two talented administrative officers in the School of Humanities and Social Science have left us in recent months: Robert Davine of the Center for International Studies and Judith Stein of the Program in Science, Technology, and Society and the Anthropology Program. Fortunately, they have not gone too far, just over to work in MIT's central administration.

My last bit of news is that the proposal to establish a new master's degree in Comparative Media Studies was voted in by the MIT faculty last May. This new degree program, at the heart of the humanities, will be jointly administered by three academic units: Foreign Languages and Literatures, Literature, and Writing and Humanistic Studies. The program's director is Henry Jenkins, who is professor of literature and the Ann Fetter Friedlaender Professor of the Humanities. You will be hearing much more about the Comparative Media Studies Program in future issues of soundings.

I am pleased to report that we received many positive comments on our first issue of soundings. Editor Orna Feldman and I appreciate the feedback. Keep it coming!


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Philip S. Khoury, Dean


Copyright © 2000 Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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Fall 1998