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Through public lectures, the Technology and Culture Forum presents speakers of diverse viewpoints who come from a wide variety of academic and professional backgrounds. In planning programs, the Technology and Culture Steering Committee, made up of MIT faculty, students and alumni, seek to address critical issues and raise important questions.

Sherry Turkle

On April 12, 2011, Sherry Turkle, MIT professor and author, most recently of "Alone, Together", discussed her evolving view of our digitized world. Click here to watch a video of this program.



Miss Representation: A Sundance Film

Barbed Wire Image

Youth CAN May 2009

bullying image

Women without Men

Gene Patenting

Malalai Joya

Caytie Campbell-0rrock

ID Fair

Wired for War bookcover

American and Chinese Flag

Radical Abundance - a theology of sustainability

Past Forums

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Forums 2011-2012


6th Annual Youth Summit on Global Climate Change

Saturday, May 12
The Stata Center, Building 32 - click here for map

6th Annual Youth Summit on Global Warming hosted by The Technology and Culture Forum, the Boston Latin School's Youth Climate Action Network (YouthCAN), the Boston Public Health Commission's Boston Collaborative for Food and Fitness, and the Boston Youth Environment Network. The day will be filled with informative and fun workshops, free food and prizes. Last year's summit was a big success and this year's promises to be even better

Thursday, May 3: Ethics and Religious Faith: Is one possible without the other?

Room: 32-D461

Guest Speaker: Dr. Thomas Groome, Professor of Theology and Religious Education, Boston College

This program is free and open to the public. Dinner will be provided.

Co-sponsored with the MIT Addir Interfaith Program

Join us for dinner for interactive and lively lecture/discussions with guest faculty from various disciplines. Participants will investigate and solve ethical problems, share resources, and gain skills for clarifying their personal and vocational principles.

During the semester, participants are invited to attend Technology and Culture public forums or other pertinent public lectures offered at MIT which will spark discussion. There will be recommended readings to supplement the discussion.

Last year’s guests included Caspar Hare, MIT Philosophy; Debra Levy, Tufts University; Bish Sanyal, MIT Urban Studies and Planning; Robert Taylor, author of "A New Way to Be Human"; and Stona Fitch, author and publisher, Concord Free Press. Topics ranged widely— what does it mean to live “ethically”, economic justice, the responsibilities of the author and publisher, development ethics, and positive psychology and the good life.

Nuclear Power and Nuclear Weapons:
Asia, the Middle East, and the Future of Nonproliferation

Wednesday, May 2
32-155 - click here for map

Matthew Bunn, Associate Professor of Public Policy, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University

Jon Wolfsthal, Special Advisor to the Vice President for Nonproliferation and Director for Nonproliferation of the National Security Council

Moderator: Richard Lester, Japan Steel Industry Professor and Head, Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering

Following the panel, Global Zero will be announcing the first George W. Rathjens Non-Proliferation Prize competition. The $1,000 prize, provided by the MIT Security Studies Program, will be given to a student who has performed original non-proliferation research, policy analysis, or an artistic expression which aims to reduce nuclear weapon proliferation around the world. Additional information re: the competition, including entry guidelines and deadlines, will be provided at this May 2nd event and on the T&C website.

Refreshments will be served!

Co-sponsored with Global Zero, Nuclear Science and Engineering at MIT, and the MIT Security Studies Program

My 5 Dinners with Ahmadinejad
Iran, Nuclear Weapons, the Middle East

Tuesday, April 17
6-120 - click here for map

Speaker: Dr. Jim Walsh, MIT Security Studies Program

A nuclear armed Iran? An Israeli military strike? What are the facts and myths about Iran and its nuclear program? Dr. Jim Walsh is an expert on nuclear proliferation and has frequently traveled to Iran to meet with Iranian officials. In this talk, he will address the major questions about Iran's nuclear program and consider the the options available to American policy makers.

Co-sponsored with the MIT Center for International Studies and Global Zero

Click here to listen to this program

International Development Night @ the MIT Museum

Saturday, April 14
MIT Museum - click here for map

Please join us for a fascinating expo and reception hosted by T&C and MIT’s International Development Initiative (IDI).This event is being held in conjunction with the MIT Sloan Africa Innovates Talks 2012 and the 2012 Harvard International Development Conference. Refreshments will be served.

Iran: Domestic Turmoil and Drumbeats of War

Tuesday, April 10
E51-395 - click here for map

Speaker: Dr. Ali Banuazizi, Professor of Political Science, Boston College and Director, Program of Islamic Civilization and Societies

Co-Sponsored with the Bustani Middle East Seminar. The Bustani Middle East Seminar is organized under the auspices of the MIT Center for International Studies, which conducts research on contemporary international issues and provides and opportunity for faculty and students to share perspectives and exchange views. Each year the Bustani Seminar invites scholars, journalists, consultants, and other experts from the Middle East, Europe, and the United States to MIT to present recent research findings on contemporary politics, society and culture, and economic and technological development in the Middle East.


32-D461 - click here for map

Guest Speaker: Deb Levy, Positive Psychology Lecturer at Tufts University; and Head Teaching Fellow - Psychology Department at Harvard University

Join us for dinner for an interactive and lively lecture/discussion on the nature of happiness. Prior to the dinner, it is recommended that participants take the VIA Survey of Character Strengths (Measures 24 Character Strengths). The survey can be found under the Questionnaire box scroll down through the survey links in the blue box, and the link is the 6th one down under the sub-heading, Engagement Questionnaires. You will need to create a free account on this University of Pennsylvania website to take the survey; you can easily do so using the Register link in the upper left-hand corner of the above URL. You get your results immediately.

Speaker Deb Levy teaches Positive Psychology Theory and Applications at the Tufts University Experimental College and is an award-winning Teaching Fellow in the Psychology Department at Harvard University. In 2006 and 2008 she was head teaching assistant in Tal Ben-Shahar's extremely popular Positive Psychology class.

Minding the Gap

A Conversation about Economic Inequality
Tuesday, March 13
Read about the program on MIT's home page
Click here to watch a video of this program

David Autor, MIT Department of Economics
Peter Diamond, MIT Department of Economics
Arjun Jayadev, Department of Economics, UMASS
Frank Levy, MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning

Join David Autor, Associate Chair of the MIT Department of Economics, and his colleagues Frank Levy, Daniel Rose Professor of Urban Economics, Arjun Jayadev, Assistant Professor of Economics, UMASS, and Nobel Laureate, Peter Diamond, MIT Department of Economics, for a candid exploration of the complexities of the increasing wealth gap in the U.S. In light of, what they all agree is a serious problem, David will invite these distinguished scholars to think together about where we go from here, and why.

David Autor is a professor and Associate Chair of the MIT Department of Economics. A faculty research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research, and editor-in-chief of the Journal of Economic Perspectives, Autor is the recipient of a National Science Foundation CAREER award for his research on labor market intermediation, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellowship, and the Sherwin Rosen Prize in 2008 for outstanding contributions in the field of labor economics. His current fields of specialization include human capital, skill supply and demand, and earnings inequality; labor market impacts of technological change and globalization; disability insurance and labor force participation; and contingent and intermediated work arrangements.

Peter Diamond, MIT Institute Professor Emeritus, is known for his analysis of U.S. Social Security policy and his work as an advisor to the Advisory Council on Social Security in the late 1980s and 1990s. He was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in 2010. In June 2011, he withdrew his nomination to serve on the Federal Reserve ’s board of governors, citing intractable Republican opposition. Diamond has made fundamental contributions to a variety of areas, including government debt and capital accumulation , capital markets and risk sharing, optimal taxation , search and matching in labor markets , and social insurance and has frequently proposed policy adjustments.

Arjun Jayadev, Assistant Professor of Economics at UMASS, specializes in the issues at hand. His recent publications and contributions include, “Inequalities between Groups: Theory and Empirics,'' (with Sanjay Reddy) World Development, 2011; “Patterns of Wealth Disparities in India: 1991-2002," (with Vamsi Vakulabharanam and Sripad Motiram), 2011, and “Creating an Inequality Adjusted Human Development Panel," (with Alan Fuchs), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). 2011. His areas of expertise include, international economics, economics of distribution, development, political economy, macroeconomic dynamics, and the economics of power.

Frank Levy is the Daniel Rose Professor of Urban Economics in the MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning (DUSP) He has published extensively on U.S. income inequality and living standards, and the economics of education. See: "Inequality and Institutions in 20'th Century America." Additional publications have explored the ways that computer technology and off-shoring are reshaping opportunities in the labor market. See “The New Division of Labor: How Computers Are Creating the Next Job Market” His current work focuses on the problem of defining and restraining unnecessary medical imaging - a part of "Bending the Curve" of rising medical costs.

The North African ‘Arab Spring’: Days of Rage, Dreams of Trespass

February 14
E51-395 - click here for map

Speaker: Dr. William Lawrence, Director, North Africa Program for International Crisis Group

Dr. Lawrence is a Massachusetts native and holds a B.A. in History and French from Duke University, a 2nd level certificate in History from the University of Paris IV (Sorbonne) and a MALD and PhD from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.

Formerly, he was the State Department’s officer in charge of Libyan and Tunisian Affairs, where he produced unrivalled reporting on the February 2006 political unrest and crackdown in eastern Libya and spearheaded U.S. Government efforts to increase pressure on Tunisian government over human rights and internet freedom issues.

He then served as a U.S. State Department Senior Advisor for Global Engagement, advising the White House on outreach to Muslim-majority countries and co-creating and implementing a number of programs launched by President Obama’s Cairo speech. He created the U.S. Science Envoy Program, the Global Innovation Through Science and Technology Program, and the Global Muslim Science Partnerships Program, best known for the 2007 Kuwait Conference for Women Leaders.

He is currently the Director of the North Africa Program for International Crisis Group, a leading international think tank based in Morocco. He and the Crisis Group teams he assembled observed at 70 polling stations in the Tunisian and Moroccan elections, interviewed leadership from all of the major political parties in both countries and attended the recent trial of Moroccan rapper El Haqed.

Co-sponsored with the Emile Bustani Middle East Seminar The Emile Bustani Middle East Seminar is organized under the auspices of the MIT Center for International Studies, which conducts research on contemporary international issues and provides an opportunity for faculty and students to share perspectives and exchange views.  Each year the Bustani Seminar invites scholars, journalists, consultants, and other experts from the Middle East, Europe, and the United States to MIT to present recent research findings on contemporary politics, society and culture, and economic and technological development in the Middle East. The Bustani Seminar is co-sponsored by the Technology and Culture Forum at MIT.

The Darwin-Lincoln Birthday Forum

Friday, February 10
12:15 to 1:30 p.m.
Killian Hall, 14W - click here for map

Marking the birthday of two champions of human equality, both born on Feb. 12, 1809

Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass
Prof. John Stauffer, Program in the History of American Civilization, Harvard University

How Brave Was Darwin?
Prof. Harriet Ritvo, Arthur J. Conner Professor, History, MIT

Lincoln and Civil Liberties: From Bull Run to Guantanamo
Prof. Christopher Capozzola, Associate Professor of History, MIT

Darwin and Human Equality
Prof. Jonathan King, Biology, MIT

Sponsored by the Massachusetts Darwin Society, MIT School of Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences, MIT Biology Department, MIT School of Sciences, and the Technology and Culture Forum at MIT

Free and open to the public. Refreshments noon to 12:15 p.m.

For more information, go to http://www.darwinbicentennial.org or contact Guisbond@mit.edu

A Decade Later:
Muslim Communities and the Post 9/11 Interfaith Landscape

Thursday, December 1
Main Dining Room, Building W11 - click here for map

Ibrahim Abdul Malik, Park 51, Advisory Board
Professor of American Muslim History and Culture, Fairleigh Dickinson University

Naila Baloch, Muslim Chaplain, Tufts

Suheil I. Laher, MIT, Muslim Chaplain
The Very Rev. Jep Streit, Boston Episcopal Cathedral, Dean

Shaykh Ibrahim Abdul-Malik, Ed.D., Ph.D. is Professor of American Muslim History and Culture. He earned his first doctorate in 1971 from Harvard University in Science and Education. His second Ph.D., completed in 2007, was in Islamic Studies from the Graduate Theological Foundation.

During his 25-year career with the New York City School System (teacher, principal, vice-chairman, Board of Examiners), Dr. Ibrahim was also Adjunct Professor at City University of New York for ten years. Dr. Ibrahim was a co-founder of Imams Council of New York, and Associate Director of the UN Summer Internship Program, Geneva, Switzerland. After September 11, 2001, he served as a Volunteer Disaster Chaplain and Trauma Counselor at ground zero.

Dr. Ibrahim will speak to the state of Muslim Christian relations in NYC during the ten years since 9/11/2001. He will also address the questions: What is the status of interfaith/multi-faith activities (between Muslims and other religious groups)? To what extent are these activities fostering a sustained, respectful, mutual understanding and acceptance, particularly in light of the surge of these activities immediately following 9/11?

Naila A. Baloch, Muslim chaplain at Tufts University, completed her masters in Theological Studies at Harvard Divinity School, and was their first female, Muslim student to prepare for religious service. Born in a household of both Shi'as and Sunnis, she is deeply committed to building bridges, and says that the 9/11 events heavily influenced her choice to pursue Muslim chaplaincy in the U.S.

The Very Rev. Jep Streit, is the Dean of the Episcopal Cathedral Church of St Paul, Boston. He describes the Cathedral as a gathering place for an unlikely and wide-ranging assortment of people, all drawn together by the hope and possibility of finding God. Since September 2000, Muslims have gathered at the Cathedral for Ju’mah, their weekly Friday prayers.

Co-hosted with the Addir Fellows Interfaith Program.

Miss Representation: A Sundance Film

Monday, November 21 at 7:00pm
Room 26-100 - click here for map
Reception to Follow

The documentary, Miss Representationn, written, directed and produced by Jennifer Siebal Newsom,  premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, and aired on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network in October. The film explores how the media’s misrepresentation of women has led to the underrepresentation of women in positions of power and influence.

Miss Representation uncovers a glaring reality we live with every day but fail to see. The film exposes how mainstream media contribute to the under-representation of women in positions of power and influence in America. The film challenges the media’s limited and often disparaging portrayals of women and girls, which make it difficult for women to achieve leadership positions and for the average woman to feel powerful herself.

In a society where media is the most persuasive force shaping cultural norms, the collective message that our young women and men overwhelmingly receive is that a woman’s value and power lie in her youth, beauty, and sexuality, and not in her capacity as a leader. While women have made great strides in leadership over the past few decades, the United States is still 90th in the world for women in national legislatures, women hold only 3% of clout positions in mainstream media, and 65% of women and girls have disordered eating behaviors.

Stories from teenage girls and provocative interviews with politicians, journalists, entertainers, activists and academics, like Condoleezza Rice, Nancy Pelosi, Katie Couric, Rachel Maddow, Margaret Cho, Rosario Dawson and Gloria Steinem build momentum as Miss Representation accumulates startling facts and statistics that will leave the audience shaken and armed with a new perspective.

We Still Live Here: Âs Nutayuneân

A film by Anne Peacemaker
Thursday, November 17
1-190 - click here for map

Celebrated every Thanksgiving as the Indians who saved the Pilgrims from starvation, and then largely forgotten, the Wampanoag Tribes of Cape Cod and Martha¹s Vineyard are now saying loud and clear, and in their Native tongue, 'Âs Nutayuneân' — We Still Live Here.

The Wampanoag's ancestors ensured the survival of the first English settlers in America, and lived to regret it. Now a cultural revival is taking place.

Spurred on by their celebrated linguist, Jessie Little Doe Baird, recent winner of a MacArthur Œgenius award, the Wampanoag are bringing their language home.

Like many Native American stories, this one begins with a vision. Years ago, Jessie began having recurring dreams: familiar-looking people from another time speaking in an incomprehensible language. These visions sent her on an odyssey that would uncover hundreds of documents written in Wampanoag, lead her to a Masters in Linguistics at MIT, and result in an unprecedented feat of language reclamation by her people. Jessie's daughter Mae is the first Native speaker of Wampanoag in a century.

Q&A with director to follow

Free & open to the public

Sponsored by Women’s and Gender Studies with support from The Technology and Culture Forum, The Office of Minority Education, The Office of Student Activities and MIT Linguistics.

Arab-Jewish Peacebuilding Projects- Can They Make a Difference?

Wednesday, November 16
Stata 32-124 - click here for map

Harriet Feinberg, Middle East peace activist, writer, and educator

Presentation followed by panel discussion and Q&A with Palestinian alumni and instructors from Middle East Education through Technology (MEET). Refreshments will be served.

HARRIET FEINBERG is a Middle East peace activist, writer, and educator. She organized and for several years facilitated a monthly dialogue group of Arab-American and Jewish-American women which met for four years. She was one of the founders of the “Playing for Peace” project at the Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music. That project, which brings young musicians from the Middle East and other conflict areas to play music in the summer in rural New Hampshire, is now twenty-two years old and still flourishing. In 2010 she organized a panel entitled “Coexistence Projects from Multiple Perspectives” for the Association for Jewish Studies conference in Boston. She holds an Ed. D. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Co-sponsored by MISTI MIT-MEET and the Technology and Culture Forum at MIT

This event is free and open to the public.
Refreshments will be served.

What is MEET?
MEET brings together excelling Israeli and Palestinian high school students into a fast-paced, world-class educational program focusing on computer science, entrepreneurship, and teamwork.  Over the past six years, MIT students and alumni have traveled to the Middle East each summer to teach MEET's students about technology, business, and leadership, and to apply their skills to real-world problems, fostering joint projects with such industry and non-profit partners as Hewlett-Packard, Seeds of Peace, and others.

Join the MEET team this summer and you will gain valuable, memorable experiences as you teach and inspire a group of gifted, highly-motivated, and amazing Palestinian and Israeli high-schoolers.

In the process, you will live in, work in, and explore one of the most historic and influential regions in the world, and get some time to relax and see the sights on weekend trips, complete with guided tours (and off-road vehicles).

As an instructor, your travel and housing will be paid for, and you will receive a generous stipend for the summer.

How to Apply
Apply online by November 25 at http://apply.meet.mit.edu/instructor

Check us out on Facebook:

The Second Arab Awakening:
Challenges and Promise

Tuesday, November 15
E51-395 - click here for map

Dr. Marwan Muasher, Vice President for Studies
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Marwan Muasher is vice president for studies at the Carnegie Endowment, where he oversees the Endowment’s research in Washington and Beirut on the Middle East. Muasher served as foreign minister (2002–2004) and deputy prime minister (2004–2005) of Jordan, and his career has spanned the areas of diplomacy, development, civil society, and communications. He is also a senior fellow at Yale University.

Muasher began his career as a journalist for the Jordan Times. He then served at the Ministry of Planning, at the prime minister’s office as press adviser, and as director of the Jordan Information Bureau in Washington.

In 1995, Muasher opened Jordan’s first embassy in Israel, and in 1996 became minister of information and the government spokesperson. From 1997 to 2002, he served in Washington again as ambassador, negotiating the first free trade agreement between the United States and an Arab nation. He then returned to Jordan to serve as foreign minister, where he played a central role in developing the Arab Peace Initiative and the Middle East Road Map.

In 2004 he became deputy prime minister responsible for reform and government performance, and led the effort to produce a ten-year plan for political, economic, and social reform. From 2006 to 2007, he was a member of the Jordanian Senate.

Most recently, he was senior vice president of external affairs at the World Bank from 2007 to 2010.

This program is hosted by the Emile Bustani Middle East Seminar and the MIT Center for International Studies with support from T&C.

Listen to this program with the link.

The True Cost of Coal:
The Beehive Design Collective 's Depiction of a Complex Socio-Technical Issue

November 15
Interactive Workshop
32-141 - click here for map

The Beehive Design Collective, based in Machais, Maine, are touring the country presenting their collaboratively designed large-scale posters which weave together narratives and sharply examined social consequences of technological change. This exciting event will be interactive with discussion of the process of creating such a work followed with an interactive workshop.

The True Cost of Coal is dense with metaphors drawn from the natural world. It is rooted in history, grounded in the grinding urgency of Mountain Top Removal, fueled by the looming threat of climate change, and guided by the robust, grassroots resistance of everyday Appalachians. It is about communities envisioning, building, and defending a better world every day, in a million ways.

Art supplies will be provided, as will refreshments.

Co-hosted by the Grad Arts Forum and funded in part by a Director’s Grant from the Council for the Arts at MIT.

WALL STREET IN CONTEXT: Strategies for Restoring the Dignity of the 99%

Tuesday, November 8
32-123 - click here for map

Pete Cannon, Occupy Boston, Medical Coordinator
Marisa Egerstrom, Occupy Boston, Organizer, Protest Chaplains
Professor Mel King, Occupy Boston, Protester and Professor Department of Urban Studies and Planning, MIT
Professor Thomas Kochan, Sloan School of Management, Co-Director, Institute for Work and Employment Research
Professor Michael Piore, Professor of Political Economy, MIT

Professor Jonathan King, Biology, MIT

Pete Cannon and Marisa Egerstrom, will describe and discuss the Boston expression of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Professors Tom Kochan and Mike Piore will locate the Occupy movement on the U.S. protest landscape. Offering their insights and observations of the campaigns of the 1930s, the 1960s and the recent union rights battles in Wisconsin, each will propose strategies for empowering the 99% to respond to the increasing U.S. wealth gap. Mel King, DUSP professor emeritus and Occupy Boston protestor, will give concluding summary remarks. Jonathan King (MIT Molecular Biology, Technology and Culture Forum Steering Committee) will moderate.

Pete Cannon is a medical coordinator at Occupy Boston. He has worked on mountaintop removal coal mining, anti-corporate globalization, climate change, grassroots disaster relief, and street medic organizing.

Marisa Egerstrom is a Ph.D. candidate in American Civilization at Harvard, where she studies American religious and cultural history. She is a lead organizer of The Protest Chaplains.

Thomas A. Kochan is the George Maverick Bunker Professor of Management at MIT's Sloan School of Management and Co-Director of both the MIT Workplace Center and of the Institute for Work and Employment Research.

Michael Piore, has a joint appointment in the MIT Department of Economics and Political Science.

Mel King, Professor Emeritus Department of Urban Studies and Planning (DUSP) has extensive experience as a social activist, community developer, author, and politician.

Click here to watch this program


October 28-November 2


October 28-November 2

Design and submit your awesome, progressive costume design to the Boston-wide costume PHOTO CONTEST!

First Place Prize: iPod Touch 8
Second Place: $50
Third Place: $25

Send your photos to feministsoccupyhalloween@gmail.com
Photos will be displayed at feministsoccupyhalloween.tumblr.com

Sponsored by End Violence, MIT Program in Women's and Gender Studies and GWAMIT

Religious Pluralism in post 9/11 America
A Conversation with Miroslav Volf, founding Director, Yale Center for Faith and Culture

Wednesday, November 2
6-120 - click here for map

Miroslav Volf was educated in his native Croatia, United States, and Germany. He earned doctoral and post-doctoral degrees from the University of Tuebingen, Germany and has written or edited 15 books and over 70 scholarly articles. His most significant books include Exclusion and Embrace: A Theological Exploration of Identity, Otherness, and Reconciliation (1996) (winner of Grawemeyer Award in Religion); After Our Likeness (1998) in which he explores the Trinitarian nature of ecclesial community; and Allah: A Christian Response (2011), whether Muslims and Christians have a common God.  He is actively involved in many top-level initiatives concerning Christian-Muslim relations and is a member of the Global Agenda Council of the World Economic Forum.

Professor Volf is the founding Director of the Yale Center for Faith and Culture, whose Reconciliation Program aims to promote reconciliation between Muslims and Christians, and between Muslim-majority nations and the West, drawing on the resources of the Abrahamic faiths. This project is focused primarily on bridge-building, scholarly research on the major theological, political, cultural, social and ethical issues which traditionally divide Muslims and Christians, and on concerns which unite them.

On November 2nd, Professor Volf will address the key question of whether religious exclusivists can embrace pluralism as a political project.

Co-sponsored with the Addir Fellows Interfaith Program

Surveillance and Citizenship

Thursday, October 27
Bartos Theater, MIT Media Lab, E15 - click here for map


Sandra Braman, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
Susan Landau, Visiting Professor, Harvard University
Marcus Novak, University of California, Santa Barbara


Ethan Zuckerman, Director and Principal Investigator, MIT Center for Civic Media

Co-sponsored with the MIT Communications Forum

Digital technologies have exponentially expanded the power of government and corporations to keep tabs on citizens. But citizens in turn are exploiting new technologies to expose the activities of governments, companies and even each other.

How does the persistence and ubiquity of surveillance in our digitizing world affect what it means to be a citizen? Does our emerging condition of constant surveillance encourage individuals to curtail how they speak and act - or to offer more information? In what ways are new forms of citizen surveillance and public witness instruments of democracy and transparency? In what ways are they tools of distortion and propaganda for ideologues or special interests?

Our panel of three distinguished scholars will engage these and related questions on evolving notions of citizenship in the digital age. Panelists include Sandra Braman, professor of communication at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, who has written extensively on information technology, law and society; Susan Landau, visiting professor at Harvard University and author of Surveillance or Security? The Risks Posed by New Wiretapping Technologies; and Marcos Novak, professor and artist at the University of California, Santa Barbara, whose work explores the relationship between humans and technology.

The 10th Annual International Development Fair

Friday, September 30
The Stata Center, Building 32 - click here for map

The Fair is traditionally held each year early in the fall semester and provides incoming and continuing MIT students, recent graduates and members of the MIT community an opportunity to learn about ways that they can become engaged in international development through student groups, non-profit organizations, academic course offerings and other activities on and around MIT's campus. Groups and organizations of all types set up booths to display their development projects and enlist the interested individuals who pass through the fair grounds.

The annual Fair is organized by the International Development Initiative and the Technology and Culture Forum.


(a one-day symposium on war, feminist activism and visual culture)

September 9, 2011
3:00pm-8:00pm (Schedule below)
Building W20-491 - click here for map

Marianne Hirsch Postmemory, Art and Archive”
Andrea Geyer Memory Now. A poetic challenge to Pasts, Presents and Futures”

Andrea Geyer, “Criminal Case 40/61: Reverb (2009; 42 min) and “Comrades of Time” (2010)
Coco Fusco “Operation Atropos” (2006; 59 min)

3pm-5pm: Screenings
5pm-6pm: Reception
6:15pm-8pm: Speakers with Q&A by Emma Teng

On the 10th anniversary of 9/11, we gather for talks by MARIANNE HIRSCH and ANDREA GEYER. Our speakers will address a set of interrelated questions: What is the role of art and the humanities in the work of social justice? What is the role of feminism? How does it provide a site of intervention? How do we critique what some critics are arguing is a permanent state of war or perpetual war? To address the 10th anniversary of 9/11, the symposium also asks how visuality has been instrumental in the conduct of war, and in critiques of it.

MARIANNE HIRSCH is William Peterfield Trent Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University and Professor in the Institute for Research on Women and Gender. She is second Vice-President of the Modern Language Association. Most recent, together with Leo Spitzer, she published Ghosts of Home: The Afterlife of Czernowitz in Jewish Memory (2010). Among her publications, she is the author of Family Frames: Photography, Narrative, and Postmemory (1997), The Familial Gaze (1999), a special issue of Signs on "Gender and Cultural Memory" (2002), and Teaching the Representation of the Holocaust (2004). Her co-edited book Rites of Return is forthcoming in November, and her own book The Generation of Postmemory: Visual Culture After the Holocaust will be published next year.

ANDREA GEYER uses both fiction and documentary strategies in her image and text based works. She investigates historically evolved concepts such as national identity, gender and class in the context of the ongoing re-adjustment of cultural meanings and social memories in current politics. Recent works include Criminal Case 40/61: Reverb, a six-channel video engaging the historic trial of Adolf Eichmann in Jerusalem in1961. The video raises questions about truth and justice and individuals’ responsibilities in relation to the nation-state. Among Geyer’s other recent projects is Spiral Lands, a photographic and textual historiography of the ongoing dispossession of indigenous people by colonization, governmentality, and capitalist development, a dispossession that is one of the longest struggles for social justice in North America. She has published two artist’s books: Audrey Munson, The Queen of the Artists’ Studios (Art In General/New York) and Spiral Lands/Chapter 1 (Koenig Books/London). Geyer’s visual works have been shown widely in the U.S. and Europe.

Sponsored by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and Office of the Dean, MIT School of Humanities, Arts and Sciences; additional support from MIT Foreign Languages and Literatures, Women's and Gender Studies Program, and The Technology and Culture Forum.

For additional information, please go to the the MIT Foreign Languages and Literatures website.