MIT Faculty Newsletter  
Vol. XXVII No. 4
March / April 2015
Global Issues Confront Us All
Campus Conversation on Climate Change
Why MIT Faculty Should NOT Sign the Petition to Divest from Fossil Fuels
Review Conference on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons to take Center Stage
A Guide to Proposing, Revising, and Terminating Curricula
Advancing a Respectful and
Caring Community
In Support of the ICEO Mission Statement
Let's Get to Work in "Advancing a Respectful and Caring Community"
The Faculty Role in Building and
Sustaining Community
Supporting the ICEO Report
Advancing a Caring Community Through Enhanced Student-Faculty Interaction
Graduate Student Perspective
on the ICEO Report
ORCID Researcher Identifiers to be Integrated into MIT Systems Beginning this Summer
Humanities and the Future of MIT Education
MIT Campus Research Expenditures
Printable Version


Humanities and the Future of MIT Education


To The Faculty Newsletter:

In the article on “The Future of MIT Education” (MIT Faculty Newsletter, Vol. XXVII No.2, November/December 2014) authors Sanjay Sarma, Karen Willcox, and Israel Ruiz state:

“Accordingly, the two central tensions that are clear in the Future of MIT Education report and in the summary on these pages are those between the direct encounter of students with dedicated teachers, and the deep value of direct hands-on engagement in the processes of science and engineering.”

May I remind the authors and anyone else who might need reminding that there are five Schools at MIT, three of which are not engaged in science and engineering? 

I have taught at MIT since 1972 and have experienced many examples of this kind of invisibilization of my scholarly and pedagogical identity and mission during that time. I know that many of my colleagues in SHASS have as well (and, probably, in the School of Architecture and Planning and Sloan School of Management).

In these three Schools we study and teach about politics, economics, linguistics, philosophy, literature in numerous languages, film and media studies, anthropology, history, urban studies, architecture, music, theater arts, and much, much more.  

The material world is important, but it is not the only world we need to know about.

Jean E. Jackson
Professor Emeritus
Department of Anthropology

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