Faculty

Our faculty is made up of some of the world’s best known media and writing scholars, teachers, and practitioners. From literature, civic media, digital media, design, and data visualization, to television, games, science fiction, and international pop culture, they are winners of Pulitzer Prizes, National Science Foundation CAREER Awards, and Peabody Awards, and recipients of countless grants and fellowships.

They are also some of the most accessible faculty members anywhere. If you would like to speak or meet with them, we encourage you to contact them.


Vivek Bald
Associate Professor of Writing and Digital Media

vbald@mit.edu
20130103171744 2 150x150 Faculty Vivek Bald is a scholar, writer, and documentary filmmaker whose work focuses on histories of migration and diaspora, particularly from the South Asian subcontinent. He is the author of Bengali Harlem and the Lost Histories of South Asian America (Harvard University Press, 2013), and co-editor, with Miabi Chatterji, Sujani Reddy, and Manu Vimalassery of The Sun Never Sets: South Asian Migrants in an Age of U.S. Power (NYU Press, 2013). His films include "Taxi-vala/Auto-biography," (1994) which explored the lives, struggles, and activism of New York City taxi drivers from India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, and "Mutiny: Asians Storm British Music" (2003) a hybrid music documentary/social documentary about South Asian youth, music, and anti-racist politics in 1970s-90s Britain. Bald is currently working on a transmedia project aimed at recovering the histories of peddlers and steamship workers from British colonial India who came to the United States under the shadows of anti-Asian immigration laws and settled within U.S. communities of color in the early 20th century. The project consists of the Bengali Harlem book as well as a documentary film, “In Search of Bengali Harlem,” (currently in production), and a digital oral history website in development at bengaliharlem.com.
Marcia Bartusiak
Professor of the Practice

bar2siak@mit.edu
6708686 150x150 Faculty Combining her training as a journalist with a graduate degree in physics, Marcia Bartusiak has been covering the fields of astronomy and physics for more than three decades and has published in a variety of publications, including Science, Smithsonian, Discover, National Geographic, and Astronomy. Her latest book is The Day We Found the Universe, about the birth of modern cosmology in the 1920s, which was reviewed by the San Francisco Chronicle as “a small wonder” and received the History of Science Society’s 2010 Davis Prize for best history of science book for the public.

Bartusiak has also written Thursday's Universe, a guide to the frontiers of astrophysics; Through a Universe Darkly, a history of astronomers' quest to discover the universe's composition; and Einstein’s Unfinished Symphony, a chronicle of the international attempt to detect cosmic gravity waves. Each was named a notable book by the New York Times. Another of her books, Archives of the Universe, a history of the major discoveries in astronomy told through 100 of the original scientific publications, is used in introductory astronomy courses across the nation. In 2006 Bartusiak received the prestigious Gemant Award from the American Institute of Physics for her significant contributions to the cultural, artistic, and humanistic dimension of physics and in 2008 was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science for “exceptionally clear communication of the rich history, the intricate nature, and the modern practice of astronomy to the public at large.”
Nancy Baym
Visiting Professor

nbaym@mit.edu
100910 9283 150x150 Faculty Nancy Baym is a Visiting Professor in Comparative Media Studies/Writing. She's also a Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research New England, a couple of blocks to the east of CMS/W's haunts. Her work focuses on interpersonal relationships and new technologies. She is the author of Personal Connections in the Digital Age (Polity 2010), Internet Inquiry (co-authored with Annette Markham) (Sage 2009) and Tune In, Log On: Soaps Fandom and Online Community (Sage 1999). Her current research is about musicians' relationships with audiences and how social media affect them.
Eugenie Brinkema
Associate Professor

brinkema@mit.edu
Eugenie Brinkema 150x150 Faculty Eugenie Brinkema‘s research in film and media studies focuses on violence, affect, sexuality, aesthetics, and ethics in texts ranging from the horror film to the body of films dubbed “New European Extremism” to the visual and temporal forms of terrorism. Abiding research interests include embodiment and sensation in ultraviolent film and literature, critical and cultural theory, literary theory, and psychoanalysis and continental philosophy, while more recent areas of inquiry have explored French gastronomy, sound and color. She received her Ph.D. in 2010 from Brown University’s Department of Modern Culture and Media. While at Brown, she received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching, the Albert Spaulding Cook Prize in Comparative Literature, and the Joukowsky Outstanding Dissertation Award.

Her articles have appeared in numerous journals including differences, Camera Obscura, Angelaki, Criticism, The Journal of Speculative Philosophy, and in anthologies on director Michael Haneke and rape in art cinema. Her first book, The Forms of the Affects (Duke University Press, Spring 2014), interrogates the relationship between form and grief, disgust, nostalgia, anxiety, and joy in film, critical theory, psychoanalysis, and nineteenth- and twentieth-century continental philosophy. Her current project pairs the post-1960 horror film with Kierkegaard, Heidegger, and Levinas in order to explore ethics, violence, duration and non-being.

Professor Brinkema’s teaching interests span film theory to literary theory; serialized television to the horror film; formal questions of narrative, color, sound, time, and space to studies of trauma and violence. She is thrilled to be a member of the Literature Section at MIT not least because it keeps her geographically close to her beloved New England Patriots.

In 2012, Professor Brinkema was awarded the James A. and Ruth Levitan Award for Excellence in Teaching in the School for Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences. From 2012-2013, she was a fellow at the Susan and Donald Newhouse Center for the Humanities at Wellesley College.
Federico Casalegno
Associate Professor of the Practice; Director, Mobile Experience Lab

casalegno@mit.edu
federico casalegno1 150x150 Faculty Federico Casalegno, Ph.D., is the Director of the MIT Mobile Experience Lab and Associate Director of the MIT Design Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Since 2008, he is the director of the Green Home Alliance between the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Fondazione Bruno Kessler in Italy. He is adjunct full professor at IMT Institute for Advanced Studies Lucca, Italy.

A social scientist with an interest in the impact of networked digital technologies in human behavior and society, Casalegno both teaches and leads advanced research at MIT, and design interactive media to foster connections between people, information and physical places using cutting-edge information technology.

Casalegno holds a Ph.D. in Sociology of Culture and Communication from the Sorbonne University, Paris V, with a focus on mediated communication and social interaction in networked communities and wired cities.
Ian Condry
Professor

condry@mit.edu
IanFaceOleana sm 150x150 Faculty Ian Condry is a cultural anthropologist interested in globalization from below, that is, cultural movements that go global without the push of major corporations or governments. He has written books on hip-hop as it developed in Japan (Hip-Hop Japan, 2006) and Japanese animation as a global force (The Soul of Anime, 2013). His current research explores social media in Japan and the U.S. and its uses for activism, entertainment, and entrepreneurship. Condry teaches courses that emphasize ethnographic approaches to media and culture, including Japanese popular culture, anime and cinema, as well as a graduate-level seminar in media theory and methods. He founded and organizes the MIT Cool Japan research project, which uses scholarly seminars, interdisciplinary conferences, and artistic events to examine the cultural connections, dangerous distortions, and critical potential of popular culture.
Sasha Costanza-Chock
Assistant Professor of Civic Media

schock@mit.edu
scc littleneck 150x150 Faculty Sasha Costanza-Chock is a scholar and media maker who works in the interrelated areas of social movements and information and communication technologies; participatory technology design and community based participatory research; and the transnational movement for media justice and communication rights, including comunicación populár.

He holds a Ph.D. from the Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism at the University of Southern California, where he was a Postdoctoral Research Associate. He is also a Fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University. While living in Los Angeles, he worked on a variety of civic media projects with community-based organizations, including the award-winning VozMob.net platform. More information about Sasha's work can be found at schock.cc.
Junot Díaz
Rudge and Nancy Allen Professor of Writing

junot@mit.edu
junot diaz1 d1e24cbf9840b82822da6cea0c887cd4b24f2e63 s6 c10 150x150 Faculty Junot Díaz's fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, and The Best American Short Stories. His debut book, Drown, was met with unprecedented acclaim; it became a national bestseller, earned him a PEN/Malamud Award, and has since grown into a landmark of contemporary literature. His first novel, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, was published in 2007 and won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize. In 2012, the MacArthur Foundation awarded him a MacArthur Fellowship, popularly known as the "Genius Grant", $500,000 over five years, no strings attached.

Born in the Dominican Republic and raised in New Jersey, Díaz lives in New York City and is a professor of writing at MIT.
Fox Harrell
Associate Professor of Digital Media

fox.harrell@mit.edu
Harrell portrait e1375195455800 119x150 Faculty Fox Harrell is a researcher exploring the relationship between imaginative cognition and computation. In addition to CMS/W, he is a faculty member in the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL). His research involves developing new forms of computational narrative, gaming, social media, and related digital media based in computer science, cognitive science, and digital media arts. The National Science Foundation has recognized Harrell with an NSF CAREER Award for his project “Computing for Advanced Identity Representation”. Harrell holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science and Cognitive Science from the University of California, San Diego. His other degrees include a master's degree in Interactive Telecommunication from New York University, and a B.F.A. in Art, B.S. in Logic and Computation (each with highest honors), and minor in Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University. He has worked as an interactive television producer and as a game designer. His recent book is Phantasmal Media: An Approach to Imagination, Computation, and Expression (MIT Press).
Heather Hendershot
Professor

hshot@mit.edu
Hendershot photo 150x150 Faculty Heather Hendershot studies conservative media and political movements, film and television genres, and American film history. She has held fellowships at Vassar College, New York University, and Princeton University, and she has also been a Guggenheim fellow.

Hendershot is particularly interested in the complicated relationship between “extremist” and “mainstream” conservatism and in how that relationship is negotiated by conservative media. Her courses emphasize the interplay between industrial, economic, and regulatory concerns and how those concerns affect what we see on the screen (big or little). Students are encouraged to consider the ways that TV and film writers, directors, and producers have attempted creativity and innovation while working within an industry that demands novelty but also often fears new approaches to character and narrative.

Hendershot is the editor of Nickelodeon Nation (2004) and the author of Saturday Morning Censors (1998), Shaking the World for Jesus (2004), and What's Fair on the Air? (2011). For five years she was the editor of Cinema Journal, the official publication of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies. She is on leave during the 2014-2015 academic year, researching a book on William F. Buckley Jr.'s Firing Line at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University.
Helen Elaine Lee
Professor

helee@mit.edu
F Helen Lee photo headshot 150x150 Faculty Helen Elaine Lee was educated at Harvard College and Harvard Law School. Her first novel, The Serpent's Gift, was published by Atheneum in 1994 and her second novel, Water Marked, was published by Scribner in 1999. She finished Life Without, a novel about the lives of ten people who are incarcerated in two neighboring U.S. prisons, and The Hard Loss, a novel about a DNA exoneree's first week of freedom after twenty four years of incarceration for a crime he did not commit. Stories from Life Without have appeared in Callaloo, Prairie Schooner, Hanging Loose, Best African American Fiction 2009 (Bantam Books), and solsticelitmag.org.

Helen is a member of the Board of Directors of PEN New England, and she serves on its Freedom to Write Committee and volunteers with its Prison Creative Writing Program. She has written about the experience of teaching creative writing in prison in a New York Times Book Review essay, “Visible Men”.
Thomas Levenson
Professor of Science Writing

levenson@mit.edu
 Faculty Professor Thomas Levenson is the winner of Walter P. Kistler Science Documentary Film Award, Peabody Award (shared), New York Chapter Emmy, and the AAAS/Westinghouse award. His articles and reviews have appeared in The Atlantic, the Boston Globe, Discover, and The Sciences. He is winner of the 2005 National Academies Communications Award for Origins.
Alan Lightman
Professor of the Practice of the Humanities

lightman@mit.edu
Alan Lightman e1376592157543 150x150 Faculty Alan Lightman is a physicist, novelist, and essayist. He was educated at Princeton University and at the California Institute of Technology, where he received a Ph.D. in theoretical physics. Before coming to MIT, he was on the faculty of Harvard University. At MIT, Lightman was one the first people to receive dual faculty appointments in science and in the humanities and was John Burchard Professor of Humanities before becoming an Adjunct Professor to allow more time for his writing.

Lightman is the author of five novels, two collections of essays, a book-length narrative poem, and several books on science. His writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Granta, the New Yorker, and the New York Review of Books, among other publications. His novel Einstein’s Dreams was an international bestseller and has been translated into thirty languages. His novel The Diagnosis was a finalist for the 2000 National Book Award in fiction. He is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and has won numerous other awards. Lightman is also the founding director of the Harpswell Foundation, which works to empower a new generation of women leaders in Cambodia.
Kenneth Manning
Thomas Meloy Professor of Rhetoric and History of Science

manning@mit.edu
manning 130x150 Faculty Kenneth Manning received his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. from Harvard University (History of Science; 1970, 1971, and 1974). He joined the MIT faculty in 1974.

His first major work was a study of nineteenth-century mathematics. This was followed by Black Apollo of Science: The Life of Ernest Everett Just (1983), which won the Pfizer Award and the Lucy Hampton Bostick Award, and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, the Kennedy Book Award, and the National Book Critics Circle Award. He is currently studying the role of blacks in American medicine, and has authored a number of scholarly articles on blacks in science and medicine.
Seth Mnookin
Assistant Professor of Science Writing

smnookin@mit.edu
SM smithsonian illo Screen Shot 2012 11 25 at 3.23.21 PM 150x149 Faculty Seth Mnookin's most recent book, The Panic Virus: The True Story Behind the Vaccine-Autism Controversy, won the National Association of Science Writers 2012 “Science in Society” Award and the New England chapter of the American Medical Writers Association’s Will Solimene Award for Excellence. He is also the author of the 2006 New York Times bestseller Feeding the Monster: How Money, Smarts, and Nerve Took a Team to the Top, which chronicles the challenges and triumphs of the John Henry-Tom Werner ownership group of the Boston Red Sox. His first book, 2004′s Hard News: The Scandals at The New York Times and Their Meaning for American Media, was a Washington Post Best Book of the Year.

Seth's most recent longform work was a July 2014 New Yorker piece about a child who was the first-ever case of a new genetic disease. Since 2005, Seth has been a contributing editor at Vanity Fair, where he’s written about the American media presence in Iraq, Bloomberg News, and Stephen Colbert. In 2002 and 2003, he was a senior writer at Newsweek, where he wrote the media column “Raw Copy” and also covered politics and popular culture.

His work has appeared in numerous publications, including New York, Wired, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, Spin, Slate, and Salon.com. A former music columnist for The New York Observer, he began his journalism career as a rock critic for the now-defunct webzine Addicted to Noise. He graduated from Harvard College in 1994 with a degree in History and Science, and was a 2004 Joan Shorenstein Fellow at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.
Nick Montfort
Associate Professor of Digital Media

nickm@nickm.com
nickm at kwh 150x150 Faculty Nick Montfort develops computational poetry and art and has participated in dozens of literary and academic collaborations. His tenth book is #!, a collection of poems and programs. He has been invovled in developing several new fields of study: platform studies, critical code studies, software studies, and electronic literature. Before #!, he organized and co-wrote 10 PRINT CHR$(205.5+RND(1)); : GOTO 10 in collaboration with nine other authors.
Jim Paradis
Robert M. Metcalfe Professor of Writing and Comparative Media Studies

jparadis@mit.edu
jim paradis 150x150 Faculty James Paradis is the Robert M. Metcalfe Professor of Writing and Comparative Media Studies. He works on problems of the mutually-influential rise of professionalism and vernacular culture, the public reception of science, and the way in which fields of expertise are represented in popular media. His methods are comparative, and draw on cultural studies, biographical approaches, intellectual history, and the history of rhetoric to study science popularization, science fiction, science education, two-cultures controversies, science as entertainment, and vernacular science.

These interests are highlighted in his various books, articles, and edited collections, including T. H. Huxley: Man's Place in Nature (Nebraska 1978); Victorian Science and Victorian Values (with T. Postlewait, Rutgers 1984); Evolution and Ethics (with G. Williams, Princeton 1989); Textual Dynamics of the Professions (with C. Bazerman, Wisconsin 1991); and Samuel Butler: Victorian against the Grain (Toronto 2007).
Edward Schiappa
Head of CMS/W
John E. Burchard Professor of Humanities

schiappa@mit.edu
ed schiappa 150x150 Faculty Edward Schiappa conducts research in argumentation, classical rhetoric, media influence, and contemporary rhetorical theory. His current research explores the scope and function of rhetorical studies, including the relationship between rhetorical theory and critical media studies.

He has published ten books and his research has appeared in such journals as Philosophy & Rhetoric, Quarterly Journal of Speech, Rhetoric Review, Argumentation, Communication Monographs, and Communication Theory.

He has served as editor of Argumentation and Advocacy and received NCA's Douglas W. Ehninger Distinguished Rhetorical Scholar Award in 2000 and the Rhetorical and Communication Theory Distinguished Scholar Award in 2006. He was named a National Communication Association Distinguished Scholar in 2009.

Schiappa is Head of CMS/W and John E. Burchard Professor of the Humanities.
T.L. Taylor
Associate Professor of Comparative Media Studies

tltaylor@mit.edu
taylor 139x150 Faculty T.L. Taylor is a qualitative sociologist working in the field of internet and game studies. Her work focuses on the interrelation between culture, social practice, and technology in online leisure environments. She has spoken and written on topics such as network play and social life, values in design, intellectual property, co-creative practices, avatars, and gender and gaming. Her most recent research explores the professionalization of computer game play, examining the developing scene of high-end competitive play, spectatorship, and the growing institutionalization of e-sports.

Her book Raising the Stakes:E-Sports and the Professionalization of Computer Gaming (MIT Press, 2012) chronicles the rise of e-sports and professional computer gaming. She is also the author of Play Between Worlds: Exploring Online Game Culture (MIT Press, 2006) which used her multi-year ethnography of EverQuest to explore issues related to massively multiplayer online games. Ethnography and Virtual Worlds: A Handbook of Method, her co-authored book on doing ethnographic research in online multi-user worlds, was recently published by Princeton University Press.

She was also a Visiting Researcher with the Social Media Collective at Microsoft Research New England.

More information about her work can be found at her website.
David Thorburn
Professor of Literature and Director of the MIT Communications Forum

thorburn@mit.edu
180 thorburn 150x150 Faculty David Thorburn is Professor of Literature at MIT and Director of the MIT Communications Forum. His most recent books (co-edited with Henry Jenkins) are Democracy and New Media and Rethinking Media Change, the launch volumes in the MIT Press series "Media in Transition" of which he is editor-in-chief. Other writings include Conrad's Romanticism and many essays and reviews on literature and media in such publications as Partisan Review, Commentary, The New York Times and The American Prospect as well as scholarly journals. He has published poetry in such magazines as The Atlantic Monthly, Threepenny Review and Slate. His essays on television, written in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and his course, "American Television: A Cultural History," were among the first in the country to examine the medium in a humanistic context. He has also edited collections of essays on romanticism and on John Updike, as well as a widely used anthology of fiction, Initiation.

Thorburn was the founder and for twelve years the Director of the MIT Film and Media Studies program, the ancestor of the Comparative Media Studies program, MIT's first graduate program in the Humanities. In 2002, he was named a MacVicar Faculty Fellow, MIT's highest teaching award. He received his A.B. degree from Princeton, his M.A. and Ph.D. from Stanford and taught in the English Department at Yale for ten years before joining the MIT faculty in 1976.
William Uricchio
Professor of Comparative Media Studies

uricchio@mit.edu
wm portrait 13 150x150 Faculty William Uricchio is Professor of Comparative Media Studies and Principle Investigator of the MIT Open Documentary Lab and the MIT Game Lab. He is also Professor of Comparative Media History at Utrecht University and a fellow of the Institute for Advanced Study (Lichtenberg-Kolleg) at Georg-August-Universität Göttingen. He has been awarded Humboldt, Guggenheim and Fulbright fellowships, and most recently, the Berlin Prize. His research interests include revisiting the histories of old media when they were new; algorithmic enablements of participatory cultural forms; the history and future of television; cultural identities and the question of "Americanization" in the 20th and 21st centuries.

His publications include Reframing Culture, We Europeans? Media, Representations, Identities (Chicago/Intellect, 2008), Media Cultures (Heidelberg, 2006). He is currently completing books on the deep history of television; on history-based games; the playing of history and historiography after post-structuralism; and editing a collection of essays for the British Film Institute entitled Many More Lives of the Batman.
Jing Wang
Professor of Chinese Media and Cultural Studies

jing@mit.edu
jingwang 150x150 Faculty Professor Jing Wang is the founder and director of New Media Action Lab and serves as the Chair of the International Advisory Board for Creative Commons China. She is also a member on the Advisory Board of Wikimedia Foundation that runs global Wikipedia. She holds a joint appointment in Global Studies & Languages and Comparative Media Studies/Writing. Her first book The Story of Stone, a post-structuralist study on ‘intertextuality’ won her the Joseph Levenson Prize for the “Best Book on Pre-Modern China Published in 1992.” Her third single-authored book Brand New China: Advertising, Media, and Commercial Culture came out in Arabic, Japanese, and Chinese translations.

Wang received fellowships awarded by the National Humanities Center and the Chiang Ching-Kuo Foundation. She has also been the recipient of a four-year grant awarded by the Henry Luce Foundation to initiate an international Chinese Popular Culture Studies Project. In spring 2009, she launched NGO 2.0, a social media literacy project for Chinese grassroots NGOs. The project is building cross-sector collaboration with foundations, universities, NGOs, the media sector, IT companies, the Corporate Social Responsibility sector, interface designers and software developers’ communities in China. Ford Foundation awarded her an eight-year grant (2009-2017) to develop NGO2.0. Wang also serves on the editorial and advisory boards for nine peer review journals that cover a number of fields such as advertising, media and communication studies, Cultural Studies, and China Studies, among them are Global Media and Communication, Media Industries, and Positions: Asia Critique. A new book on the pedagogy of social media literary training is forthcoming in 2015 and a special issue on the MIT Visualizing Cultures Controversy will be published in 2015. Wang’s current research interests include advertising and marketing, civic media and communication, social media action research, popular culture, and nonprofit technology, with an area focus on the People’s Republic of China.
Rosalind Williams
Bern Dibner Professor of the History of Science and Technology

rhwill@mit.edu
585 Rosalind Williams 150x150 Faculty Rosalind Williams is a historian who uses imaginative literature as a source of evidence and insight into the history of technology. She has taught at MIT since 1982 and currently serves as the Dibner Professor for the History of Science and Technology in the Program in Science, Technology, and Society. She has also served as head of the STS Program and Dean for Undergraduate Education and Student Affairs at the Institute, as well as president of the Society for the History of Technology. She has written three books as well as essays and articles about the emergence of a predominantly human-built world and its implications for human life.