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April 8, 2009

PHRJ summer internship grants

The Center's Program on Human Rights and Justice is now inviting applications for its 2009 summer internship program. Six internship positions are available for MIT students pursuing international work experience in human rights, the environment, and environmental justice. The awards are available to current undergraduate and graduate students who will be full-time students in 2009-10. Internships are available for a maximum of $4,000, of which $1,000 will be paid upon completion of an internship report and oral presentation in the fall. The internship grant may be used for travel, living stipend and related expenses. The deadline for applications is May 11, 2009.

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March 31, 2009

McKibben on the environment

Science has given us, in the last 18 months, a real bottom line for the planet: a CO2 concentration above which, as NASA's Jim Hansen has put it, we can't maintain the "planet similar to that on which civilization developed and to which life is adapted." Bill McKibben, a scholar in residence at Middlebury College, an American environmentalist and prolific writer on related topics, will be calling on MIT students to join a global movement to share that alarming scientific truth to as many folks as possible. The CIS Starr Forum, entitled "The Most Important Number in the World," will be on Monday, April 13, at 4:30 PM, in the Wong Auditorium. 

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March 17, 2009

CIS co-sponsors Gaza symposium

The second annual Gaza symposium, this year jointly organized by MIT and Harvard, will host a series of panels on the role of U.S. and international actors, as well as human rights and international humanitarian law in the wake of recent events in Gaza. Bringing together experts in the fields of human rights, history, political science, U.S. foreign policy and law, the two-day symposium will include a range of views from U.S., Israeli, Palestinian and UN/NGO perspectives. The public event will be held at MIT on Monday, March 30, and at Harvard University on Tuesday, March 31. For more details, visit the MIT-Harvard Gaza symposium event page. Video Now Available»

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February 25, 2009

MISTI awards Global Seed Funds

MISTI's new Global Seed Funds Program selected 27 of 104 proposals for grant money to jump-start international projects. The winning entries represent 26 MIT departments, involve 42 countries, and include projects ranging from the study of stem cell-based engineered tissues to the regional, economic, and environmental implications of dual ethanol technologies in Brazil. The selected teams, which are faculty-led but rely on student participation, will use the awarded $457,400 to cover international travel, as well as meeting and workshop costs. MISTI will provide cultural preparation for participating students before their departure. "By enabling MIT students to participate in faculty-led international projects, we hope to increase opportunities for hands-on, global learning and connection to innovation around the world," said Richard Samuels, director of the Center for International Studies. Read More»

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February 24, 2009

Bustani Seminar on Ahmadinejad

On Tuesday, March 3, Ali Banuazizi, psychology research professor and political science professor at Boston College, will assess Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's domestic and foreign policies over the past four years, with special emphasis on the populist style of his leadership, his messianic worldviews, his failing economic policies, and his re-election prospects in the upcoming June presidential elections. He will also talk about the current efforts, both in Iran and in the U.S., to promote a US-Iran rapprochement. The talk is part of the Emile Bustani Middle East Seminar.

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February 24, 2009

SSP Wednesday Seminars

The Security Studies program's Wednesday Seminar Series continues with the following public talks: "Institutional Adaptation," by LTG Robert E. Durbin, Special Assistant to the Chief of Staff, Army for Enterprise Management (Feb 25); "The Strategic Framework for U.S and Iranian Engagement," by Hillary Mann Leverett, Strategic Energy and Global Analysis (March 4); and "American Foreign Policy in an Age of Austerity," by David Hendrickson, Colorado College (March 11). The talks are held at noon in MIT Bldg E38-615.

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February 24, 2009

Origami competition unfolds

To help promote interest in origami within the MIT community and to showcase student work, the Center's MIT-Japan Program, the Office of the Arts, and the Office of Associate Professor Erik Demaine, are sponsoring a fourth annual Student Origami Competition. Original designs and credited executions of existing designs have been submitted and currently are being judged by a jury of origami experts. Winning entries will be exhibited in the Wiesner Student Art Gallery.

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February 24, 2009

On the calendar

Citizenship Politics in Post-Soviet Russia: Between Identity and Real-Politika, Oxana Shevel, on March 10; The Search for Limits: American Foreign Policy in an Age of Austerity, David Hendrickson, on March 11; Techno-Blinders: How the Cult of Technology is Endangering U.S. National Security, Elizabeth Stanley, on March 18; and Human Rights and GIS Mapping Technologies, Lars Bromley, on March 18.

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February 12, 2009

Weizman on the architecture of occupation

On February 19, Israeli architect Eyal Weizman will present a public talk on the "architecture of occupation" in Israel Palestine. Weizman has taught, lectured, curated and organized conferences in many institutions worldwide. His books include Hollow Land, A Civilian Occupation, the series Territories 1, 2, and 3, Yellow Rhythms and many articles in journals, magazines and edited books. He became a member of B'Tselem's managing board in 2008. Joining the discussion as moderator is Salim Tamari. Tamari is director of the Institute of Jerusalem Studies and a professor of sociology at Birzeit University. He edits Hawliyyat al Quds and Jerusalem Quarterly and is the author of several works on urban culture, political sociology, biography and social history, and the social history of the Eastern Mediterranean. Event details»

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February 12, 2009

Berger receives French Legion of Honor medal

Suzanne Berger received a French Legion of Honor medal in recognition of both her research and her efforts to strengthen ties between MIT and French researchers. Berger, director of the Center's MISTI Program and the Raphael Dorman and Helen Starbuck Professor of Political Science, was notified by a letter from French President Nicolas Sarkozy stating that he had recommended her for this award. The award was presented on January 26 by Pierre Vimont, France's ambassador to the United States. Read More» 

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February 3, 2009

Feldstein on the global economy

Economist Martin Feldstein will be the featured speaker at a Starr Forum entitled "The Challenges to the Global Economy." Feldstein has been cited as "the most influential economist of his generation." He is economics professor at Harvard University, president emeritus of the National Bureau of Economic Research, and former chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under President Reagan. Joining the talk as a discussant, is MIT Sloan School's Simon Johnson. Johnson is an expert on the financial sector and economic crises and served as economic counselor and director of the research department at the IMF from 2007-2008. The Starr Forum will be held on Wednesday, February 11, 5:30p, at the Wong Auditorium. Event details»

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February 1, 2009

On the calendar

The Creation of International Security Organizations and the Domestic Policies of Multilateralism in the United States, Brian Rathbun, on April 1; From CyberCrime to CyberConflict, Phillip Hallam-Baker, on April 2; Tertulia Espanol, Spanish Conversation Group, on April 9; U.S. Foreign Policy after Bush, Charles Kupchan, on April 15.

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January 22, 2009

Kirshner on 'I Live Here'

Actor-author Mia Kirshner will be speaking at MIT on her book, I Live Here. The multimedia publication presents the stories of refugees and displaced people in four corners of the world. Together, the book's four volumes explore such issues as underage sex workers, child soldiers, disappeared women, and the binding ties of common humanity. All material in the book is based on first person accounts collected over the past six years. Currently, Kirshner is teaching an IAP course at MIT on documenting hidden voices within the greater Boston community. Mirroring the multimedia approach of the book, the collected stories will be presented as a short video at the event. The event will be Thursday, January 29, at 5pm, in MIT Rm 6-120. Event details»

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January 9, 2009

Chomsky on Gaza

Noam Chomsky addresses the crisis in Gaza followed by a question-and-answer session with the audience. The public event will be on Tuesday, January 13, at 4p, in the Wong Auditorium, MIT Bldg E51. For more details and a map to the location, visit Chomsky on Gaza. Co-sponsored by CIS and its Program on Human Rights and Justice. View the video of the event.

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January 7, 2009

CIS scholars offer advice to Obama

Barack Obama will be flooded with advice on the many critical matters he must face as 44th president of the United States, as will the new Congress. To that end, scholars at MIT's Center for International Studies (CIS) offer fresh ideas, succinctly stated, on issues ranging from security strategy to the financial crisis to human rights. The short essays are presented in an easy-to-read publication and draw on CIS scholars' deep knowledge and experience. Read more in our news release

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January 5, 2009

Kirshner teaches IAP course

CIS is delighted to bring Mia Kirshner, actor and author of I Live Here, to teach an IAP courseI Live Here is a multimedia publication that presents the first-hand stories of refugees and displaced people in four corners of the world. Mirroring the multimedia approach of the book, the two-week course will ask participants to create their own short videos based on hidden stories that need to be heard within the greater Boston community. The documentaries will be featured on the CIS website and will also be shown at a CIS-sponsored event with Mia Kirshner on Thursday, January 29. All CIS-sponsored IAP courses are available here.

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January 1, 2009

CIS sponsors East Asia working group

CIS is sponsoring a new working group focused on East Asia's regional security. Using the strengths of both the Political Science Department and the Center's Security Studies Program, the goal is to create a regular forum for discussion of ongoing security developments in this dynamic region. The new group is one of several CIS-sponsored groups that tackle research issues not confined to a single department. The groups are structured to generate meaningful scholarly work on a host of academic and policy issues and are open to both faculty and students. Visit CIS Working Groups to learn more. 

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November 18, 2008

Experts' call to improve U.S. relations with Iran

A group of scholars and former diplomats has issued a "Joint Experts' Statement on Iran" calling for a change of U.S. direction to emphasize diplomacy. The statement was written with the help of several scholars with Center connections, including research associate Jim Walsh, executive director John Tirman, and research affiliates Sanam Anderlini (one of the group's organizers), Ali Banuazizi, and Juan Cole. Geoffrey Forden, of MIT's Program in Science, Technology and Society, is another participant. The effort, co-chaired by Ambassadors Thomas Pickering and James Dobbins, calls on the new administration to "open the door to direct, unconditional and comprehensive negotiations at the senior diplomatic level where personal contacts can be developed, intentions tested, and possibilities explored on both sides." The experts' statement, which calls for a step-by-step approach to improve bilateral relations in the interest of U.S. security, is stirring widespread interest following a Capitol Hill news conference Tuesday, November 18. Full Statement (PDF)

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November 17, 2008

Conflict resolution in Jerusalem

The Center's Jerusalem Seminar Series presents its final talk on Thursday, Nov. 20, with Susan Collin Marks as guest lecturer. Marks is the executive vice president of Search for Common Ground, an international conflict resolution and management organization. A South African, she served as a peacemaker and peace-builder under the auspices of the National Peace Accord during South Africa's transition from apartheid to democracy. She lived for two years in Jerusalem co-directing Search for Common Ground's Middle East Program. Her talk, Building Peace from the Ground Up: Conflict Resolution and Civil Society in Jerusalem, commences at 4:30p, in MIT Bldg. 3-133.

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November 13, 2008

Starr Forum: Obama and science policy

The Center's Starr Forum is hosting an advice session to the Obama administration on science and the future of America. Leading the discussion will be Marc Kastner, Donner Professor of Physics and Dean of Science at MIT. Eugene Skolnikoff, Emeritus Professor of Political Science at MIT and a former director of CIS, will chair the discussion. The event will be at the Broad Institute auditorium on Wednesday, November 19, at 6p. More information » 

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