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June 10, 2009

MISTI helps put anime on stage

How can MIT students bring to life the excitement and eccentricities of anime? The MIT Dance Theater Ensemble demonstrated the possibilities with its performance Live Action Anime 2009: Madness at Mokuba at the convention Anime Boston on May 22, 2009. The troupe then took the show to Japan, where they collaborated with Japanese students to perform the play at Tokyo University of the Arts on May 29-30, 2009. Part homage to anime history, part commentary on the plight of undocumented workers in the US, and over-the-top tribute to anime creators and fans worldwide, this original theatrical production features giant robots, a Japanese schoolgirl, a lovelorn fanboy, a masterless samurai, a gamer woman, evil media magnates, and a vengeful deathgod who all battle for truth, justice, and the anime way. MISTI's Japan program and its Global Seed Funds were among the co-sponsors. 


June 5, 2009

Starr Forums on video

The Center hosted multiple public forums in spring 2009 that are available on video: "The Challenges to the Global Economy," with Harvard economist Martin Feldstein and MIT Sloan School's Simon Johnson; "The MIT/Harvard Gaza Symposium," 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; "The Most Important Number in the World," with environmentalist Bill McKibben; "Afghanistan," featuring a conversation between Admiral William Fallon, USN (RET) and Fotini Christia, an expert on Afghanistan; and "U.S.- Iran Relations," with policy and security experts Jim Walsh, Suzanne DiMaggio, Stephen Heintz, and Barry Posen. View all Starr Forum videos»


May 15, 2009

Symposium issues statement on Palestinian issue

The Israeli government should end the blockade of Gaza and negotiate with Hamas, and President Obama should engage more constructively on the Palestinian issue-including a demand to end the expansion of Israeli settlements-were among the findings and recommendations of a MIT-Harvard symposium on Gaza. The statement was issued a few days prior to President Obama's meeting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The symposium, which was co-sponsored by CIS, convened on March 30-31, 2009. Among the participants were Rep. Brian Baird (D-WA); Richard Falk, UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territories; Karma Nabulsi, Oxford University and former PLO representative; Meron Benvenisti, former Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem; Craig Mokhiber, Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights; and Husam Zomlot, a Palestinian diplomat.
Joint Statement | Press Release



May 7, 2009

Four 'CIS Students' receive Fulbrights

Four students affiliated with the Center have received 2009-10 Fulbright Fellowships: Nathan Cisneros, Greg Distelhorst, Erica Dobbs, and Gabrielle Kruks-Wisner. The students—all doctoral candidates in the political science department—are among 13 from MIT that received the scholarship. Cisneros will travel to Japan to examine the persisting dualism between workers with job protection and good wages with those without such security. Distelhorst will visit two southern Chinese manufacturing centers to investigate how local government and private firms have responded to new laws that improve labor conditions and expand worker rights while raising operational costs for employers. Dobbs will examine the role labor unions play in integrating recent immigrants into their communities in Ireland and Spain. And Kruks-Wisner will travel to India to complete her dissertation research on local governance institutions in rural India. Related news story» 


May 1, 2009

Starr Forum on U.S.-Iran relations

Should the U.S. build better relations with Iran? Can we live with a nuclear Iran? Do the Iranian presidential elections provide new opportunities for dialogue? A panel of international security and foreign policy experts will address such issues at a Starr Forum on Tuesday, May 5. Our featured speakers are: Jim Walsh, a research associate at the CIS Security Studies Program (SSP) at MIT, and Suzanne DiMaggio, director of the Asia Society. Stephen Heintz, president of Rockefeller Bros. Fund, will serve as the discussant and Barry Posen, Ford International Professor of Political Science and director of SSP, will chair. More details»


April 28, 2009

CIS releases video: 'Mind, Hand, World'

Why have a Center for International Studies at MIT? What is the MISTI experience? How do CIS scholars impact policy makers? Why study war? How do we prepare students to compete in a global society? These are a few questions that are addressed in a new video about CIS entitled: Mind, Hand, World. The video, produced in collaboration with MIT's Academic Media Production Services, provides its viewers with an inspiring overview of the Center's aims in eight minutes. View Mind, Hand, World »


April 23, 2009

Fallon and Christia on Afghanistan

On Thursday, April 30, Admiral Willam Fallon, USN (RET), will be giving a public talk on Afghanistan. Joining the discussion will be Fotini Christa, an expert on Afghanistan. Fallon joined the Center for International Studies for the 2008-09 academic year as a Robert E. Wilhelm fellow. Christia joined MIT last fall as an assistant professor of political science and a member of the Security Studies Program. The April 30 Starr Forum on Afghanistan commences at 4 PM in the MIT Wong Auditorium. The event is free and open ot the public. For more details, visit the event page.


April 21, 2009

SSP scholar & students publish book

U.S. Military Innovation Since the Cold War, a new book about "how the US military reacted to the 'Revolution in Military Affairs' (RMA), and failed to innovate its organization or doctrine to match the technological breakthroughs it brought about," was published in April 2009. The book was edited by Harvey Sapolsky, professor of public policy and organization and recently retired from teaching political science and directing the MIT Security Studies Program (SSP), and SSP doctoral students Benjamin Friedman and Brendan Green.



April 16, 2009

Roadmap and rationale for U.S.-Iran relations

A months-long study of U.S.-Iran relations concludes that a new diplomatic approach by the United States to transform the relationship with Iran could produce a breakthrough that will boost security and prosperity for the entire region. The 50-page document by John Tirman, executive director and principal research scientist of the MIT Center for International Studies provides a roadmap and a rationale for the new approach. "Small gestures and better language are an improvement over the disastrous Bush policies," Tirman says, "but small steps are not enough. We need bold diplomacy for a breakthrough, and we can do so confidently because U.S. security is not at risk." The study was supported by the New Ideas Fund. Full text | News Release


April 15, 2009

Summer courses on innovation, biosecurity

The Center's Security Studies Program is offering two courses during the 2009 summer session for professional studies. From Technology to Innovation: Putting Ideas to Work, offered July 13-16, explores innovations in both public and private organizations in an effort to identify best practices. Combating Bioterrorism/Pandemics: Implementing Policies for Biosecurity, offered July 27-29, looks at the challenges public health, law enforcement, and national security agencies face in ensuring biosecurity.


April 10, 2009

CIS awards 18 summer study grants

The Center is pleased to announce the recipients of its summer study grants. The grants are being awarded to eighteen doctoral students in international affairs at MIT. Each will receive up to $4,500 for summer studies, which may be used for fieldwork, archival research, or home-based research and write-up. Criteria for the awards include the importance of the research question, the quality of the research proposal, and strong letters of support.


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.


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. 


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»


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»


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.


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.


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.


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.


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»