• Fall 2009
November 1, 2009

Visit our website and events calendar for a complete listing of spring 2015 activities. Many of our events are captured on video and available to view on YouTube.

CIS Celebrates New Space

MIT Bldg E40-400

CIS is delighted to announce our new location at MIT Bldg E40-400. All of the Center's programs and people are now together on one floor, which will help foster better research and teaching. The Center celebrated the new space with a formal reception and dedication of the Lucian Pye Conference Room in September 2009. Pye, a world-renowned scholar on Asian studies, was a founding member of the Center for International Studies and Ford Professor of Political Science (Emeritus) at MIT. 



MIT Announces Global Strategy

Global Council Report

MIT's Global Council, co-chaired by CIS director and Ford International Professor of Political Science Richard Samuels, released two reports that will help frame MIT's international engagement strategy for years to come. "Our students' hopes for productive, sustainable careers increasingly depend on acquiring stronger, deeper, and more refined international skills and understanding. Society's best hope for scientific advance depends on our ability both to draw on knowledge from the entire world and to contribute to knowledge creation across national and cultural boundaries," said MIT President Susan Hockfield and Provost L. Rafael Reif in a letter announcing the reports to the MIT community. The new strategy underscores the need for both students and faculty to be involved in global research activities, which is a hallmark of the Center's MISTI Program, the largest international program at MIT. Global Council Report Available Here (PDF) 

Joint Seminar on South Asian Politics

Seminar on South Asian Politics

The Center has joined together with the Watson Institute at Brown and the Weatherhead Center at Harvard to launch a new Inter-University Seminar on South Asian Politics. The seminar is chaired by Ashutosh Varshney, professor of political science at Brown and visiting fellow at CIS. The fall series included the following speakers and topics: Pratap Bhanu Mehta on judicial authority and public reason in India; Christophe Jaffrelot on Dalit politics after the 2009 elections; Ashley Tellis on reconciling with the Taliban; P. Saravanamuttu on Sri Lanka after the LTTE; and Fotini Christia on peace through development in Afghanistan. 

Darfur: The Crisis, The Exhibit

DARFUR The Crisis, The Exhibit

The Center brought the world-traveling exhibit, DARFUR/DARFUR, to MIT campus in October 2009. DARFUR/DARFUR provides visual education about the richly multi-cultural region while exposing the horrors of the ongoing humanitarian crisis. The Starr Forum event commenced with a panel discussion on the crisis featuring Robert Rotberg, Belfer Center, Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government; Susannah Sirkin, Physicians for Human Rights; and Marcus Bleasdale, member of the DARFUR/DARFUR team. Immediately following the sober discussion was the DARFUR/DARFUR exhibit and reception. Co-sponsoring the event with the Center were: Boston International, Physicians for Human Rights, MIT Amnesty International, and the Center’s Program on Human Rights and Justice. The exhibit was funded in part by the Council for the Arts at MIT. Watch the video 

SSP Wednesday Seminars

The Security Studies Program offered weekly seminars beginning September 2009 and concluding the first week of December 2009. Speakers and topics included: Gary Bass (Princeton University) on The Origins of Humanitarian Intervention;" Audrey Kruth Cronin (U.S. National War College) on "How Terrorism Ends: Understanding the Decline and Demise of Terrorist Campaigns;" and David Karl (Pacific Council on International Policy) on "India’s Emergence as a Great Power: Implications for U.S. Policy in Asia." For a complete listing and summaries of the talks visit

CIS Exhibits Photos From Iran

Images From Beneath a Chador

Iran: Images From Beneath a Chador is a photography exhibit that reflects on a pivotal event in the history of U.S.-Iran relations: the November 4, 1979, storming of the U.S. Embassy in Iran and the ensuing hostage crisis. Photojournalist Randy Hope Goodman shared her images and discussed her work on the 30th anniversary of the crisis at the Center’s Lucian Pye Conference Room. The exhibit is currently on display at CIS and available for public viewings through December 18, 2009. Contact to schedule an appointment. 

New Research on Women and Security

The Center is undertaking a year-long assessment of the UN’s mandate on women and security—namely, UN Security Council Resolution 1325, which obligates member states to include women in peace processes and peace building. A distinguished group of researchers from around the world will conduct case studies in Sri Lanka, Uganda, Aceh, Liberia, and Israel/Palestine to evaluate 1325’s impact on participation. Working with several key agencies in the UN system, the team will present their findings at the UN’s 10th anniversary observance of the resolution’s passage next year. John Tirman, CIS executive director and principal research scientist, and Sanam Anderlini, CIS research affiliate and director of the International Civil Society Action Network, are co-directing the project. The work is partially supported by the governments of Norway and Ireland. 

IAP 2010

The Center is pleased to sponsor a variety of IAP courses in January 2010. From making Mexican salsa to practicing kyudo to learning about today’s military or dancing Flamenco, there’s much to choose from. To view the complete listing and register for a class, visit