MIT School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences Welcomes Six New Professors | MIT News
Acting Dean Agustín Rayo and the School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences recently welcomed the new members of the MIT SHASS faculty. The six new professors for fall 2021 bring a range of research interests and knowledge in the field to MIT, including: ethical questions about disinformation and lying; macroeconomics; economic theory; transnational power and civic media; East Asian literature and thought; and trade policy.
Ian Ball joins the Department of Economics as an assistant professor, after studying mathematics at Stanford University and pursuing graduate studies in economics at Yale University, where he received his PhD in economics in 2020. Ball’s research focuses on economic theory, in particular the design of information and mechanisms. .
Sam Berstler is the newest faculty member in the Department of Linguistics and Philosophy. Berstler comes to MIT from Princeton University, where she was a post-doctoral fellow, after completing her doctorate at Yale. His recent academic work investigates the structure, function, and ethics of insincere conversations. She recently co-hosted the interdisciplinary Revisiting the Common Ground conference, which brought together philosophers, cognitive scientists and linguists to address fundamental questions in the study of conversation.
Wiebke Denecke is already a familiar face in MIT’s literature section; she was a visiting professor before joining the department this year as a professor. His research and teaching encompass classical literature and thought from China, Japan and Korea; comparative studies of East Asia and the pre-modern world; world literature; and the policy of cultural heritage and memory. Prior to entering MIT, she held positions at Barnard College / Columbia University and Boston University, as well as visiting professor positions at Doshisha University (Kyoto) and Korea University (Seoul ). Denecke is the general editor of “The Hsu-Tang Library of Classical Chinese Literature” and the East Asian Editor of “The Norton Anthology of World Literature”. She received her doctorate from Harvard University after earning her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Göttingen in her native Germany.
Mariya Grinberg is a new assistant professor in the Department of Political Science. His research interests include: why states trade with their enemies; how time and uncertainty shape the strategic decisions of nations; and the process of state decline. She received a PhD from the University of Chicago in 2019 and was a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford University and the Dickey Center for International Understanding at Dartmouth University.
Christian Wolf is joining the Department of Economics as a new Assistant Professor this semester. His research focuses on macroeconomics, monetary economics and time series econometrics. He arrived at MIT after a scholarship at the University of Chicago after a master’s and a doctorate in economics from Princeton University. He is also currently an academic researcher at the National Bureau of Economic Research.
Sulafa Zidani is entering MIT’s Comparative Media Studies and Writing program as an Assistant Professor of Global Civic Media. After working as a teacher, research assistant and translator in Palestine, Israel, China, and the United States, Zidani received her doctorate from the Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California, where she completed her doctoral studies. also was a founding member of the graduate student conference in critical mediation. His academic work focuses on the social, political and cultural dynamics in which technology operates and the role that technology plays in transnational power.