Four Women Join the Faculty of the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences at MIT

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology has six new faculty members in its School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences. Four of the new hires are women.

Sam Berstler is the newest member of the department of linguistics and philosophy. She comes to MIT from Princeton University, where she was the Desai Family Postdoctoral Associate and lecturer in the philosophy department. Her recent academic work investigates the structure, function, and ethics of insincere conversations. Dr. Berstler holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English from Harvard University. She holds a Ph.D. in philosophy from Yale University.

Wiebke Denecke served as a visiting professor of liteature before joining the department this year as a professor. Her research and teaching encompass classical literature and thought of China, Japan, and Korea; comparative studies of East Asia and the pre-modern world; world literature; and the politics of cultural heritage and memory. Earlier in her career, she held faculty positions at Barnard College and Boston University. Dr. Denecke holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Göttingen in Germany. She earned a Ph.D. at Harvard University.

Mariya Grinberg is a new assistant professor in the department of political science. Her research interests include: why states trade with their enemies; how time and uncertainty shape nations’ strategic decisions; and the process of state decline. Before joining the MIT faculty she was a postdoctoral researcher at the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford University and at the Dickey Center for International Understanding at Dartmouth College. Dr. Grinberg os a graduate of the University of Southern California. She earned a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in political sceince from the University of Chicago.

Sulafa Zidani is a new assistant professor of global civic media. Her academic work focuses on the social, political, and cultural dynamics in which technology operates and the role tech plays in transnational power. Dr. Zidani was a dual-major in Asia studies and communication and journalism in bachelor’s and master’s degree programs at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in communication from the University of Southrn California.

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