Ria Brodell: Butch Heroes @ MIT Press Bookstore
Nov 1 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Please join MIT Press Bookstore in welcoming artist Ria Brodell to discuss their new book, Butch Heroes.

This astonishing collection of twenty-eight paintings, modeled on Catholic holy cards, exhumes the lost histories of gender non-conforming individuals from the fifteenth through the twentieth centuries.



Ria Brodell is an artist and educator based in Boston who has had solo and group exhibitions throughout the United States and whose work has been featured in the GuardianARTNews, the Boston Globe, and New American Paintings. Brodell is a part-time lecturer at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University.

Thresholds 46: SCATTER! @ MIT Press Bookstore
Nov 14 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Please join us,  in partnership with the MIT Department of Architecture, for a discussion of Thresholds 46: SCATTER!.

Thresholds is the annual peer-reviewed journal produced by the MIT Department of Architecture. Each independently themed issue features content from leading scholars and practitioners in the fields of architecture, art, and culture. Thresholds 46: SCATTER! is edited by Anne Graziano and Eliyahu Keller.

This event will feature a panel discussion and Q&A with the audience.

Robert Jaffe and Washington Taylor: The Physics of Energy @ MIT Press Bookstore
Nov 20 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Join us at the bookstore, in partnership with MIT Department of Physics, in welcoming Robert Jaffe and Washington Taylor for a discussion of energy and their book, The Physics of Energy.

Energy plays a central role in science and in human society. Changes in energy sources and technologies have driven the major technological advances that make possible our current society. And energy choices in the coming decades will have a powerful impact on the future of humanity and the planetary ecosystem. While these energy choices are fundamentally driven by economic and political considerations, any sensible analysis of the options must be grounded in the fundamental science of energy.

The Physics of Energy provides a comprehensive and systematic introduction to the scientific principles governing energy sources, uses, and systems. Students, scientists, engineers, energy industry professionals, and concerned citizens with some mathematical and scientific background who wish to understand energy systems and issues quantitatively will find this book of great interest.


Robert L. Jaffe holds the Morningstar Chair in the Department of Physics at MIT. He was formerly director of MIT’s Center for Theoretical Physics and recently chaired the American Physical Society’s Panel on Public Affairs. Jaffe is best known for his research on the quark substructure of the proton and other strongly interacting particles, on exotic states of matter, and on the quantum structure of the vacuum. He received his BA from Princeton and his PhD from Stanford. In recognition of his contributions to teaching and course development at MIT, Jaffe has received numerous awards including a prestigious MacVicar Fellowship. Jaffe is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.


Washington Taylor is a Professor of Physics at MIT, and is currently the Director of MIT’s Center for Theoretical Physics. Taylor’s research is focused on basic theoretical questions of particle physics and gravity. Taylor has made contributions to our understanding of fundamental aspects of string theory and its set of solutions, including connections to constraints on low-energy field theory and observable physics and to new results in mathematics. Taylor received his BA in mathematics from Stanford and his PhD in physics from UC Berkeley. Among other honors, Taylor has been an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow and a Department of Energy Outstanding Junior Investigator, and has received MIT’s  Buechner faculty teaching prize.

Felice C. Frankel: Picturing Science and Engineering @ MIT Press Bookstore
Dec 13 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Please join the MIT Bookstore in welcoming Felice Frankel to discuss her new book, Picturing Science and Engineering.

One of the most powerful ways for scientists to document and communicate their work is through photography. Unfortunately, most scientists have little or no training in that craft. In this book, celebrated science photographer Felice Frankel offers a guide for creating science images that are both accurate and visually stunning.



Felice C. Frankel is a research scientist in the Department of Chemical Engineering and in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at MIT, as well as an award-winning science photographer whose photos have appeared in many publications, including National Geographic, Nature, Science, and Scientific American.

Michael Bierut and Jessica Helfand: Culture is Not Always Popular @ MIT Press Bookstore
Mar 4 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm

PLEASE NOTE: We will be checking ticket reservations at the door. If you do not have your Eventbrite ticket with you, we can look you up by name.

We will have a stand-by line at the door for this event. Five minutes before the event begins, we will open up the event to those in the stand-by line on a first-come, first-served basis.

If you have reserved a ticket for this event, please note that it will guarantee your place until 5:55 pm on March 4. Five minutes before the event begins, we will open up the event to those in the stand-by line.

Please join MIT Press Bookstore in welcoming Michael Bierut and Jessica Helfand to discuss Culture Is Not Always Popular: Fifteen Years of Design Observer.

Founded in 2003, Design Observer inscribes its mission on its homepage: Writings about Design and Culture. Since its inception, the site has consistently embraced a broader, more interdisciplinary, and circumspect view of design’s value in the world—one not limited by materialism, trends, or the slipperiness of style. This book is a combination primer, celebration, survey, and salute to a certain moment in online culture. This collection includes reassessments that sharpen the lens or dislocate it; investigations into the power of design idioms; off-topic gems; discussions of design ethics; and experimental writing, new voices, hybrid observations, and other idiosyncratic texts.

Michael Bierut is a partner in the New York office of Pentagram. His book How to Use Graphic Design to Sell Things, Explain Things, Make Things Look Better, Make People Laugh, Make People Cry, and (Every Once in a While) Change the World accompanied a 2015 retrospective of his work, which was part of the School of Visual Art’s Masters Series. Cofounder of Design Observer and cohost of two podcasts, he is on the faculty at Yale School of Art and Yale School of Management and a recipient of the AIGA Medal, the design profession’s highest honor.

Jessica Helfand is the author of numerous books on design and visual culture including Design: The Invention of Desire. Cofounder of Design Observer and cohost of two podcasts, she is on the faculty at Yale School of Art and Yale School of Management and a recipient of the AIGA Medal, the design profession’s highest honor.

George Estreich and Sara Hendren: Fables and Futures @ MIT Press Bookstore
Mar 14 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Please join MIT Press Bookstore in welcoming George Estreich and Sara Hendren to discuss George Estreich’s book, Fables and Futures: Biotechnology, Disability, and the Stories We Tell Ourselves.

From next-generation prenatal tests, to virtual children, to the genome-editing tool CRISPR-Cas9, new biotechnologies grant us unprecedented power to predict and shape future people. That power implies a question about belonging: which people, which variations, will we welcome? How will we square new biotech advances with the real but fragile gains for people with disabilities—especially when their voices are all but absent from the conversation? In chapters that blend personal narrative and scholarship, Estreich restores disability to our narratives of technology. Examining the stories we tell ourselves, the fables already creating our futures, Estreich argues that, given biotech that can select and shape who we are, we need to imagine, as broadly as possible, what it means to belong.

George Estreich is the author of The Shape of the Eye: A Memoir. His writing has appeared in Tin House, the New York TimesSalon, and other publications. He teaches writing at Oregon State University.

Sara Hendren is Artist, Designer and Researcher in residence at Olin College of Engineering. Her recent work includes collaborative public art and social design that engages the human body, technology, and the politics of disability. Her work has been exhibited in the US and abroad and is held in the permanent collection at the Museum of Modern Art (NYC).