Deborah Fitzgerald, the Kenan Sahin Dean of MIT’s School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences, has appointed two faculty members to new leadership roles within the school. Effective July 1, Professor Helen Elaine Lee will succeed Teng as director of Women’s and Gender Studies, and Professor Emma Teng will succeed Professor Ian Condry as head of Global Studies and Languages.
“I’m delighted that Emma and Helen have agreed to take on these roles and am confident that both departments will benefit from their leadership,” Fitzgerald said. “I also want to thank the outgoing leaders for their terrific contributions. We are lucky to have such hard-working and effective faculty members.”
Helen Elaine Lee
The new director of WGS, Helen Elaine Lee, is a professor of fiction writing in Comparative Media Studies/Writing. A graduate of Harvard Law School, she is the author of two novels, “The Serpent's Gift” (Atheneum, 1994) and “Water Marked” (Scribner, 1999).
“I am excited about the opportunities ahead, especially in the area of diversity,” Lee said. “I am particularly interested in working with the Institute Community and Equity Office, and with the directors of the Office of Multicultural Programs and LBGT@MIT. I want to bring together varied members of the MIT community and build stronger connections with students of color.”
Lee joined the MIT faculty in 1995. She is a member of the Board of Directors of PEN New England, and she serves on its Freedom to Write Committee and volunteers with its Prison Creative Writing Program.
The author of "Eurasian: Mixed Identities in the United States, China, and Hong Kong, 1842-1943" (University of California Press, 2013), Teng was named a MacVicar Faculty Fellow in 2013 for her outstanding undergraduate teaching, mentoring, and educational innovation. She is the T.T. and Wei Fong Chao Professor of Asian Civilizations and currently serves on the China and Inner Asia Council of the Association for Asian Studies.
“Globalization is one of the biggest challenges facing MIT today, and Global Studies and Languages plays a vital role in equipping students to meet this challenge with appropriate knowledge, skills, and cultural awareness,” Teng said. “I am honored and excited to have the opportunity to serve at this important juncture.”
Teng joined the MIT faculty in 1998. In 2012, she received a second MIT appointment in History, and in 2013 she took the helm at Women’s and Gender Studies (WGS).