Four New Faculty Join DUSP

DUSP is pleased to welcome four new faculty members into our community of intellectuals and practitioners. Each of these individuals brings their unique perspectives and skills in fields ranging from conflict studies, the historical evolution of markets and institutions, health and urbanism, and housing market analysis, to compliment and strengthen DUSP’s ability to study, engage, and address the current issues of our global community. 

The four new professors are:

Jason Jackson, assistant professor

Jason Jackson is an Assistant Professor of Political Economy and Urban Planning in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning. His research focuses on the relationship between states and markets, understanding the evolution of the historical origins of institutional arrangements that have defined modern states and markets. Jackson is particularly interested in the how and why economic ideas and moral beliefs shape market institutions. His current research projects include the politics of monopoly and foreign investment in India from the late colonial period to the present and the ‘sharing economy’ and urban transportation markets in contemporary cities in Asia, Europe and the United States.

Prior to coming to teach at DUSP, Jackson completed his Ph.D. in Political Economy at MIT. He also holds an AB in Economics from Princeton University, an MSc in Development Economics from the University of London School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) and an MPA from the Harvard Kennedy School. He won fellowships from the Social Sciences Research Council and the UK-based Overseas Development Institute, and worked with a variety of private, non-governmental and multilateral organizations in the Caribbean, South Africa and the United States.

Erica  Caple James, associate professor

Erica James is an Associate Professor of Medical Anthropology and Urban Studies, an affiliate faculty member of the MIT Department of Anthropology, and the faculty director of the MIT Global Health and Medical Humanities Initiative. Her work focuses on violence and trauma; philanthropy, humanitarianism, and charity; human rights, democratization, and postconflict transition processes; race, gender, and culture; and religion and healing. 

James earned her A.B. in Anthropology from Princeton University (1992), an M.T.S. from Harvard Divinity School (1995), and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Social Anthropology from Harvard University (1998 and 2003 respectively). Her multiple publications highlight a diverse set of topics, including, documenting the psychosocial experience of Haitian torture survivors, the "biopolitics of charity" at a faith-based social service organization promoting health and education programs, and the politics of charity in the context of the impact of U.S. anti-terrorism financing laws and practices on both faith-based and secular NGOs in the United States.

Delia Wendell, assistant professor

Delia Wendell is currently a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania's Wolf Humanities Center. In 2018, she will join DUSP as an Assistant Professor of International Development and Urban Planning. Her research engages multiple topics, drawing upon the common trinity of spatial politics, conflict and disaster recovery, and African urbanism to contextualize how communities recover and rebuild after conflict.

Prior to joining MIT, Wendell received a Ph.D. in Urban Planning from Harvard University in 2016, a BArch degree in Architecture from Rice University, a MSc in Cultural Geography from University College London and a MDes, Architectural History and Theory from the Harvard Graduate School of Design. She has taught extensively in the Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning departments at Harvard's Graduate School of Design and was an Assistant Professor in Architectural Studies at University of Edinburgh. In addition to her academic accomplishments, she has designed professionally for architecture firms in New York, Washington DC, and her own firm in Virginia.

Siqi Zheng, associate professor

Siqi Zheng joins the Department as the Samuel Tak Lee Associate Professor of Real Estate Development and Entrepreneurship, the faculty director at the Samuel Tak Lee Real Estate Entrepreneurship Lab, and the foundering faculty director of the Future City Innovation Connector (FCIC). Zheng brings her formidable knowledge of China’s urban development, particularly the analyses of housing markets and policy, the environmental impact of urbanization, and the behavioral foundations of development in China. Her research draws upon an interdisciplinary approach, leveraging her expertise in economics, urban planning, environmental science, and engineering. In addition to her appointments at DUSP, CRE, and the STL Lab, Zheng is also the Vice General Secretary of the Global Chinese Real Estate Congress and the Vice President of the Asian Real Estate Society.

Before to coming to MIT, Zheng was a professor and the director of Hang Lung Center for Real Estate at Tsinghua University, China. She received her Ph.D. in urban development and real estate from Tsinghua University in 2005, and was a postdoc at the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University.