Treat your shelf to something visionary this winter
As winter approaches, we here at the MIT Press prepare ourselves for the upcoming chill in the time-honored fashion of all readers—by gathering our books, blankets, and mugs of our hot beverage of choice and perching ourselves next to a fireplace for the next three-to-five months. It’s hard work, but someone has to do it.
This reading season, we invite you to treat yourself—and your shelf—to something new as you hunker down. In this first entry of our four-part winter reading series, we highlight some of the most visionary titles on our list, with books detailing action plans for a cleaner future, augmented thinking, and an illustrated exploration of gender.
Without further ado, we urge our fellow readers to grab a book, grab a blanket, and join us in our wintery forays. (We’ll see the rest of you in May.)
Use code MITPHoliday22 at checkout on PenguinRandomHouse.com for 20% off MIT Press titles with free shipping from November 14, 2022 to January 31, 2023. *
(*Discount code applies to US addresses.)
In the Black Fantastic by Ekow Eshun
A richly illustrated exploration of Black culture at its most wildly imaginative and artistically ambitious, In the Black Fantastic assembles art and imagery from across the African diaspora. Embracing the mythic and the speculative, it recycles and reconfigures elements of fable, folklore, science fiction, spiritual traditions, ceremonial pageantry, and the legacies of Afrofuturism. In works that span photography, painting, sculpture, cinema, graphic arts, music and architecture, In the Black Fantastic shows how speculative fictions in Black art and culture are boldly reimagining perspectives on race, gender and identity.
“Visually stunning, intellectually cohesive.” —Financial Times
Rethinking Gender: An Illustrated Exploration by Louie Läuger
Queer, cisgender, transgender, nonbinary, androgynous, maverique, intergender, genderfluid. Louie and their cat (a.k.a. “Cat”) take you on a journey through the world of gender—without claiming to have it all figured out or knowing the perfect definition for this widely complex subject. Gender is tricky to understand because it’s a social construct intersecting with many other parts of our identity, including class, race, age, religion. For a long time, people thought of gender as binary: male/female, pirate/princess, sports/shopping. Now, we’re starting to understand it’s not that simple. That’s what this book is about: figuring out what gender means, one human being at a time, and giving us new ways to let the world know who we are.
“A perfect book for anybody who wants to explore their own gender, or to explain gender to others.” —Meg-John Barker, author of Gender: A Graphic Guide
Carbon Queen: The Remarkable Life of Nanoscience Pioneer Mildred Dresselhaus by Maia Weinstock
As a girl in New York City in the 1940s, Mildred “Millie” Dresselhaus was taught that there were only three career options open to women: secretary, nurse, or teacher. But sneaking into museums, purchasing three-cent copies of National Geographic, and devouring books on the history of science ignited in Dresselhaus (1930–2017) a passion for inquiry. In Carbon Queen, science writer Maia Weinstock describes how, with curiosity and drive, Dresselhaus defied expectations and forged a career as a pioneering scientist and engineer. Dresselhaus made highly influential discoveries about the properties of carbon and other materials and helped reshape our world in countless ways—from electronics to aviation to medicine to energy. She was also a trailblazer for women in STEM and a beloved educator, mentor, and colleague.
“An exceptional biography showcasing the achievements of a brilliant scientist who broadened the range of the possible for women.” —Booklist, starred review
The Nexus: Augmented Thinking for a Complex World—The New Convergence of Art, Technology, and Science by Julio Mario Ottino
Today’s complex problems demand a radically new way of thinking—one in which art, technology, and science converge to expand our creativity and augment our insight. Creativity must be combined with the ability to execute; the innovators of the future will have to understand this balance and manage such complexities as climate change and pandemics. The place of this convergence is the Nexus. In this provocative and visually striking book, Julio Mario Ottino and Bruce Mau offer a guide for navigating the intersections of art, technology, and science.
“A beautiful and fascinating book. It stretched my brain and caused me to think differently about both the beauty and challenges of our world.” —Gwynne Shotwell, President and Chief Operating Officer, SpaceX
Power On! by Jean J. Ryoo and Jane Margolis
This lively graphic novel follows a diverse group of teenage friends as they discover that computing can be fun, creative, and empowering. Taylor, Christine, Antonio, and Jon seem like typical young teens—they communicate via endless texting, they share jokes, they worry about starting high school, and they have each other’s backs. But when a racially-biased artificial intelligence system causes harm in their neighborhood, they suddenly realize that tech isn’t as neutral as they thought it was. But can an algorithm be racist? And what is an algorithm, anyway? Power On! is an essential read for young adults, general readers, educators, and anyone interested in the power of computing, how computing can do good or cause harm, and why addressing underrepresentation in computing needs to be a top priority.
“A must-read for every educator working to make the pressing issues of technology and harm legible to kids.” —Safiya Noble, UCLA; author of Algorithms of Oppression
Electrify: An Optimist’s Playbook for Our Clean Energy Future by Saul Griffith
Climate change is a planetary emergency. We have to do something now—but what? Saul Griffith has a plan. In Electrify, Griffith lays out a detailed blueprint—optimistic but feasible—for fighting climate change while creating millions of new jobs and a healthier environment. Griffith’s plan can be summed up simply: electrify everything. He explains exactly what it would take to transform our infrastructure, update our grid, and adapt our households to make this possible. Billionaires may contemplate escaping our worn-out planet on a private rocket ship to Mars, but the rest of us, Griffith says, will stay and fight for the future.
Silver Medalist in Business Intelligence/Innovation, 2022 Axiom Business Book Awards
“I don’t think anyone else has quite so credibly laid out a realistic plan for swift action in the face of an existential crisis.” —Bill McKibben, New York Review of Books