The MIT Press announces Grant Program for Diverse Voices recipients for 2024

From a scholarly monograph on Haitian Creole to a feminist history of social media photography, grant recipients bring new perspectives to the world through the MIT Press

Today, the MIT Press announced the recipients of the 2024 Grant Program for Diverse Voices. Launched in 2021, the program provides direct support for new work by authors who bring excluded or chronically underrepresented perspectives to the fields in which the Press publishes, which include the sciences, arts, and humanities.

Recipients are selected after submitting a book proposal and completing a successful peer review. Grants can support a variety of needs, including research travel, copyright permission fees, parental/family care, developmental editing, and other costs associated with the research and writing process. 

Grant Program for Diverse Voices 2024 Recipients*:

  • Kimberly Juanita Brown, Black Elegies
  • Michel DeGraff, Our Own Language: The Power of Kreyòl and Other Native Languages for Liberation and Justice in Haiti and Beyond
  • Amanda K. Greene, Glitchy Vision: A Feminist History of the Social Photo
  • Silas Munro, Data by Design: A Counterhistory of Data Visualization, 17891900
  • Anna Von Mertens, Attention Is Discovery: The Life and Work of Henrietta Leavitt

“The recipients of this year’s grant program have produced exceptional proposals that surface new ideas, voices, and perspectives within their respective fields,” says Amy Brand, director and publisher, the MIT Press. “We are proud to lend our support and look forward to publishing these works in the near future.”


In the grant program’s inaugural year, the Press selected eight projects, two of which have now been published to high acclaim. An Anthology of Blackness: The State of Black Design, edited by Terresa Moses and Omari Souza, was praised by Print magazine as offering “bold treatises of where Black designers have been, where we are, and where we are heading, bridging the gap between the past and today’s advancement of the Black designer in the global design conversation.” Christina Sharpe, Canada Research Chair in Black Studies in the Humanities at York University, calls Kimberly Juanita Brown’s Mortevivum: Photography and the Politics of the Visual, the first work in the On Seeing book series, “a profoundly necessary work.”

Two-time recipient Brown says, “I am thrilled to be a recipient of the Grant Program for Diverse Voices. This award is an investment in the work that we do; work that responds to sites of inquiry that deserve illumination.”

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The grant program is supported by the Press’s Fund for Diverse Voices, a gift fund that champions the publication of new MIT Press books that center underrepresented perspectives. The Fund for Diverse Voices has received generous support from the Heising-Simons Foundation, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, and individual donors. 

About the 2024 recipients:

Black Elegies by Kimberly Juanita Brown

Black Elegies explores the art of mourning in contemporary cultural productions. Structured around the sensorial, the book moves through sight, sound, and touch in order to complicate what Okwui Enwezor calls the “national emergency of black grief.” Using fiction, photography, music, film and poetry, Black Elegies delves into explorations of mourning that take into account the multiple losses sustained by black subjects, from forced migration and enslavement, to bodily violations, imprisonment and death. Black Elegies is in the On Seeing series and will be published in collaboration with Brown University Digital Publications.

Kimberly Juanita Brown is the inaugural director of the Institute for Black Intellectual and Cultural Life at Dartmouth College where she is also an Associate Professor of English and creative writing. She is the author of The Repeating Body: Slavery’s Visual Resonance in the Contemporary and Mortevivum.

Our Own Language: The Power of Kreyòl and Other Native Languages for Liberation and Justice in Haiti and Beyond by Michel DeGraff

Kreyòl is the only language spoken by all Haitians in Haiti. Yet, most school children in Haiti are still being taught with manuals written in a language they do not speak—French. DeGraff challenges and corrects the assumptions and errors in the linguistics discipline that regard Creole languages as inferior, and puts forth what learning might look like in Kreyòl-based classrooms in Haiti. Published in a dual-language edition, Our Own Language will use Haiti and Kreyòl as a case study of linguistic and educational justice for human rights, liberation, sovereignty, and nation building.

Michel DeGraff is Professor of Linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), co-founder and co-director of the MIT-Haiti Initiative, founding member of Akademi Kreyòl Ayisyen and in 2022 was named a fellow of the Linguistic Society of America. 

Glitchy Vision: A Feminist History of the Social Photo by Amanda K. Greene

Glitchy Vision examines how new photographic social media cultures can change human bodies through the glitches they introduce into quotidian habits of feeling and seeing. Focusing on glitchiness provides new, needed vantages on the familiar by troubling the typical trajectories of bodies and technologies. Greene’s research operates at the nexus of visual culture, digital studies, and the health humanities, attending especially to the relationship between new media and chronic pain and vulnerability. Shining a light on an underserved area of analysis, her scholarship focuses on how illness, pain, and disability are encountered and “read” in everyday life.

Amanda Greene is a researcher at the Center for Bioethics and Social Sciences in Medicine at the University of Michigan.

Data by Design: A Counterhistory of Data Visualization, 1789-1900 by Silas Munro, et al.

Data by Design: A Counterhistory of Data Visualization, 1789-1900, excavates the hidden history of data visualization through evocative argument and bold visual detail. Developed by the project team of Lauren F. Klein with Tanvi Sharma, Jay Varner, Nicholas Yang, Dan Jutan, Jianing Fu, Anna Mola, Zhou Fang, Marguerite Adams, Shiyao Li, Yang Li, and Silas Munro, Data by Design is both an interactive website and a lavishly illustrated book expertly adapted for print by Munro. The project interweaves cultural-critical analyses of historical visualization examples, culled from archival research, with new visualizations. 

Silas Munro is founder of the LGBTQ+ and BIPOC-owned graphic design studio Polymode based in Los Angeles and Raleigh. Munro is faculty co-chair for the MFA Program in graphic design at the Vermont College of Fine Arts.

Attention is Discovery: The Life and Work of Henrietta Leavitt by Anna Von Mertens

Attention is Discovery is a layered portrait of Henrietta Leavitt, the woman who laid the foundation for modern cosmology. Through her attentive study of the two-dimensional surface of thousands of glass plates, Leavitt revealed a way to calculate the distance to faraway stars and envision a previously inconceivable three-dimensional universe. In this compelling story of an underrecognized female scientist, Leavitt’s achievement, long subsumed under the headlining work of Edwin Hubble, receives its due spotlight. 

*Book titles are not finalized and are subject to change. 

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Learn more about the Grant Program for Diverse Voices