Lecturer on Social Studies
Kiku Adatto is a Scholar in Residence at Harvard's Mahindra Humanities Center and a Lecturer on Social Studies. Her most recent book Picture Perfect: Life in the Age of the Photo Op (Princeton University Press. 2008) examines the use and abuse of images in politics, the media and everyday life. Ranging from family photos to Facebook, political campaigns to popular movies, photo ops to Photoshop, the book reveals how the line between the person and the pose, the real and the fake, news and entertainment is increasingly blurred. Adatto’s past writings on the media helped spark a national debate on presidential campaign coverage. She has also written on the changing culture of childhood, the role of the hero in American movies and contemporary art and photography. Her writings have appeared in scholarly publications, as well as the New York Times, the New Republic, the Huffington Post, Commonweal, and the photography journal, See. Adatto has addressed gatherings of scholars, Congressional leaders, network executives, and journalists and has lectured on changing trends in American culture at a range of public and university forums in the United States and abroad. She has been an Assistant Professor in Harvard’s Department of Sociology (where she also served as Director of Undergraduate Studies), a faculty member and Shorenstein Fellow at the Kennedy School of Government, and has served as the Director of Children’s Studies at Harvard. Her current book project is The World Next Door, an exploration of the overlapping and intertwined narratives of neighborhood life. She has also initiated an international storytelling, art, and civic education project for children in collaboration with her husband Harvard professor Michael Sandel.
This year she will be teaching the junior tutorial “Art, Popular Culture, and Civic Life” in the fall. She received her B.A. in Literature and Theater Arts from the University of Washington and her Ph.D. in Sociology at the State University of New York at Stony Brook.
Social Studies 98eo: Art, Popular Culture, and Civic Life (Fall)