Program Seminar

The HASTS Program Seminar meets weekly and offers graduate students and postdoctoral fellows at every stage of their training an opportunity to present their work in progress and to give constructive feedback to their peers. In addition to building students’ presentation skills, Program Seminar provides a regular place for them to come together as part of an intellectual community. The seminar is led by the HASTS Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) and each semester three faculty representatives – one from each of the participating units – participate in the seminar along with the students and postdocs.

Typical Program Seminar sessions revolve around a pre-circulated paper by a graduate student or postdoc, on which a second HASTS graduate student prepares (in advance) a brief commentary. The forum allows students as early as their first year to workshop drafts of various papers, ideas on their research data, conference talks, journal articles, dissertation and grant proposals, dissertation chapters, and so on. They are also able to practice providing respectful and constructive feedback on each other’s work. A few meetings of the Program Seminar per year may be devoted to topics of professional development such as writing strategies, grant and fellowship applications, publishing, and field work preparation.

The seminar meets weekly while fall and spring classes are in session and all HASTS students are required to attend unless away for fieldwork or have a class conflict.

HASTS Program Seminar participants can see the schedule for the current semester and materials for reading and review in Canvas. If you are a HASTS student, visiting student, or postdoc and do not have access to the current semester’s Canvas page, please email

Program Seminar visit to the MIT Museum, February 2023