Prof. Resnick is actively involved in Spain where she is President of the International Institute—a Massachusetts Charitable Foundation established in Madrid by American educators and suffragists in the 19th Century. The International Institute provides broad educational programs for thousands of American and Spanish college students each year and collaborates with the American Embassy, the Fulbright Commission, and Spanish universities. For the past twenty years she has run an annual international symposium that brings distinguished Americans and Spaniards together in Madrid to discuss topics including politics, literature, cinema, art and technology. Prof. Resnick has taught courses for executives in the U.S. and in Spain and on the Spanish Civil war seen from abroad at the Carlos III University in Madrid.
Prof. Resnick combines her enthusiasm for Spain with her enthusiasm for teaching by introducing students to the absolutely best tapas bars in Madrid.
Prof. Margery Resnick’s current research focuses on the history of women at MIT. She is Director of the MIT/AMITA Women’s Oral History project. This project, which is generously endowed by MIT’s women graduates, seeks to chronicle and record the ways in which an MIT education with its emphasis on problem-solving shaped individual lives, even when women graduates were limited in their work by their husband’s professions. She teaches undergraduates how to conduct the interviews, works with each student to plan and transcribe the interview based on conversations with the alumna, and then edits the interview. The interviews are deposited in MIT’s archives where they are used by researchers seeking to understand the role of women in science and technology, and by those who want to understand a more complete history of MIT that includes the lives of Tech women.
When the archival project began, all three women graduates from the class of 1921 were alive, and their stories, along with others from that decade on, reveal how MIT’s women graduates in each generation consistently engaged in restless searches for ways to use their intelligence—despite often crushing social, personal and academic hurdles. Their narratives consistently reflect the will to use the habits of mind honed in their MIT studies regardless of circumstance—to create a legacy of innovation that links the earliest women of MIT to our contemporary students.
Prof. Resnick is integrating the oral histories with research and writing she has completed on Katherine Dexter McCormick and Ellen Swallow Richards and other women who graduated before 1921, to produce a book that examines an aspect of MIT’s legacy too often ignored.