School of Humanities and Sciences
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Rachel Heise Bolten
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsRachel Heise Bolten specializes in nineteenth and twentieth century American culture. Her research and teaching interests include California and the West, the history of science and technology, photography, material culture, and environmental humanities. Her current book project explores a long history of literary and visual description.
Jennifer DeVere Brody
Professor of Theater and Performance Studies
BioJennifer DeVere Brody holds a B.A. in Victorian Studies from Vassar College and an M.A. and Ph.D. in English and American Literature from the University of Pennsylvania. Her scholarship and service in African and African American Studies, Gender and Sexuality Studies, visual and performance studies have been recognized by numerous awards: a 2022 Guggenheim Fellowship, a 2023 Virginia Howard Fellowship from the Bogliasco Foundation, support from the Mellon and Ford Foundations, the Monette-Horwitz Prize for Independent Research Against Homophobia, the Royal Society for Theatre Research, and the Thurgood Marshall Prize for Academics and Community Service among others. Her scholarly essays have appeared in Theatre Journal, Signs, Genders, Callaloo, Screen, Text and Performance Quarterly and other journals as well as in numerous edited volumes. Her books include: Impossible Purities: Blackness, Femininity and Victorian Culture (Duke University Press, 1998), Punctuation: Art, Politics and Play (Duke University Press, 2008) and Moving Stones: About the Art of Edmonia Lewis(forthcoming from Duke University Press). She has served as the President of the Women and Theatre Program, on the board of Women and Performance and has worked with the Ford and Mellon Foundations. She co-produced “The Theme is Blackness” festival of black plays in Durham, NC when she taught in African American Studies at Duke University. Her research and teaching focus on performance, aesthetics, politics as well as black feminist theory, queer studies and contemporary cultural studies. She co-edited, with Nicholas Boggs, the re-publication of James Baldwin’s illustrated book, Little Man, Little Man (Duke UP, 2018). She held the Weinberg College of Board of Visitors Professorship at Northwestern University and has been a tenured professor at six different Universities in her thirty year career. Her expertise in Black Queer Studies led to be the co-editor with C. Riley Snorton of the flagship journal GLQ. She serves on the Editorial Board of Transition and other key journals in global 19th Century Studies. At Stanford, she served as Chair of the Theater & Performance Studies Department (2012-2015) and Faculty Director of the Center for Comparative Studies in Race & Ethnicity (2016-2021) where she won a major grant from the Mellon Foundation and developed the original idea for an Institute on Race Studies.
Professor of Art and Art History
BioScott Bukatman is a cultural theorist and Professor of Film and Media Studies at Stanford University. His research explores how such popular media as film, comics, and animation mediate between new technologies and human perceptual and bodily experience. His books include Terminal Identity: The Virtual Subject in Postmodern Science Fiction, one of the earliest book-length studies of cyberculture; a monograph on the film Blade Runner commissioned by the British Film Institute; and a collection of essays, Matters of Gravity: Special Effects and Supermen in the 20th Century. The Poetics of Slumberland: Animated Spirits and the Animating Spirit, celebrates play, plasmatic possibility, and the life of images in cartoons, comics, and cinema. Bukatman has been published in abundant journals and anthologies, including October, Critical Inquiry, Camera Obscura, Science Fiction Studies, and the Journal of Cinema and Media Studies.
Hellboy's World: Comics and Monsters on the Margins shows how our engagement with Mike Mignola's Hellboy comics also a highly aestheticized encounter with the medium of comics and the materiality of the book. Scott Bukatman’s dynamic study explores how comics produce a heightened “adventure of reading” in which syntheses of image and word, image sequences, and serial narratives create compelling worlds for the reader’s imagination to inhabit. His most recent book, Black Panther, part of the 21st Century Film Essentials series (University of Texas Press), explores aspects of the 2018 Ryan Coogler film, including the history of Black superheroes, Black Panther's black body, the Wakandan dream, and the controversies around the Killmonger character.
Charles Louis Ducommun Professor in the School of Humanities & Sciences, Senior Fellow at the Woods Institute, at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research & Professor at the Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability
BioBruce E. Cain is a Professor of Political Science at Stanford University and Director of the Bill Lane Center for the American West. He received a BA from Bowdoin College (1970), a B Phil. from Oxford University (1972) as a Rhodes Scholar, and a Ph D from Harvard University (1976). He taught at Caltech (1976-89) and UC Berkeley (1989-2012) before coming to Stanford. Professor Cain was Director of the Institute of Governmental Studies at UC Berkeley from 1990-2007 and Executive Director of the UC Washington Center from 2005-2012. He was elected the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2000 and has won awards for his research (Richard F. Fenno Prize, 1988), teaching (Caltech 1988 and UC Berkeley 2003) and public service (Zale Award for Outstanding Achievement in Policy Research and Public Service, 2000). His areas of expertise include political regulation, applied democratic theory, representation and state politics. Some of Professor Cain’s most recent publications include “Malleable Constitutions: Reflections on State Constitutional Design,” coauthored with Roger Noll in University of Texas Law Review, volume 2, 2009; “More or Less: Searching for Regulatory Balance,” in Race, Reform and the Political Process, edited by Heather Gerken, Guy Charles and Michael Kang, CUP, 2011; “Redistricting Commissions: A Better Political Buffer?” in The Yale Law Journal, volume 121, 2012; and Democracy More or Less (CUP, 2015). He is currently working on problems of environmental governance.
Gordon H. Chang
Olive H. Palmer Professor in Humanities
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsI co-direct an international project that seeks to recover the history of Chinese railroad workers in North America.
Assistant Professor of Sociology and, by courtesy, of Law
BioMatthew Clair is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology and (by courtesy) the Law School. His research interests include law and society, race and ethnicity, cultural sociology, criminal justice, and qualitative methods. He is the author of the book Privilege and Punishment: How Race and Class Matter in Criminal Court.
Learn more at his personal website: https://www.matthewclair.org/
Associate Professor of Art and Art History and, by courtesy, of German Studies and of Communication
BioShane Denson is Associate Professor of Film and Media Studies in the Department of Art & Art History at Stanford University. His research and teaching interests span a variety of media and historical periods, including phenomenological and media-philosophical approaches to film, digital media, comics, games, and serialized popular forms. He is the author of three books: Post-Cinematic Bodies (2023), Discorrelated Images (2020) and Postnaturalism: Frankenstein, Film, and the Anthropotechnical Interface (2014). He is also co-editor of several collections: Transnational Perspectives on Graphic Narratives (2013), Digital Seriality (special issue of Eludamos: Journal for Computer Game Culture, 2014), and the open-access book Post-Cinema: Theorizing 21st-Century Film (2016).
See also shanedenson.com for more info.
Janet M. Peck Professor of International Communication, Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies and Professor, by courtesy, of Political Science
BioJames S. Fishkin holds the Janet M. Peck Chair in International Communication at Stanford University where he is Professor of Communication, Professor of Political Science (by courtesy) and Director of the Center for Deliberative Democracy.
He received his B.A. from Yale in 1970 and holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from Yale as well as a second Ph.D. in Philosophy from Cambridge.
He is the author of Democracy When the People Are Thinking (Oxford 2018), When the People Speak (Oxford 2009), Deliberation Day (Yale 2004 with Bruce Ackerman) and Democracy and Deliberation (Yale 1991).
He is best known for developing Deliberative Polling® – a practice of public consultation that employs random samples of the citizenry to explore how opinions would change if they were more informed. His work on deliberative democracy has stimulated more than 100 Deliberative Polls in 28 countries around the world. It has been used to help governments and policy makers make important decisions in Texas, China, Mongolia, Japan, Macau, South Korea, Bulgaria, Brazil, Uganda and other countries around the world.
He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a Guggenheim Fellow, a Fellow of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford, and a Visiting Fellow Commoner at Trinity College, Cambridge.
Shelley Fisher Fishkin
Joseph S. Atha Professor of Humanities
BioShelley Fisher Fishkin is the Joseph S. Atha Professor of Humanities and Professor of English at Stanford, where she is also Director of Stanford's American Studies Program and Co-Director of the Chinese Railroad Workers in North America Project. She is the author, editor, or co-editor of forty-eight books and has published over one hundred fifty articles, essays and reviews, many of which have focused on issues of race and racism in America, and on recovering and interpreting voices that were silenced, marginalized, or ignored in America's past. Her books have won awards from Choice, Library Journal, the New York Public Library, and elsewhere. She holds a Ph.D. in American Studies from Yale. Before coming to Stanford in 2003, she was chair of the American Studies Department at the University of Texas at Austin. Her research has been featured twice on the front page of the New York Times, and twice on the front page of the New York Times Arts section. In 2017 she was awarded the John S. Tuckey Lifetime Achievement award by the Center for Mark Twain Studies in recognition of her efforts "to assure that a rigorous, dynamic account of Twain stays in the public consciousness," and stated that "Nobody has done more to recruit, challenge, and inspire new generations and new genres of Mark Twain studies." Her most recent book, Writing America: Literary Landmarks from Walden Pond to Wounded Knee, came out in 2017. Junot Díaz called it "a triumph of scholarship and passion, a profound exploration of the many worlds which comprise our national canon....a book that redraws the literary map of the United States."
She has served as President of the American Studies Association and the Mark Twain Circle of America, was co-founder of the Charlotte Perkins Gilman society, and was a founding editor of the Journal of Transnational American Studies. She has given keynote talks at conferences in Beijing, Cambridge, Coimbra, Copenhagen, Dublin, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Kunming, Kyoto, La Coruña, Lisbon, Mainz, Nanjing, Regensburg, Seoul, St. Petersburg, Taipei, Tokyo, and across the U.S.
In June 2019, the American Studies Association created a new prize, the "Shelley Fisher Fishkin Prize for International Scholarship in Transnational American Studies." The prize honors publications by scholars outside the United States that present original research in transnational American Studies. In its announcement of the new award, the ASA said, "Shelley Fisher Fishkin's leadership in creating a crossoads for international scholarly collaboration and exchange has transformed the field of American Studies in both theory and practice. This award honors Professor Fishkin's outstanding dedication to the field by promoting exceptional scholarship that seeks multiple perspectives that enable comprehensive and complex approaches to American Studies, and which produce culturally, socially, and politically significant insights and interpretations relevant to Americanists around the world." Her current projects include a book entitled Citizen Twain: Hal Holbrook and Mark Twain on Racism, Jingoism and Corruption.