School of Humanities and Sciences
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BioNina Ball (she/ her) is an award winning scenic designer whose professional work has been seen at American Conservatory Theater, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, California Shakespeare Theater, Shotgun Players, San Francisco Playhouse, Marin Theatre Company, Aurora Theatre Company, Center Repertory Theatre, UC Berkeley TDPS, TheatreFIRST, The Cutting Ball Theater, San Jose Repertory Theatre, San Francisco Mime Troupe, and Z Space, among many others. She has been a company member at Shotgun Players in Berkeley since 2009 as well as TheatreFIRST (also in Berkeley) since 2018.
Recent awards include a Theatre Bay Area award for "The Nether" at San Francisco Playhouse; San Francisco Bay Area Critic Circle awards for her designs of "My Fair Lady" at San Francisco Playhouse and "Metamorphosis" at the Aurora; a Shellie award for "Mirandolina" at Center REP; a Broadway World San Francisco Award for "Care of Trees" at Shotgun Players and an Arty Award for her design of "Eurydice" at Solano College Theatre. In addition to theatre, Ms. Ball is also a production designer and has worked on numerous film, TV and commercial productions locally and in LA.
Ms. Ball holds a bachelor degree in biology with an emphasis in marine ecology from UC Santa Cruz and studied visual art and photography at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York City. She received her masters degree in scenic design with a costume design secondary from San Francisco State University.
She is also a lecturer at UC Berkeley where she teaches Design for Performance in the Theatre Dance and Performance Studies department.
Ms. Ball is a member of United Scenic Artists, Local 829.
Nora Elizabeth Barakat
Assistant Professor of History
BioI am a historian of the late Ottoman Empire and the Modern Middle East. My research focuses on people, commodities and landscapes in the interior regions between the Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. I have a particular interest in how legal categories of population, property and economy shaped and were shaped by the everyday experiences of social life. I am also committed to bringing both the Ottoman Empire and the Middle East into discussions of world history, especially narratives about capitalism and modern state formation. I teach courses on modern Middle East history, capital and crisis, Islamic law, and environmental history.
My current book project, Bedouin Bureaucrats: Nomads and Property in the Ottoman Empire, examines the ways tent-dwelling inhabitants of the Syrian interior contributed to and contested attempts to transform the desert fringe into a grain-exporting breadbasket in the second half of the nineteenth century. The project locates the experience of the Ottoman Syrian interior in a global context of commercial and administrative expansion into landscapes deemed underproductive, examining similarities and divergences with the American West and the Russian steppe. Using court and land registers, I uncover the stories of specific tent-dwelling individuals and communities involved in struggles over property, commerce, and the forms of modern governance. My other ongoing project combines my interests in the histories of Islamic law and capitalism. It explores the twentieth-century legacies of late Ottoman economy-making efforts in the Eastern Mediterranean, Iraq and the Persian Gulf, particularly the codification of civil law. My research has been supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Mellon Foundation, the Fulbright Foundation, and the Center for American and Overseas Research Centers.
Before coming to Stanford, I completed my PhD at the University of California, Berkeley and taught in the Persian Gulf for five years, first at Qatar University and then at New York University Abu Dhabi. At NYU Abu Dhabi, I co-founded OpenGulf, a set of interconnected digital projects focusing on historical documentation about the Gulf region.
Billie Bennett Achilles Director of Keyboard Programs and Professor (Teaching) of Music
BioSpecial fields: piano and fortepiano, 18th- through 20th-century performance practice, rhetoric and music, the piano music of Beethoven, Chopin, Mozart, Brahms, Ives, and Bartók. Studied with Jon Barlow, Malcolm Bilson, and John Kirkpatrick.
Appearances as recitalist, as soloist with orchestra, and as musicologist throughout the U.S. and Central Europe.
NEH Fellow, 1989.
Publications: Understanding Beethoven: The Mind of the Master (CD-ROM for Oxford/Stanford/Yale Alliance for Lifelong Learning, 2002); The Pianist as Orator: Beethoven and the Transformation of Keyboard Style, 1992; articles and reviews in Early Music, Early Keyboard Studies Newsletter, Humanities, Hungarian Quarterly, Music & Letters, Music Library Association Notes, New Grove Dictionary II.
Recitals: Old First Concerts with Miriam Abramowitsch, mezzo soprano (San Francisco, 2002); Gallery Concerts with Tamara Friedman, fortepiano (Seattle, 2001); Mozart Concertos with the St. Lawrence String Quartet (Cantor Arts Center, Stanford, 2000); Trinity Concerts (Berkeley, 1999); Concerts on the Fringe (Berkeley Festival, 1996); San Francisco Early Music Society (1996). Presenter: Humanities West Symposium Beethoven: Resonant Genius (2003); First International Carl Czerny Symposium (Edmonton, 2002); Juilliard School’s International Symposium on Performing Mozart’s Music (1991); Westfield Center’s Bicentenary Humanities Symposium on Mozarts Nature, Mozarts World (1991); Ira Brilliant Center for Beethoven Studies, SJSU (1991).
Recordings: Beethoven Cello Sonatas with Stephen Harrison, cello (Alliance for Lifelong Learning, 2002), Music & Arts, Boston Public Radio.
Lecturer for Stanford Continuing Studies, 2001 (Beethoven’s Cello Sonatas); 1998 (Beethoven Quartet Cycle); Stanford Series in the Arts, 1993 (Bartók).
Denning Family Provostial Professor
BioJonathan Berger is the Denning Family Provostial Professor in Music at Stanford University, where he teaches composition, music theory, and cognition at the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA).
Jonathan is a 2017 Guggenheim Fellow and a 2016 winner of the Rome Prize.
He was the founding co-director of the Stanford Institute for Creativity and the Arts (SICA, now the Stanford Arts Institute) and founding director of Yale University’s Center for Studies in Music Technology
Described as “gripping” by both the New York Times and the Chicago Tribune, “poignant”, “richly evocative” (San Francisco Chronicle), “taut, and hauntingly beautiful” (NY Times), Jonathan Berger’s recent works deal with both consciousness and conscience. The Kronos Quartet toured recent monodrama, My Lai internationally. Thrice commissioned by The National Endowment for the Arts, Berger’a recent commissions include The Mellon and Rockefeller Foundations, Chamber Music Society, Lincoln Center, and Chamber Music America. Upcoming commissions include an oratorio entitled The Ritual of Breath, and Leonardo, for baritone and chamber orchestra.
In addition to composition, Berger is an active researcher with over 80 publications in a wide range of fields relating to music, science and technology and has held research grants from DARPA, the Wallenberg Foundation, The National Academy of Sciences, the Keck Foundation, and others.
Berger is the PI of a major grant from the Templeton Religion Trust to study how music and architecture interact to create a sense of awe.