School of Humanities and Sciences
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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.
Assistant Professor of Art and Art History
BioFabio originally trained as an architect and his research and teaching still gravitates to this art form, although he is deeply interested in painting and sculpture of all periods as well as archaeology. Much of his published research has concentrated on artistic production in Rome, particularly Baroque architecture, treating themes from liturgy to light metaphysics. His most recent work, published or in press, has been on medieval and antique subjects, particularly sculpture. An ongoing interest, the subject of his PhD, is the imagery of marble in the visual arts and literature from antiquity until the age of enlightenment, in which he attempts to identify the evocative qualities of materials (the “Material Imagination”) before the era of mass production and standardisation distanced materials from the realm of nature and myth.
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).
BioThomas Bartlett has taught classical and modern Chinese at Yale (1975), Cambridge (1975-6), Princeton (1977-9), Harvard (1987-94), Johns Hopkins (1995-6), and La Trobe (1996-9) Universities, and at Middlebury (1973, 1983, 1987), Wellesley (1986), and Swarthmore (1987) Colleges, before starting to teach at Stanford in 2011. In spring 1989 his proficiency in modern Chinese was graded 4 (of 5) by the U.S. Foreign Service Institute.
Bartlett's BA cum laude (Harvard, Classics 1961) was in Greek literature; his honors thesis on Aeschylus' drama "Agamemnon," read in Greek, was titled "The Law of Zeus: Learning by Suffering. O Δios νομοσ: πα8ει μα8οσ." His MA (National Taiwan, History 1972) was in ancient Chinese History, with a thesis on Confucian historiography titled "Analysis of the Historian's Commentary on Ritual Propriety in Zuo Chronicle" 左傳中有關禮的史料之分析. His PhD (Princeton, East Asian Studies 1972) was in premodern Chinese history, with a dissertation on Confucian statecraft titled "Gu Yanwu's 顧炎武 (1613-82) Response to 'The Demise of Human Society' 天下亡."
In 1978 Bartlett was a finalist in the U.S. Department of State's search for a full-time male Mandarin interpreter. In 1980 he worked in Beijing for six months for Turner Construction Co, as interpreter at contract negotiations and as liaison officer with local agencies.
In 1987 Bartlett declined a Mellon post-doctoral fellowship at an Ivy League university, when told by the offering institution that affirmative action considerations would render him uncompetitive for the subsequent tenure-track teaching position advertised with the Mellon grant.
From mid-1989 through 1994 he was Professor of Chinese Language and director of Harvard's Chinese Language Program. During 1995-6 he was Director of the Language Teaching Center at Johns Hopkins. During 1996-2007 he was Senior Lecturer at La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia, where he occasionally accompanied Australian academic delegations to China as Mandarin interpreter and during each year of 2001-2006 taught a full-year survey course in Chinese history. Since AY 2011-12, he has repeatedly taught courses in the Classical Chinese curriculum at Stanford, emphasizing selected readings in early philosophical and historical texts. In autumn 2013 he was Visiting Professor in the Graduate Institute of History at National Tsing Hua University in Hsin-chu, Taiwan, Republic of China.
Bartlett's abiding intellectual interests include: 1) conceptual issues relating to the term "Zhongguo" 中國, literally "Central State/s" and often rendered simply as "China" in recent times; 2) issues relating to belief in the authenticity of the classical canon.
Bartlett's review of Ian Johnston's recent translations from Gu Yanwu's writings appeared in the journal Dao (2018) 17:611-15. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11712-018-9634-6.