School of Humanities and Sciences
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Theodore and Frances Geballe Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences, Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies and Professor, by courtesy, of Economics
Current Research and Scholarly Interestspolitical violence
Burnet C. and Mildred Finley Wohlford Professor
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsHuman genetic and cultural evolution, mathematical biology, demography of China
Josephine Knotts Knowles Professor of Human Biology, Emerita
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsWorking with English- and Spanish-learning children from diverse socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds, our research examines the importance of early language experience in supporting language development. We are deeply involved in community-based research in San Jose, designing an innovative parent-engagement program for low-resource Latino families with young children. We are also conducting field studies of beliefs about child development and caregiver-child interaction in rural villages in Senegal. A central goal of this translational research is to help parents understand their vital role in facilitating children’s language and cognitive growth.
Ubaldo Pierotti Professor of Italian History and Professor, by courtesy, of French and Italian
BioI have taught the early history of science and medicine for many years on the premise that one of the most important ways to understand how science, medicine and technology have become so central to contemporary society comes from examining the process by which scientific knowledge emerged. I also take enormous pleasure in examining a kind of scientific knowledge that did not have an autonomous existence from other kinds of creative endeavors, but emerged in the context of humanistic approaches to the world (in defiance of C.P. Snow's claim that the modern world is one of "two cultures" that share very little in common). More generally, I am profoundly attracted to individuals in the past who aspired to know everything. It still seems like a worthy goal.
My other principal interest lies in understanding the world of the Renaissance, with a particular focus on Italy. I continue to be fascinated by a society that made politics, economics and culture so important to its self-definition, and that obviously succeeded in all these endeavors for some time, as the legacy of such figures as Machiavelli and Leonardo suggests. Renaissance Italy, in short, is a historical laboratory for understanding the possibilities and the problems of an innovative society. As such, it provides an interesting point of comparison to Gilded Age America, where magnates such as J.P. Morgan often described themselves as the "new Medici," and to other historical moments when politics, art and society combined fruitfully.
Finally, I have a certain interest in the relations between gender, culture and knowledge. Virginia Woolf rightfully observed at the beginning of the twentieth century that one could go to a library and find a great deal about women but very little that celebrated or supported their accomplishments. This is no longer true a century later, in large part thanks to the efforts of many scholars, male and female, who have made the work of historical women available to modern readers and who have begun to look at relations between the sexes in more sophisticated ways. Our own debates and disagreements on such issues make this subject all the more important to understand.
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsChinese domestic and foreign policy, US-China relations, US foreign policy, intelligence analysis, mega-trends and global challenges, geopolitical consequences of climate change
Assistant Professor of Computer Science and of Electrical Engineering
BioChelsea Finn is an Assistant Professor in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering at Stanford University, and the William George and Ida Mary Hoover Faculty Fellow. Professor Finn's research interests lie in the ability to enable robots and other agents to develop broadly intelligent behavior through learning and interaction. Her work lies at the intersection of machine learning and robotic control, including topics such as end-to-end learning of visual perception and robotic manipulation skills, deep reinforcement learning of general skills from autonomously collected experience, and meta-learning algorithms that can enable fast learning of new concepts and behaviors. Professor Finn received her Bachelors degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT and her PhD in Computer Science at UC Berkeley. Her research has been recognized through the ACM doctoral dissertation award, an NSF graduate fellowship, a Facebook fellowship, the C.V. Ramamoorthy Distinguished Research Award, and the MIT Technology Review 35 under 35 Award, and her work has been covered by various media outlets, including the New York Times, Wired, and Bloomberg. Throughout her career, she has sought to increase the representation of underrepresented minorities within CS and AI by developing an AI outreach camp at Berkeley for underprivileged high school students, a mentoring program for underrepresented undergraduates across three universities, and leading efforts within the WiML and Berkeley WiCSE communities of women researchers.
Janet M. Peck Professor of International Communication, Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies and Professor, by courtesy, of Political ScienceOn Leave from 10/01/2023 To 12/31/2023
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 HumanitiesOn Leave from 10/01/2023 To 12/31/2023
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.