School of Humanities and Sciences


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  • James Fishkin

    James Fishkin

    Janet M. Peck Professor of International Communication, Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies and Professor, by courtesy, of Political Science
    On 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

    Shelley Fisher Fishkin

    Joseph S. Atha Professor of Humanities
    On 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.

  • Estelle Freedman

    Estelle Freedman

    Edgar E. Robinson Professor of United States History, Emerita

    Current Research and Scholarly InterestsI continue to work on the history sexual violence, including the use of oral history testimony. I am currently co-producing an historical documentary film "Singing for Justice: Faith Petric and the Folk Process."