School of Humanities and Sciences
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A.A. and Jeanne Welch Milligan Professor, Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution and at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, Professor of History and, by courtesy, of Economics
BioStephen Haber is the A.A. and Jeanne Welch Milligan Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences at Stanford University, the Peter and Helen Bing Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, and senior fellow at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research. In addition, he is a professor of political science, professor of history, and professor of economics (by courtesy).
Haber has spent his career investigating why the world distribution of income so uneven. His papers have been published in economics, history, political science, and law journals.
He is the author of five books and the editor of six more. Haber’s most recent books include Fragile by Design with Charles Calomiris (Princeton University Press), which examines how governments and industry incumbents often craft banking regulatory policies in ways that stifle competition and increase systemic risk. The Battle Over Patents (Oxford University Press), a volume edited with Naomi Lamoreaux, documents the development of US-style patent systems and the political fights that have shaped them.
His latest project focuses on a long-standing puzzle in the social sciences: why are prosperous democracies not randomly distributed across the planet, but rather, are geographically clustered? Haber and his coauthors answer this question by using geospatial tools to simulate the ecological conditions that shaped pre-industrial food production and trade. They then employ machine learning methods to elucidate the relationship between ecological conditions and the levels of economic development that emerged across the globe over the past three centuries.
Haber holds a Ph.D. in history from UCLA and has been on the Stanford faculty since 1987.
From 1995 to 1998, he served as associate dean for the social sciences and director of Graduate Studies of Stanford’s School of Humanities and Sciences. He is among Stanford’s most distinguished teachers, having been awarded every teaching prize Stanford has to offer.
Stanton Foundation Professor of Nuclear Security and Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies
BioGabrielle Hecht is Professor of History, Professor (by courtesy) of Anthropology, and Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute. She is President of the Society for the History of Technology.
Hecht's current research explores the inside-out Earth and its wastes in order to reveal the hidden costs of the so-called "energy transition," with research sites in the Arctic, the Andes, southern Africa, and west Africa. This project builds on her new book, Residual Governance: How South African Foretells Planetary Futures (Duke Univ. Press, forthcoming November 2023).
Hecht's graduate courses include colloquia on "Power in the Anthropocene," "Infrastructure and Power in the Global South," "Technopolitics," and "Materiality and Power." She teaches a community-engaged undergraduate research seminar on "Racial Justice in the Nuclear Age," in partnership with the Bayview Hunters Point Community Advocates (BVHPCA). She is currently working with BVHPCA and other partners to develop knowledge infrastructures to underpin community-driven public history that supports racial equity and environmental justice.
Hecht’s 2012 book Being Nuclear: Africans and the Global Uranium Trade offers new perspectives on the global nuclear order by focusing on African uranium mines and miners. It received awards from the Society for the Social Studies of Science, the American Historical Association, the American Sociological Association, and the Suzanne M. Glasscock Humanities Institute, as well as an honorable mention from the African Studies Association. An abridged version appeared in French as Uranium Africain, une histoire globale (Le Seuil 2016), and a Japanese translation is due out in 2021. Her first book, The Radiance of France: Nuclear Power and National Identity (1998/ 2nd ed 2009), explores how the French embedded nuclear policy in reactor technology, and nuclear culture in reactor operations. It received awards from the American Historical Association and the Society for the History of Technology, and has appeared in French as Le rayonnement de la France: Énergie nucléaire et identité nationale après la seconde guerre mondiale (2004/ 2014).
Her affiliations at Stanford include the Center for African Studies, the Program in Science, Technology, and Society, the Center for Global Ethnography, the Program on Urban Studies, and the Program in Modern Thought and Literature. Before rejoining Stanford in 2017, Hecht taught at the University of Michigan’s History department for 18 years. She helped to found and direct UM’s Program in Science, Technology, and Society (STS). She served as associate director of UM’s African Studies Center, and participated in its long-term collaboration with the Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research (South Africa). She has supervised dissertations in STS, African history and anthropology, nuclear studies, and French history.
Hecht holds a PhD in History and Sociology of Science from the University of Pennsylvania (1992), and a bachelor’s degree in Physics from MIT (1986). She’s been a visiting scholar in universities in Australia, France, the Netherlands, Norway, South Africa, and Sweden. Her work has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council for Learned Societies, and the South African and Dutch national research foundations, among others. She serves on numerous advisory boards, including for the Andra, France’s national radioactive waste management agency.
Associate Professor of History
BioAllyson Hobbs is an Assistant Professor in the History Department at Stanford University. She graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University and she received a Ph.D. with distinction from the University of Chicago. She has received fellowships from the Ford Foundation, the Michelle R. Clayman Institute for Gender Research, and the Center for the Comparative Study of Race and Ethnicity at Stanford. Allyson teaches courses on American identity, African American history, African American women’s history, and twentieth century American history. She has won numerous teaching awards including the Phi Beta Kappa Teaching Prize, the Graves Award in the Humanities, and the St. Clair Drake Teaching Award. She gave a TEDx talk at Stanford, she has appeared on C-Span, MSNBC, National Public Radio, and her work has been featured on cnn.com, slate.com, and in the Los Angeles Times, The Chronicle of Higher Education, the Christian Science Monitor, and the New York Times.
Allyson’s first book, A Chosen Exile: A History of Racial Passing in American Life, published by Harvard University Press in October 2014, examines the phenomenon of racial passing in the United States from the late eighteenth century to the present. A Chosen Exile won two prizes from the Organization of American Historians: the Frederick Jackson Turner Prize for best first book in American history and the Lawrence Levine Prize for best book in American cultural history. A Chosen Exile has been featured on All Things Considered on National Public Radio, Book TV on C-SPAN, The Melissa Harris-Perry Show on MSNBC, the Tavis Smiley Show on Public Radio International, the Madison Show on SiriusXM, and TV News One with Roland Martin. A Chosen Exile has been reviewed in the New York Times Book Review, the San Francisco Chronicle, Harper’s, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and the Boston Globe. The book was selected as a New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice, a “Best Book of 2014” by the San Francisco Chronicle, and a “Book of the Week” by the Times Higher Education in London. The Root named A Chosen Exile as one of the “Best 15 Nonfiction Books by Black Authors in 2014.”