School of Humanities and Sciences


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  • Thomas Hansen

    Thomas Hansen

    Reliance-Dhirubhai Ambani Professor

    Current Research and Scholarly InterestsAnthropology of political life, ethno-religious identities, violence and urban life in South Asia and Southern Africa. Multiple theoretical and disciplinary interests from political theory and continental philosophy to psychoanalysis, comparative religion and contemporary urbanism

  • Robert Harrison

    Robert Harrison

    Rosina Pierotti Professor of Italian Literature

    BioProfessor Harrison received his doctorate in Romance Studies from Cornell University in 1984, with a dissertation on Dante's Vita Nuova. In 1985 he accepted a visiting assistant professorship in the Department of French and Italian at Stanford. In 1986 he joined the faculty as an assistant professor. He was granted tenure in 1992 and was promoted to full professor in 1995. In 1997 Stanford offered him the Rosina Pierotti Chair of Italian Literature. In 2002, he was named chair of the Department of French and Italian. In 2006 he became a member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. In 2014 he was knighted "Chevalier" by the French Republic. He is also lead guitarist for the cerebral rock band Glass Wave.

    Professor Harrison's first book, The Body of Beatrice, was published by Johns Hopkins University Press in 1988. The Body of Beatrice was translated into Japanese in 1994. Over the next few years Professor Harrison worked on his next book, Forests: The Shadow of Civilization, which appeared in 1992 with University of Chicago Press. This book deals with the multiple and complex ways in which the Western imagination has symbolized, represented, and conceived of forests, primarily in literature, religion, and mythology. It offers a select history that begins in antiquity and ends in our own time. Forests appeared simultaneously in English, French, Italian, and German. It subsequently appeared in Japanese and Korean as well. In 1994 his book Rome, la Pluie: A Quoi Bon Littérature? appeared in France, Italy, and Germany. This book is written in the form of dialogues between two characters and deals with various topics such as art restoration, the vocation of literature, and the place of the dead in contemporary society. Professor Harrison's next book, The Dominion of the Dead, published in 2003 by University of Chicago Press, deals with the relations the living maintain with the dead in diverse secular realms. This book was translated into German, French and Italian. Professor Harrison's book Gardens: An Essay on the Human Condition appeared in 2008 with the University of Chicago Press, and in French with Le Pommier (subsequently appeared in German and Chinese translations). His most recent book Juvenescence: A Cultural History of Our Age came out in 2014 with Chicago University Press. In 2005 Harrison started a literary talk show on KZSU radio called "Entitled Opinions." The show features hour long conversations with a variety of scholars, writers, and scientists.

  • Gabrielle Hecht

    Gabrielle Hecht

    Stanton Foundation Professor of Nuclear Security and Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies

    BioGabrielle Hecht is the Frank Stanton Foundation Professor of Nuclear Security at CISAC, Senior Fellow at FSI, Professor of History, and Professor (by courtesy) of Anthropology.

    Her current research explores radioactive residues, mine waste, air pollution, and the Anthropocene in Africa. These interests are coalescing into a series of essays, provisionally titled Inside-Out Earth: Residual Governance Under Extreme Conditions. The first of these have appeared in Cultural Anthropology, Aeon, Somatosphere, the LA Review of Books, and elsewhere.

    New graduate courses include colloquia on Infrastructure and Power in the Global South and Technopolitics: Power, Materiality, Theory. She has also pioneered an undergraduate research seminar on Nuclear Insecurity in the Bay Area and Beyond. First offered in Winter 2020, this is a Cardinal Course developed in collaboration with the Haas Center for Public Service and the Bayview Hunters Point Community Advocates, and with considerable research by Kevin Chen.

    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 eighteen 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.

    Gabrielle 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.

  • David Hills

    David Hills

    Associate Professor (Teaching) of Philosophy

    BioI did my undergraduate work at Amherst and went on to graduate school at Princeton. Since then I've taught at Harvard, UCLA, The University of Pennsylvania, The University of Michigan, Berkeley, and Stanford. I resumed my graduate career a little while back -- from a distance, as it were -- receiving the PhD in 2005.

    I'm married to another philosopher, Krista Lawlor.

    My interests continue to center in aesthetics, but they have spilled over into pretty much every branch of philosophy at one time or another.

    Wittgenstein, Culture and Value, 34: Im Rennen der Philosophie gewinnt, wer am langsamsten laufen kann. Oder: der, der das Ziel zuletzt erreicht. (In philosophy the race is to the one who can run slowest — the one who crosses the finish line last.) I'm not sure I believe this, but it's a comforting thing to read.

  • Hector Hoyos

    Hector Hoyos

    Associate Professor of Iberian and Latin American Cultures

    BioHéctor Hoyos is an Associate Professor of Latin American literature and culture at Stanford University. He holds a Ph.D. in Romance Studies from Cornell University, and degrees in Philosophy and Literature from Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá. Hoyos’s research areas include visual culture and critical theory, as well as comparative and philosophical approaches to literature. His teaching covers various periods and subregions, with an emphasis on contemporary fiction and literary theory. His book, Beyond Bolaño: The Global Latin American Novel (Columbia UP, 2015), is the first monographic, theoretical study of Latin American novelistic representations of globalization of its kind. He edited the special journal issues "Theories of the Contemporary in South America" for Revista de Estudios Hispánicos (with Marília Librandi-Rocha, 2014) and “La cultura material en las literaturas y cultura iberoamericanas de hoy” for Cuadernos de literatura (2016).

    His current manuscript, Things with a History: Transcultural Materialism in Latin America develops the concept of transculturation as a way of integrating new and historical strands of materialism in the study of narrative. The study focuses on post-1989 authors who rethink materiality, such as the Cuban José Antonio Ponte, the Chilean Alejandro Zambra, and the Bolivian Blanca Wiethüchter. Hoyos received an Alexander von Humboldt Foundation fellowship in connection with this project. Articles by Hoyos have appeared in Comparative Literature Studies, Third Text, Chasqui, Novel: A Forum on Fiction, and Revista Iberoamericana, among others.

  • Elise Huerta

    Elise Huerta

    Ph.D. Student in Chinese, admitted Autumn 2015
    Ph.D. Minor, Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

    BioElise Huerta is a PhD candidate in East Asian Languages and Cultures with a concentration in modern Chinese literature and a minor in Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Her dissertation, Haptic Horizons: On the Cultural Politics of Hands in Modern China, aims to produce new understandings of intimacy, alienation, labor, and violence in the modern era through the interdisciplinary study of tactile culture. The project explores the many powers invested in human hands through narrative, asking how literature, film, and visual culture produce historically-shifting protocols of touch, as well as how stories assign socially-contingent meanings to the way people use their hands. In taking up these questions, this research not only contributes to the China field’s emerging interest in sensory experience, but also opens up a new vista for sustained future inquiry about how tactility interacts with sight, scent, and sound in a comprehensive aesthetic discourse of the body.

    Huerta is committed to supporting diversity in higher education and serves as a graduate mentor through the First-Generation and Low-Income (FLI) and Enhancing Diversity in Education (EDGE) programs at Stanford. She is also an active translator, and her co-edited special section on Yu Xiuhua (with Hangping Xu) was published in Chinese Literature Today along with their co-translations of selected poems by Yu. She holds a BA in Chinese with a minor in Creative Writing from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.