School of Humanities and Sciences
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Louise Hewlett Nixon Professor and Professor, by courtesy, of English
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsHuman Rights, Social Justice, Ethics, Race and Ethnicity
Associate Professor of Classics and, by courtesy, of Comparative Literature
BioGrant Parker joined Stanford from Duke University in 2006. He teaches Latin and other topics in Roman imperial culture; he has worked on the history of collecting and on historical maps. His books include The Making of Roman India (2008) and The Agony of Asar: a former slave's defence of slavery, 1742 (2001). He has edited a major volume, South Africa, Greece, Rome: classical confrontations (forthcoming 2016/7). Current research projects focus on memorialization and public history, in both Rome and South Africa (including comparison).
Margery Bailey Professor of English and Dramatic Literature
BioPatricia Parker received her M.A. in English at the University of Toronto and taught for three years in Tanzania, whose President Julius Nyerere also translated Shakespeare into Kiswahili. After teaching at the University of East Africa, she completed her Ph.D. at Yale, in Comparative Literature, and taught for 11 years at the University of Toronto. First invited to Stanford as a Visiting Professor in 1986, she came to Stanford permanently in 1988 as a Professor in both English and Comparative Literature. She has also taught as a Visiting Professor at UC Berkeley and as a member of the core faculty at the School of Criticism and Theory (Cornell University, 1998). She is the author of four books (Inescapable Romance, a study of romance from Ariosto to Wallace Stevens; Literary Fat Ladies: Rhetoric, Gender, Property; Shakespeare from the Margins; and Shakespearean Intersections) and co-editor of five collections of essays on criticism, theory, and cultural studies, including Shakespeare and the Question of Theory and Women, Race and Writing in the Early Modern Period. She has lectured widely in France, Germany, Spain, Australia, New Zealand, the Czech Republic, and other parts of the world, as well as at Harvard, Yale, Berkeley, Chicago, Oxford, Cambridge, the Sorbonne, and other universities; as Gauss Seminar lecturer at Princeton, Shakespeare's Birthday lecturer at the Folger Shakespeare Library, Northrop Frye Professor lecturer at the University of Toronto, and Paul Gottschalk lecturer at Cornell University; and has served on the Advisory Board of the English Institute. In 2003-4, she organized an international conference and public festival at Stanford devoted to “Shakespeare in Asia.” She has also worked with students to create performance-based programs in the community. She currently teaches courses on Shakespeare (including Global Shakespeares), the Bible and Literature, Epic and Empire and other topics. In addition to books-in-progress on Shakespeare, rhetoric, race, and gender, she is the General Editor of the Stanford Global Shakespeare Encyclopedia, which will be released online as a global reference work free to anyone in the world with access to the internet.
Teresa Hihn Moore Professor of Religious Studies and Professor, by courtesy, of Classics
BioMichael Penn, the Teresa Hihn Moore Professor of Religious Studies, is a specialist in the history of early Christianity with a particular focus on middle eastern Christians who wrote in the Aramaic dialect of Syriac.
Professor Penn’s first book, Kissing Christians: Ritual and Community in the Late Ancient Church, was published in 2005 by the University of Pennsylvania Press. In 2015 he published two books on Christian-Muslim relations: Envisioning Islam: Syriac Christians in the Early Muslim World (University of Pennsylvania Press) and When Christians First Met Muslims: A Source Book of the Earliest Syriac Writings on Islam (University of California Press). For these projects Professor Penn has received awards from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the American Council for Learned Societies, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Humanities Center, the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, the British Academy, the American Philosophical Association, the American Academy of Religion, and the Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning.
Professor Penn is currently working on an Andrew Mellon Foundation funded collaboration that uses recent advances in the computerized analysis of handwriting to help analyze ancient Aramaic manuscripts. In addition to this work in the digital humanities, Professor Penn has begun several related projects that focus on the history of Syriac Christianity and the manuscripts they produced.
Before joining Stanford, Professor Penn was on the faculty of Mount Holyoke College. He has also taught at Brandeis University, Haverford College, Bryn Mawr College, and Duke University. He has additional experience as a secondary school teacher, including six years as the director of forensics at Durham Academy High School, where he ran a nationally competitive policy debate team. Professor Penn has also held research positions at Apple Computers, the Weizmann Institute (Israel), the Palo Alto Veterans Hospital, and Ames Research Center, NASA.
Ph.D. (Religion) Duke University (1999)
A.B. (Molecular Biology) Princeton University (1993)
Professor of Art and Art History and, by courtesy, of Classics
BioBissera Pentcheva's work focuses on Byzantium and the medieval Mediterranean, more specifically aesthetics, phenomenology, and acoustics. Her most recent book Hagia Sophia: Sound, Space and Spirit in Byzantium (Penn State University Press 2017) explores the interconnection among acoutsics, architecture, and liturgical rite. She has also edited, Aural Architecture in Byzantium: Music, Acoustics and Ritual (Ashgate, 2017). Pentcheva has published another two books with Pennsylvania State University Press: Icons and Power: The Mother of God in Byzantium, 2006 that won the John Nicholas Brown prize form the Medieval Academy of America in 2010 and The Sensual Icon: Space, Ritual, and the Senses in Byzantium, 2010. She has held a number of prestigious fellowships among them: J. S Guggenheim, American Academy of Rome, Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, Mellon New Directions Fellowship for the study of Classical Arabic, Alexander von Humboldt (Germany), Onassis Foundation (Greece), Dumbarton Oaks, and Columbia University's Mellon Post-doctoral fellowship. Her work has been published at the Art Bulletin, Speculum, Gesta, and Res. Anthropology and Aesthetics, and Convivium.
Ann O'Day Maples Professor of the Arts and Professor of English
BioPeggy Phelan is the Ann O’Day Maples Chair in the Arts Professor of Theater & Performance Studies and English. Publishing widely in both book and essay form, Phelan is the author of Unmarked: the politics of performance (Routledge, 1993); Mourning Sex: performing public memories (Routledge, 1997; honorable mention Callaway Prize for dramatic criticism 1997-1999); the survey essay for Art and Feminism, ed. by Helena Reckitt (Phaidon, 2001, winner of “The top 25 best books in art and architecture” award, amazon.com, 2001); the survey essay for Pipilotti Rist (Phaidon, 2001); and the catalog essay for Intus: Helena Almeida (Lisbon, 2004). She edited and contributed to Live Art in Los Angeles, (Routledge, 2012), and contributed catalog essays for Everything Loose Will Land: 1970s Art and Architecture in Los Angeles (Mak Center, 2013), Haunted: Contemporary Photography, Video, and Performance (Guggenheim Museum, 2010); WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution (Museum of Contemporary Art, 2007); and Andy Warhol: Giant Size (Phaidon, 2008), among others. Phelan is co-editor, with the late Lynda Hart, of Acting Out: Feminist Performances (University of Michigan Press, 1993; cited as “best critical anthology” of 1993 by American Book Review); and co-editor with Jill Lane of The Ends of Performance (New York University Press, 1997). She contributed an essay to Philip Ursprung’s Herzog and De Meurron: Natural History (CAA, 2005).
She has written more than sixty articles and essays in scholarly, artistic, and commercial magazines ranging from Artforum to Signs. She has written about Samuel Beckett for the PMLA and for The National Gallery of Ireland. She has also written about Robert Frost, Michael and Paris Jackson, Olran, Marina Abramovic, Dziga Vertov and a wide range of artists working in photography, dance, architecture, film, video, music, and poetry. She has edited special issues of the journals Narrative and Women and Performance. She has been a fellow of the Humanities Institute, University of California, Irvine; and a fellow of the Humanities Institute, The Australian National University, Canberra, Australia. She served on the Editorial Board of Art Journal, one of three quarterly publications of the College Art Association, and as Chair of the board. She has been President and Treasurer of Performance Studies International, the primary professional organization in her field. She has been a fellow of the Getty Research Institute and the Stanford Humanities Center. She won a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2004. She chaired the Department of Performance Studies at New York University and the Drama Department at Stanford University.
Professor of English
BioPatrick Phillips is the author of Blood at the Root: A Racial Cleansing in America, which was named a best book of the year by the New York Times, the Boston Globe, and Smithsonian, and received an American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation. He is also the author of three poetry collections, including Elegy for a Broken Machine, which was a finalist for the National Book Award, and Chattahoochee, winner of the Kate Tufts Discovery Prize. Phillips has recevied fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation, a Fulbright fellowship at the University of Copenhagen, and the Lyric Poetry Award of the Poetry Society of America. He teaches writing and literature at Stanford.
Associate Professor (Teaching) of Music
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsResearch on 1) music of Black composers and performers for MUSIC 152B, Black Music Revealed; 2) Anthony Burgess's music essays for new book I am editing that will contain approximately 75 of his writings on music; 3) the relationship between music and politics from the late 18th century to the present in Europe and the US.
Associate Professor of Linguistics
BioI am currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Linguistics at Stanford University. I hold degrees from Stanford University (PhD, MA) and Cornell University (BA) have been an Assistant Professor at Georgetown University. My research examines the social significance of variation in the domains of segmental phonetics, prosody, and voice quality. I have a particular interest in how phonetic resources participate in the construction of identity, most notably gender, sexuality, race, and their intersections. My latest projects focus on the social meaning of non-modal voice qualities in interactional contexts and sociolinguistic variation in inland California and Washington, DC. I have co-edited Research Methods in Linguistics (with Devyani Sharma), Language and Sexuality: Contesting Meaning in Theory and Practice (with Kathryn Cambpell-Kibler, Sarah Roberts, and Andrew Wong), and a special issue of American Speech on sociophonetics and sexuality (with Penelope Eckert). I live in San Francisco.
Assistant Professor of History
BioSteven Press is an Assistant Professor of History and an affiliated member of the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, the Center for African Studies, and the Stanford Center for Law and History.
Press' first book, Rogue Empires: Conmen and Contracts in Europe's Scramble for Africa (published Spring 2017 with Harvard University Press), draws on archival work in ten countries and three languages. The book offers a new approach to understanding the European Scramble for Africa by examining one of its pivotal projects: empires run by companies and individual adventurers.
Press' second book, Blood and Diamonds: Germany's Imperial Ambitions in Africa, will appear in April 2021 with Harvard University Press.
In his article in the Journal of Modern History, Press explored the exchanges between Germany, China, and Cuba that led to the USA's lease for Guantanamo Bay in 1903. His article on post-Napoleonic European nationalism appeared in Central European History.
Press received his B.A. from Vanderbilt University and his A.M. and Ph.D. from Harvard University. He taught at Harvard and Vanderbilt before coming to Stanford. His research interests include European sovereignty, international relations, and commodity networks.
Robert N. Proctor
Professor of History and, by courtesy, of Medicine (Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine)
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsTobacco and cigarette design; human origins and evolution; changing concepts of health and disease; medical history and medical politics
Assistant Professor of French and Italian
BioSarah Prodan is an Italianist, an early modernist and a Michelangelo scholar. Her primary research and teaching contributions center on Italian literature and cultural history of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.
Her first monograph, Michelangelo’s Christian Mysticism: Spirituality, Poetry and Art in Sixteenth-Century Italy (Cambridge University Press, 2014), was awarded the Jeanne and Aldo Scaglione Publication Award for a Manuscript in Italian Literary Studies by the Modern Language Association in 2013. Literary, cultural and historical in scope, this study considers the Florentine artist’s poetics and aesthetics in light of medieval and Renaissance Augustinianism, lay religious culture, and the Italian Reformation, respectively, to provide a more nuanced understanding of Michelangelo’s spirituality and how it functioned.
Her current book project, Poetics of Piety in Early Modern Italy and Beyond, builds on this earlier work to consider the ways in which male and female poets of devotional verse engaged the Word in text, image, and imagination in the sixteenth century. Combining diachronic and synchronic approaches to the study of early modern Italian verse, this project examines relations among religious practice and poetic form in the pre-Tridentine and post-Tridentine periods.
Other book-length projects include Friendship and Sociability in Premodern Europe: Contexts, Concepts and Expressions (Toronto: CRRS, 2014), a co-edited volume that explores ideas and instances of friendship in premodern Europe through a well-ordered series of investigations into amity in discrete social and cultural contexts related to some of the most salient moments and expressions of European history and civilization: the courtly love tradition, Renaissance humanism; the Reformation, the Counter-Reformation and the attendant confessionalization and wars of religion; Jesuit missions; the colonization of America; and lastly, expanding trade patterns in the Age of Discovery.
Prior to joining Stanford, Prodan was a postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of History at Harvard University and at the Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies at Victoria University in the University of Toronto, where she designed and taught early modern cultural history courses and lectured on Italian language and literature.
In parallel to her scholarly pursuits, Prodan is completing a work of historical fiction inspired by her academic research. Taking the dramatic events of the French invasion of Italy in the fall of 1494 as its context, Imminence: Florence, 1494 recounts the riveting and tumultuous history of the dangerously divided Florentine city-state through the experiences of a lay female visionary temporarily resident in an elite nunnery tied to the highest echelons of political power. An imagined female story seamlessly inserted into a famously documented male history, Imminence weaves strands of verisimilitude with threads of reality, to offer a tapestry of fiction and non-fiction that touches on persistent human challenges – personal, social, and political. An exercise in empathic historical imagination, this novel explores women’s political, social, cultural, and religious history during the exciting and pivotal moment of the Italian Renaissance.