School of Humanities and Sciences
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Joan Ramon Resina
Professor of Iberian and Latin American Cultures and of Comparative LiteratureOn Leave from 10/01/2020 To 06/30/2021
BioProfessor Resina specializes in modern European literatures and cultures with an emphasis on the Spanish and Catalan traditions. He is Director of the Iberian Studies Program, housed in the Freeman Spogli Institute.
Professor Resina is most recently the author of The Ghost in the Constitution: Historical Memory and Denial in Spanish Society. Liverpool University Press, 2017. This book is a reflection on the political use of historical memory focusing on the case of Spain. It analyses the philosophical implications of the transference of the notion of memory from the individual consciousness to the collective subject and considers the conflation of epistemology with ethics. A subtheme is the origin and transmission of political violence and its endurance in the form of “negationism”. Some chapters consider “traumatic” phenomena, such as the bombing of Guernica, the Republican exile, the destruction of Catalan society, and the Holocaust. The book engages controversial issues, such as the relation between memory and imputation, the obstacles to reconciliation, and the problems arising from the existence of not only different but also conflicting memories about the past. Another recent book is Josep Pla: The World Seen in the Form of Articles. Toronto University Press, 2017, which received the North American Catalan Society award for best book on Catalan Studies in 2019. This book condenses Pla's 47-volume work into 11 thematic units devoted to a central aspect of Pla's oeuvre. Resina explores the modalities of Pla's writing: stylistic, phenomenological, political, his relation to language, fiction, food, and landscape, and his approach to sexuality, women, and death. It introduces the reader to the colorful world of Catalonia's greatest 20th century writer through the author's gaze. Pla was a privileged observer of some of the crucial events of the 20th century, but he also captured the sensual infrastructure of his own country by recording every aspect of its reality.
Previous books include Del Hispanismo a los Estudios Ibéricos. Una propuesta federativa para el ámbito cultural. Madrid: Biblioteca Nueva, 2009. In this book, Resina lays out the rationale for the overcoming of Hispanic Studies by a new discipline of Iberian Studies, contending that the field's response to the crisis of the Humanities should not lie in the retrenchment into the national philological traditions. Another publication since joining Stanford is Barcelona's Vocation of Modernity: Rise and Decline of an Urban Image (Stanford UP, 2008). This book traces the development of Barcelona's modern image since the late 19th century through the 20th century through texts that foreground key social and historical issues. The book ends with a highly critical view on the post-Olympic period.
Resina has edited eleven collections of essays on varied topics, most recently Inscribed Identities: Writing as Self-Realization. Routledge, 2019, and Repetition, Recurrence, Returns, Lexington Books, 2019.
He has published extensively in specialized journals, such as PMLA, MLN, New Literary History, and Modern Language Quarterly, and has contributed to a large number critical volumes. From 1999 to 2005 he was the Editor of Diacritics. For several years he has been a regular contributor to the Barcelona daily press. He has held teaching positions at Cornell University, the State University of New York at Stony Brook, and Northwestern University, as well as visiting appointments at foreign universities, and received awards such as the Alexander von Humboldt and the Fullbright fellowships, and a fellowship at the Internationales Kolleg Morphomata Center for Advanced Studies of the University of Cologne..
Senior Lecturer in English
BioJudith Richardson is a senior lecturer in English and program coordinator for American Studies. After receiving her PhD from Harvard University, Judith began teaching at Stanford in 2001, offering a range of courses on American literature, including classes on women writers, early American literature, autobiographies, and the literature of cities. The author of Possessions: The History and Uses of Haunting in the Hudson Valley (2003) she continues to write and lecture—at Stanford and beyond—on the history and literature of New York, and on issues of place and cultural memory more broadly. She is currently working on a book about nineteenth-century America’s “plant-mindedness,” its multivalent obsession with vegetable matters.
J. E. Wallace Sterling Professor in the Humanities, Emeritus
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsI am a variationist sociolinguist (someone who studies language variation, often quantitatively, in relation to society and culture). I’m interested in understanding the relations between language variation, social structure and meaning, and language change, from descriptive, theoretical and applied perspectives.
A lot of my work has been devoted to understanding the linguistic, social and stylistic constraints on specific linguistic variables, like the variation between Guyanese pronouns am, she, and her in “e like am” (deep creole, basilect) versus “e like she” (intermediate creole, mesolect) versus “He likes her” (standard English, acrolect). Or, to take an American example, the variation between all and like as quotative introducers in “He’s all/like ‘I don’t know’.” But I’ve also been concerned with trying to figure out where such variables come from historically, and whether they represent ongoing or completed change. I’ve also used the data from specific variables to address larger methodological and theoretical concepts in sociolinguistics, like how best to conceptualize the speech community and analyze linguistic variation by social class and ethnicity, or to assess the role of addressee versus topic in style shifting or the validity of the hyothesis that linguistic and social constraints are essentially independent (in their effects, not frequencies).
My data come primarily from English-based creoles of the Caribbean (especially my native Guyanese Creole, but also Jamaican and Barbadian) and from colloquial American English (especially African American Vernacular English, but also, recently, from computer corpora, like Google newsgroup data). I’ve also been interested, increasingly since the 1990s, in how sociolinguistic research can be applied to help us understand and overcome the challenges that vernacular and creole speakers face in schools, where standard/mainstream varieties are expected.
Professor of History
BioJessica Riskin received her B.A. from Harvard University and her Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley. She at MIT for several years before coming to Stanford, and has also taught at Iowa State University and at Sciences Po, Paris. Her research interests include early modern science, politics and culture and the history of scientific explanation.
Riskin is the author of Science in the Age of Sensibility: The Sentimental Empiricists of the French Enlightenment (University of Chicago Press, 2002), which won the American Historical Association's J. Russell Major Prize for best book in English on any aspect of French history, and the editor of Genesis Redux: Essays in the History and Philosophy of Artificial Life (University of Chicago Press, 2007) and, with Mario Biagioli, of Nature Engaged: Science in Practice from the Renaissance to the Present (Palgrave, 2012). Her latest book is The Restless Clock: A History of the Centuries-Long Debate about What Makes Living Things Tick (University of Chicago Press, 2016).
Artist in Residence in Music
BioNow celebrating 30 years with the internationally celebrated St. Lawrence String Quartet, Lesley Robertson (viola) is proud to make her life at Stanford University where along with her SLSQ colleagues she directs the chamber music at the Department of Music. Ms. Robertson teaches viola, coaches chamber music, and also spearheads the SLSQ's Emerging String Quartet Program at Stanford and the SLSQ's annual Chamber Music Seminar. A graduate of the Curtis Institute and the Juilliard School, Ms. Robertson also holds a degree from the University of British Columbia where she studied with her mentor, Gerald Stanick. A founding member of the SLSQ, Ms. Robertson tours regularly, performing 100+ concerts worldwide per season (this season in Berlin, Florence, London, New York, Toronto, and others) but also nurtures close ties to the Stanford community performing in various classes, dormitories, laboratories, hospitals, and in Stanford's glorious Bing Concert Hall. She participated in the Marlboro Festival for several years and and toured with Musicians from Marlboro before co-founding the SLSQ. She has served on the jury of several international competitions including the Banff International String Quartet Competition, the Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition, and in spring of 2015, the Wigmore Hall International String Quartet Competition. Ms. Robertson plays on a viola (1992) made by fellow Canadian John Newton and a bow (2016) by Francois Malo.
Assistant Professor of Theater and Performance Studies
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsRobinson's current book manuscript explores intersections between technological, scientific, and theatrical knowledge in early nineteenth-century science museums. She investigates how theatrical performances and magic shows drew upon technological innovations and formed unique methods for disseminating scientific knowledge. Her primary research and teaching interests are in the history of optics and physics, magic performance and practice, eighteenth- and nineteenth-century stagecraft, and Black cultural production.