School of Humanities and Sciences


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  • Gabriella Safran

    Gabriella Safran

    Senior Associate Dean, Humanities and Arts, Eva Chernov Lokey Professor of Jewish Studies and Professor, by courtesy, of German Studies and of Comparative Literature

    BioGabriella Safran has written on Russian, Polish, Yiddish, and French literatures and cultures. Her most recent monograph, Wandering Soul: The Dybbuk's Creator, S. An-sky (Harvard, 2010), is a biography of an early-twentieth-century Russian-Yiddish writer who was also an ethnographer, a revolutionary, and a wartime relief worker.

    Safran teaches and writes on Russian literature, Yiddish literature, folklore, and folkloristics. She is now working on two monograph projects: one on how people in the Russian Empire listened across social lines, recorded and imitated others’ voices in various media, and reflected on listening and vocal imitation, from the 1830s to the 1880s, and the other on the international pre-history of the Jewish joke.

    For more information about her activities and publications, see https://dlcl.stanford.edu/people/gabriella-safran

  • Matthew Smith

    Matthew Smith

    Professor of German Studies and of Theater and Performance Studies
    On Leave from 09/01/2022 To 08/31/2023

    BioMatthew Wilson Smith’s interests include modern theatre and relations between science, technology, and the arts. His book The Nervous Stage: 19th-century Neuroscience and the Birth of Modern Theatre (Oxford, 2017) explores historical intersections between theatre and neurology and traces the construction of a “neural subject” over the course of the nineteenth century. It was a finalist for the George Freedley Memorial Award of the Theater Library Association. His previous book, The Total Work of Art: From Bayreuth to Cyberspace (Routledge, 2007), presents a history and theory of attempts to unify the arts; the book places such diverse figures as Wagner, Moholy-Nagy, Brecht, Riefenstahl, Disney, Warhol, and contemporary cyber-artists within a coherent genealogy of multimedia performance. He is the editor of Georg Büchner: The Major Works, which appeared as a Norton Critical Edition in 2011, and the co-editor of Modernism and Opera (Johns Hopkins, 2016), which was shortlisted for an MSA Book Prize. His essays on theater, opera, film, and virtual reality have appeared widely, and his work as a playwright has appeared at the Eugene O’Neill Musical Theater Conference, Richard Foreman’s Ontological-Hysteric Theater, and other stages. He previously held professorships at Cornell University and Boston University as well as visiting positions at Columbia University and Johannes Gutenberg-Universität (Mainz).

  • Kathryn Starkey

    Kathryn Starkey

    Professor of German Studies and, by courtesy, of English, of History and of Comparative Literature

    BioKathryn Starkey is Professor of German in the Department of German Studies and, by courtesy, Professor of English, History, and Comparative Literature. Her work focuses primarily on medieval German literature from the eleventh to the thirteenth century, and her research topics encompass visuality and materiality, object/thing studies, manuscript illustration and transmission, language, performativity, and poetics. She has held visiting appointments at the Universities of Palermo (2011) and Freiburg im Breisgau (2013 and 2018).

    Recent book publications (since 2012) include:

    * Things and Thingness in European Literature and Visual Art, 800-1600, edited with Jutta Eming (Berlin/New York, 2021).
    * Animals in Text and Textile. Storytelling in the Medieval World, edited with Evelin Wetter. Riggisberger Berichte, Vol. 24 (Riggisberg, Switzerland, 2019).
    * Sensory Reflections. Traces of Experience in Medieval Artifacts, edited with Fiona Griffiths (Berlin/New York, 2018).
    * Neidhart: Selected Songs from the Riedegger Manuscript, edited and translated with Edith Wenzel, TEAMS series in bilingual medieval German texts (Kalamazoo, MI, 2016).
    * A Courtier’s Mirror: Cultivating Elite Identity in Thomasin von Zerclaere’s “Welscher Gast” (Notre Dame, 2013).
    * Visuality and Materiality in the Story of Tristan, edited with Jutta Eming and Ann Marie Rasmussen (Notre Dame, 2012).
    Professor Starkey is the PI for the Global Medieval Sourcebook (https://sourcebook.stanford.edu/) for which she received a NEH Digital Humanities Advancement Grant (2018) as well as awards from the Roberta Bowman Denning Fund for Humanities and Technologies at Stanford (2016, 2017, 2018).

    Her current research projects include a co-authored (with Fiona Griffiths) textbook for the Cambridge Medieval Textbook series on A History of Medieval Germany (900-1220).

    Professor Starkey has been the recipient of fellowships from the National Humanities Center, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, the UNC Institute for the Arts and the Humanities, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRCC).

    Before joining the faculty at Stanford in 2012 she taught in the Department of Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.