School of Humanities and Sciences


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  • Gabriella Safran

    Gabriella Safran

    Eva Chernov Lokey Professor in Jewish Studies and Professor, by courtesy, of German Studies
    On Leave from 09/01/2019 To 08/31/2020

    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

    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

    BioKathryn Starkey is Professor of German in the Department of German Studies. Her primary research interests are medieval and early modern German literature and culture with an emphasis on visuality, material culture, language, performativity, and the history of the book.

    She is the author of "Reading the Medieval Book: Word, Image, and Performance in Wolfram von Eschenbach’s 'Willehalm'" (Notre Dame 2004), and "A Courtier’s Mirror: Cultivating Elite Identity in Thomasin's 'Welscher Gast'" (Notre Dame 2013). Together with Horst Wenzel (Berlin), Professor Starkey co-edited "Imagination und Deixis: Studien zur Wahrnehmung im Mittelalter" (Stuttgart 2007), and "Visual Culture and the German Middle Ages" (New York 2005). In collaboration with Ann Marie Rasmussen (Waterloo) and Jutta Eming (Berlin), she conducted a three-year research project funded by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation TransCoop Program on “Tristan and Isolde and Cultures of Emotion in the Middle Ages.” This project culminated in the co-edited volume "Visuality and Materiality in the Story of Tristan" (Notre Dame 2012). One of her current projects is a co-authored (with Edith Wenzel [Aachen]) edition, translation, and commentary of songs by the medieval poet Neidhart (ca. 1210-1240) entitled "Neidhart: Selected Songs from the Riedegger Manuscript".

    Prof. 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.

    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.