School of Humanities and Sciences


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  • Stephen Sano

    Stephen Sano

    Professor Harold C. Schmidt Director in Choral Studies and Professor (Teaching) of Music

    BioStephen M. Sano, Professor at Stanford University’s Department of Music, assumed the position of Director of Choral Studies in 1993. At Stanford, Dr. Sano directs the Stanford Chamber Chorale and Symphonic Chorus, where he has been described in the press as “a gifted conductor,” and his work as “Wonderful music making! ... evident in an intense engagement with his charges: the musicians responded to this attention with wide-eyed musical acuity.” Other reviews have lauded, “It is difficult to believe that any choral group anywhere is capable of performing better than the Stanford chorus under the direction of Stephen M. Sano.”

    Dr. Sano has appeared as guest conductor with many of the world’s leading choral organizations, including in collaborative concerts with the Choirs of Trinity College and St John’s College, Cambridge; the Joyful Company of Singers (London); the Choir of Royal Holloway, University of London; the Kammerchor der Universität der Künste Berlin; and the Kammerchor der Universität Wien (Vienna). He often appears as guest conductor of the Peninsula Symphony Orchestra in its collaborative concerts with the Stanford Symphonic Chorus, and has served on the conducting faculty of the Wilkes University Encore Music Festival of Pennsylvania. He has studied at the Tanglewood Music Center and is in frequent demand as a master class teacher, conductor, and adjudicator in choral music. To date, he has taught master classes and conducted festival, honor, municipal, and collegiate choirs from over twenty states, as well as from England, Austria, Germany, Canada, Australia, and Japan.

    On Stanford’s campus, Dr. Sano’s accomplishments as a leader and educator have been recognized through his appointments as the inaugural chair holder of the Professor Harold C. Schmidt Directorship of Choral Studies and as the Rachford and Carlota A. Harris University Fellow in Undergraduate Education at Stanford University. He was also the recipient of the 2005 Dean’s Award for Distinguished Teaching. Dr. Sano's recordings with the Stanford Chamber Chorale have twice appeared on the Grammy Awards preliminary ballot in the category "Best Choral Album." His choral recordings can be heard on the ARSIS Audio, Pictoria, and Daniel Ho Creations labels.

    Outside of the choral world, Dr. Sano is a scholar and performer of kī hō‘alu (Hawaiian slack key guitar), and an avid supporter of North American taiko (Japanese American drumming). As a slack key artist, his recordings have been nominated as finalists for the prestigious Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award and the Hawaiian Music Award. His recording, "Songs from the Taro Patch," was on the preliminary ballot for the 2008 Grammy Award. Dr. Sano’s slack key recordings can be heard on the Daniel Ho Creations and Ward Records labels.

    A native of Palo Alto, California, Dr. Sano holds Master’s and Doctoral degrees in both orchestral and choral conducting from Stanford, and a Bachelor’s degree in piano performance and theory from San José State University. He has studied at Tanglewood Music Center and with Mitchell Sardou Klein, William Ramsey, Aiko Onishi, Alfred Kanwischer, Fernando Valenti, and Ozzie Kotani.

  • Dewei Shen

    Dewei Shen

    Postdoctoral Scholar, East Asian Studies

    BioMy research interests lie at the intersection of historical archaeology and manuscript studies, with a focus on the social and cultural history of early Chinese society. I am currently revising my dissertation, entitled “The First Imperial Transition in China: A Microhistory of Jiangling (369–119 B.C.E.),” into a book manuscript. In the dissertation, I challenge the dominant dayitong (“great unification”) narrative in studies of the rise of early Chinese empires through a micro-scale investigation of the collapse and transformation of Jiangling—the former Chu capital in southern Hubei—in the wake of the Qin and Han conquests. The dissertation was awarded the Marston Anderson Prize for Distinguished Dissertation at Yale. Built upon this case study, my book incorporates recent archaeological and manuscript evidence to examine the ascent and afterlife of the Chu Empire from the fourth to the first century B.C.E. The book will propose a new theoretical framework based on the idea of “parallel empires” to reveal the (long-forgotten) diversity of imperial models that once existed in ancient China. Additionally, as a fellow at the Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis (CESTA) and a postdoctoral affiliate at the Stanford Archaeology Center, I am also collaborating with digital humanists and archaeologists to develop a database and visualization tools to study early urbanization and city networks of South China.

    Research Area Keywords: Early China; archaeology; manuscript studies; early Chinese texts; empire studies; microhistory; material culture; mortuary studies; funerary arts; East Asian history; Japanese kokugaku.

  • Gi-Wook Shin

    Gi-Wook Shin

    William J. Perry Professor, Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies and Professor, by courtesy, of East Asian Languages and Cultures

    Current Research and Scholarly InterestsKorean democratization; Korean nationalism; U.S.-Korea relations; North Korean politics; reconciliation and cooperation in Northeast Asia; global talent; multiculturalism; inter-Korean relations

  • Eric Senkit Suen

    Eric Senkit Suen

    Master of Arts Student in East Asian Studies, admitted Autumn 2021

    BioEric Suen is currently pursuing his M.A. degree in East Asian Studies at Stanford University. He graduated from the University of Hong Kong in 2021 with majors in Japanese and Chinese Studies. He studied at Kyoto University from 2019 to 2020 as an exchange student, and attended summer schools at the University of Tokyo and Peking University in 2018.