School of Humanities and Sciences
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Eva Chernov Lokey Professor in Jewish Studies and Professor, by courtesy, of German Studies
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
Leon Sloss, Jr. Professor and Professor, by courtesy, of Iberian and Latin American Cultures
BioJosé David Saldívar is a scholar of late postcontemporary culture, especially the minoritized literatures of the United States, Latin America, and the transamerican hemisphere, and of border narrative and poetics from the sixteenth century to the present.
He is the author of The Dialectics of Our America: Genealogy, Cultural Critique, and Literary History (Duke University Press, 1991), Border Matters: Remapping American Cultural Studies (University of California Press, 1997), and Trans-Americanity: Subaltern Modernities, Global Coloniality, and the Cultures of Greater Mexico (Duke University Press, 2012),coeditor (with Monica Hanna and Jennifer Harford Vargas) of Junot Díaz and the Decolonial Imagination (Duke University Press, 2016) coeditor (with Héctor Calderón) of Criticism in the Borderlands (Duke University Press, 1991), and editor of The Rolando Hinojosa Reader (Arte Público Press, 1985).
Additionally, he has published numerous articles in journals such as Cultural Studies, American Literary History, The Americas Review, Revista Casa de las Américas, Daedalus, Modern Fiction Studies, and The Global South. He has served on the editorial boards of Duke University Press, the University of California Press, and currently serves on the editorial boards of the journals American Literary History, The Global South, Aztlan, and World Knowledges Otherwise. He has received personal research grants from The Ford Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies, the University of California President's Research Fellowship in the Humanities, the William Rice Kimball Fellowship, Stanford Humanities Center, and the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford (invitation for a future visit).
His teaching is divided evenly between graduate seminars and undergraduate courses, and some of his undergraduate courses are cross-listed in Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity.
In 2003, he received the Distinguished Achievement Award for Literary and Cultural Criticism from the Western Literature Association; in 2005, he received the Chicano Scholar of the Year Award from the Modern Language Association; in 2007 he received the Sarlo Distinguished Graduate Student Mentoring Award from the University of California, Berkeley; and in 2016, he was the winner of the American Literature Society’s highest honor, the Jay B. Hubbell Medal. The medal is sponsored by the American Literature Society, an allied organization of the Modern Language Association, and is awarded annually to one “scholar whose lifetime of scholarly work has significantly advanced the study of American literature.” . Before coming to Stanford in January 2010, Saldívar was the Class of 1942 Professor of English and Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Berkeley.
Hoagland Family Professor, T. Robert and Katherine States Burke Family Director of BOSP, and Professor, by courtesy, of Iberian and Latin American Cultures
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsMy current research is concerned with the relationships among race, form, genre, representing what Jeffrey T. Nealon has recently term the “post-postmodern.” In the latest version of this research presented at the John-F.-Kennedy-Institut für Nordamerikastudien, Freie Universität Berlin I use Sesshu Foster's "Atomik Aztex" as an example twenty-first century racial imaginaries. Part fantasy, part hallucinatory sur-realism, part muckraking novel in the grand realist protest tradition of Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle (1906), part historical novel in the mode of Vassily Grossman’s great Stalinist era masterpiece, Life & Fate (1980) set during the battle of Stalingrad, part ethnographic history about religious, military, and social structure of the pre-Columbian Aztec (Nahua, Mexica) world, part LA noir, and wholly Science Fiction alternative and counterfactual history, it exemplifies many of the criteria of the “post-postmodern.” Moreover, in addition to this range of formal matters, Atomik Aztex is concerned with two other topics:
•a reconceptualization of the way that race affects the formations of history, and
•the reshaping of the form of the novel in order to represent that reconceptualization.
With eighty-two characters populating the story, itself a plotted compendium of at least two radically separate yet intertwined universes of action, in a continually shifting movement from past, present, and future times, Atomik Aztex is a radical experiment in novelistic form. Using the tools of quantitative formalism developed for literary use by the Stanford University Literary Lab, I wish to show how the work of the computational humanities, in conjunction with traditional hermeneutic methods of literary analysis can help us understand the radical turn of contemporary American fiction toward speculative realism.
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.
Vernon R. and Lysbeth Warren Anderson Dean of the School of H&S, The Marta Sutton Weeks Professor of Ethics in Society and Professor, by courtesy, of Political Science
Current Research and Scholarly Interestspolitical philosophy,ethics and economics, equality
Dickason Professor in the Humanities and Professor of History
BioWalter Scheidel's research ranges from ancient social and economic history and premodern historical demography to the comparative and transdisciplinary world history of inequality, state formation, and human welfare. He is particularly interested in connecting the humanities, the social sciences, and the life sciences.
Scheidel is the author or (co-)editor of 20 books, has published close to 250 articles, chapters, and reviews, and has lectured in 29 countries. His most recent books are "Escape from Rome: The Failure of Empire and the Road to Prosperity" (2019), "The Science of Roman History: Biology, Climate, and the Future of the Past" (2018, ed.), "The Great Leveler: Violence and the History of Inequality from the Stone Age to the Twenty-First Century" (2017; 12 translations), "On Human Bondage: After Slavery and Social Death" (2017, co-edited with John Bodel), "State Power in Ancient China and Rome" (2015, ed.), and "Fiscal Regimes and the Political Economy of Premodern States" (2015, co-edited with Andrew Monson). Other key publications include "Rome and China: Comparative Perspectives on Ancient World Empires" (2009, ed.), "The Cambridge Economic History of the Greco-Roman World" (2007, co-edited with Ian Morris and Richard Saller), and "Death on the Nile: Disease and the Demography of Roman Egypt" (2001). He has also written for the New York Times, Financial Times, Atlantic, Economist, Le Monde, Foreign Affairs, Boston Globe, Huffington Post, Spectator, and other media outlets.
Scheidel recently completed "The Oxford World History of Empire" (2 vols, co-edited with Peter Bang and the late Christopher Bayly). He is currently working on the Roman monarchy in global comparative context and is planning a very short book on the future of ancient history and a longer one on how modernizing developmental discontinuities have come to enrich, divide and threaten humankind. He launched an international research initiative for the comparative study of ancient Mediterranean and Chinese empires, co-founded the "Princeton/Stanford Working Papers in Classics," created the interactive web site "Orbis: The Stanford Geospatial Network Model of the Roman World," which has attracted over a million visitors and global media coverage, and is an editor of the monograph series "Oxford Studies in Early Empires" and a former editor of the journal "Historia." He was awarded a Mellon New Directions Fellowship and a Guggenheim Fellowship, and is a Corresponding Member of the Austrian Academy of Sciences.
John L. Hinds Professor of the History of Science
BioLonda Schiebinger is the John L. Hinds Professor of History of Science in the History Department at Stanford University and Director of the EU/US Gendered Innovations in Science, Health & Medicine, Engineering, and Environment Project. From 2004-2010, Schiebinger served as the Director of Stanford's Clayman Institute for Gender Research. She is a leading international authority on gender and science. Over the past thirty years, Schiebinger's work has been devoted to teasing apart three analytically distinct but interlocking pieces of the gender and science puzzle: the history of women's participation in science; gender in the structure of scientific institutions; and the gendering of human knowledge.She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Senior Lecturer in Music
BioStudied with John Perry (at Oberlin and the University of Texas) and Leonard Stein.
Solo recitals in Berlin, Vienna (Schoenberg Festival), Kyoto, Seoul, New York, San Francisco, Berkeley, Korea’s Tongyoung Festival, the Festival of New American Music in Sacramento, and the April in Santa Cruz Festival.
Appearances as soloist at Alice Tully Hall (NYC), the Other Minds Festival (San Francisco), and the Colorado Music Festival.
Chamber music performances with Robert Craft’s 20th Century Classics Ensemble (NYC), the Da Camera Society of Houston, the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, and the St. Lawrence String Quartet.
Recordings on MusicMasters, Newport Classics, Seoul Records. Recording of solo works for Belgian Radio (Brussels).
Has worked closely with eminent composers including John Cage, Morton Feldman, Elliott Carter, Frederic Rzewski, Christian Wolff, Hyo-shin Na, Earle Brown, and Jonathan Harvey, and has given recitals and lectures devoted to the music of Cage and Rzewski.
Assistant Professor of French and Italian
BioFatoumata Seck is a literary scholar with an interdisciplinary background. She specializes in francophone African and Caribbean studies with an emphasis on cultural and diaspora studies, postcolonial theory and political economy. Her research brings together literary criticism, anthropological theory, and various approaches to materialism to investigate the impact of economic thought and economic processes on Senegalese works of fiction. Her book manuscript "Materialized Imaginaries: Fiction, Economy and the Postcolony" develops methodologies for studying the influence of post-colonial neoliberal reforms on the Senegalese social fabric through the examination of both cultural production and cultural practice. It establishes how Senegalese writers, filmmakers, and artists have engaged in humanistic ways of rethinking economic ideologies and practices through fictional narratives as well as way in which these works inform notions of value, debt, money, and capital.
Seck is a former Assistant Professor at the City University of New York, College of Staten Island (CUNY/CSI) where she has taught and conducted research on literature, film, and cultures of the francophone world and the African diaspora and served as coordinator for the French program. Seck holds a Ph.D. in French with a minor in anthropology and a certificate in African Studies from Stanford University as well as degrees from the University of Georgia and Université Jean Moulin Lyon III. Seck is a native Wolof and French speaker; her teaching cuts across various geographical areas and linguistic traditions (Wolof, French, English, Spanish and Portuguese) and is informed by critical theory on race, gender and ethnicity. In addition to courses about francophone cultures and societies offered at the Division of Literature Cultures and Languages (DLCL), Seck offers courses about the African diaspora in Europe and the Americas at the Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity (CSRE). She is also a Center for African Studies (CAS) affiliate faculty member with projects and courses that engage the landscape of African humanities. Her work has been featured in different venues such as The Journal of African Cultural Studies, The Journal of Haitian Studies, Études Littéraires Africaines and Le Monde Afrique.
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsMy main areas of interest are (1) the activities of CCARH in developing searchable repositories of encoded musical data; (2) the intellectual-property questions that these and other digital-music projects raise; and (3) personal historical research primarily on Venetian topics (at present: Antonio Vivaldi, Bernardo Canal).
Professor of Classics
design history and research; archaeological theory; heritage studies and archaeologies of the contemporary past; the archaeology of Grece-Roman urbanism; the regional archaeology of the English-Scottish borders.
Archaeology in the making: conversations through a discipline. Edited with Bill Rathje and Chris Witmore. Routledge 2013.
Archaeology: the discipline of things. With Bjørnar Olsen, Tim Webmoor and Chris Witmore. University of California Press, 2012.
The archaeological imagination. Left Coast Press, 2012.
Archaeologies of presence: art, performance and the persistence of being. Edited with Nick Kaye and Gabriella Giannachi. Routledge, 2012.
An archaeology of antiquity. With Gary Devore. For Oxford University Press.
The Revs Program at Stanford. Automotive archaeology.
From Tyne to Tweed. An archaeology of the English-Scottish borders, including excavations of the Roman town of Binchester.
Professor of Music, and by courtesy, of Electrical Engineering
BioSmith is a professor of music and (by courtesy) electrical engineering (Information Systems Lab) based at the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA). Teaching and research pertain to music and audio applications of signal processing. Former software engineer at NeXT Computer, Inc., responsible for signal processing software pertaining to music and audio. For more, see https://ccrma.stanford.edu/~jos/.
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).
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.
Sara Hart Kimball Professor in the Humanities
BioMy early formal training was as a papyrologist. For a number of years I published texts from the Oxyrhynchus and the Yale papyrus collections before turning to the two areas of research that continue to occupy me: the political and social dimensions of Hellenistic literature (and its later reception) and ancient Greek fiction writing. With Jack Winkler I edited Ancient Greek Novels: The Fragments (Princeton) in 1995, and I continue to write on the social contexts of the novels and on Hellenistic Egypt more generally. In 1998 I began to write on the Hellenistic poets suggesting that their poems could be best be understood as contextualized responses to a new time and place—the recently founded city of Alexandria. Seeing Double: Intercultural Poetics in Ptolemaic Alexandria, which appeared in 2003, was a study of how the local Egyptian contours of Ptolemaic kingship informed the poetry of Callimachus, Theocritus, and Apollonius. Since then then I have turned to Callimachus’ reception of earlier writing (particularly Herodotus and Plato), his imagined geographies, and his appropriation of earlier Greek myths of North Africa. Callimachus in Context. From Plato to the Alexandrian Poets (with Benjamin Acosta-Hughes, Cambridge, 2011) and Brill’s Companion to Callimachus (co-edited with Acosta-Hughes and Luigi Lehnus) will both appear this summer.
At the moment I am writing a commentary on Callimachus’ Hymns and, in an effort to make Callimachus’ Aetia more accessible and user friendly, will be facilitating a website located on the Stanford server.
Assistant Professor of East Asian Languages and Cultures
BioPremodern Japanese language, literature, and culture; poetry, performance, and translation; Japanese tea ceremony; psychoanalysis; art history. Current projects include a book (Court Poetry and The Culture of Learning in Japan) on the transformation of Japanese court poetry from a social performance into the core of a comprehensive, far-reaching process of cultural transmission across diverse social spaces. Projects currently on hold include the first direct translation of Genji monogatari into Spanish.
Associate Professor of Linguistics
BioI am an Associate Professor in the Department of Linguistics at Stanford University. I conduct research examining the representations and mechanisms listeners use to understand spoken language, and how linguistic and social factors affect speech perception and word recognition. My current research centers around two main themes: (1) Investigating the effects social information cued by different voices have on memory, and the way social biases result in misremembering, and (2) Using foundational psycholinguistic methodologies to understand how speakers and speaker groups who are new to a community (e.g., the case of Syrian refugees in Germany) accommodate to cultural norms within their native languages.
Professor of East Asian Languages and Cultures and, by courtesy, of Linguistics
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsMy primary research interest is in Chinese linguistics studying how linguistic forms and meanings vary systematically in different socio-cultural contexts in modern Chinese languages. My other works concern with morphosyntactic changes in the history of Chinese and pedagogical grammar in teaching Chinese as Second Language.
Associate Professor of Iberian and Latin American Cultures
BioProfessor Surwillo teaches courses on Iberian literature, with an emphasis on the nineteenth-century. Her research addresses the questions of property, empire, race and personhood as they are manifested by literary works, especially dramatic literature, dealing with colonial slavery, abolition and Spanish citizenship. Surwillo is the author of The Stages of Property: Copyrighting Theatre in Spain (Toronto 2007), an analysis of the development of copyright and authorship in nineteenth-century Spain and the impact of intellectual property on theater. Her forthcoming book Monsters by Trade (Stanford 2014) is a study of slave traders in Spanish literature and the role of these colonial mediators in the development of modern Spain.