School of Humanities and Sciences
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Associate Professor of History
BioAmir Weiner’s research concerns Soviet history with an emphasis on the interaction between totalitarian politics, ideology, nationality, and society. His first book, Making Sense of War analyzed the role and impact of the cataclysm of the Second World War on Soviet society and politics. His current project, Wild West, Window to the West engages the territories between the Baltic and Black Seas that were annexed by the Soviet Union in 1939-40, from the initial occupation to present. Professor Weiner has taught courses on modern Russian history; the Second World War; the Origins of Totalitarianism; War and Society in Modern Europe; Modern Ukrainian History; and History and Memory.
Frances and Charles Field Professor in History
BioKären Wigen teaches Japanese history and the history of cartography at Stanford. A geographer by training, she earned her doctorate at the University of California at Berkeley. Her first book, The Making of a Japanese Periphery, 1750-1920 (1995), mapped the economic transformation of southern Nagano Prefecture during the heyday of the silk industry. Her second book, A Malleable Map: Geographies of Restoration in Central Japan, 1600-1912 (2010), returned to the ground of that study, exploring the roles of cartography, chorography, and regionalism in the making of modern Shinano.
An abiding interest in world history led her to co-author The Myth of Continents (1997) with Martin Lewis, and to co-direct the "Oceans Connect" project at Duke University. She also introduced a forum on oceans in history for the American Historical Review and co-edited Seascapes: Maritime Histories, Littoral Cultures, and Transoceanic Exchanges (2007) with Jerry Bentley and Renate Bridenthal. Her latest project is another collaboration, Cartographic Japan: A History in Maps, with co-editors Sugimoto Fumiko and Cary Karacas ( University of Chicago Press, forthcoming 2016).
Margaret Jacks Professor of Education and Professor, by courtesy, of History
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsDistinguishing what is true in our current digital mess; the teaching and learning of history
New book out in 2018, Why Learn History (When It's Already on Your Phone)
How young people make decisions about what to believe on the Internet.
New forms of assessment to measure historical understanding
The creation of Web-based environments for the learning and teaching of history
Director and Anthony P. Meier Family Professor in the Humanities, Stanford Humanities Ctr; Professor of History and, by courtesy, of Classics and of Education
BioCaroline Winterer is Director of the Stanford Humanities Center and Anthony P. Meier Family Professor in the Humanities. She is also Professor of History and, by courtesy, of Classics. She focuses on the history of ideas in America and Europe in the period 1500-1900, with special interests in the history of politics, art, and science.
Assistant Professor of History
BioIn my work, I examine the intersection of social, political, environmental, and technological change in modern Mexico and Latin America by focusing on the history of agrarian reform, water control, hydraulic technology, drought, and climate change. I offer a wide range of undergraduate and graduate courses in Mexican, Latin American, environmental, and comparative and global history, on topics such as the history of water control, climate ethics, economic development, international relations, revolution and film (see course offerings below).
My first book, Watering the Revolution, recipient of the 2018 Conference on Latin American History's Elinor Melville Prize for Latin American Environmental History, transforms our understanding of Mexican agrarian reform, Latin America's most extensive and longest-lasting (1915-1992) through an environmental and technological history of water management in the emblematic Laguna region. Drawing on extensive archival research in Mexico and the United States, it shows how during the long Mexican Revolution (1910-1940) engineers’ distribution of the water paradoxically undermined land distribution. In so doing, it highlights the intrinsic tension engineers faced between the urgent need for water conservation and the imperative for development during the contentious modernization of the Laguna's existing flood irrigation method into one regulated by high dams, concrete-lined canals, and motorized groundwater pumps. This tension generally resolved in favor of development, which unintentionally diminished and contaminated the water supply while deepening existing rural social inequalities by dividing people into water haves and have-nots, regardless of their access to land. By uncovering the varied motivations behind the Mexican government’s decision to use invasive and damaging technologies despite knowing they were ecologically unsustainable, the book tells a cautionary tale of the long-term consequences of short-sighted development policies.
The research I completed for my first book led to my second book project tentatively entitled “Revolution in the Air: A Comparative Historical Climatology of the Mexican and Cuban Revolutions.” The book makes climate endogenous to the story of revolution. It contends that climatic events did not simply happen once, only to disappear in importance. Rather, revolutionaries and counterrevolutionaries interpreted climatic variability through a mixture of geopolitical, scientific, and religious knowledge and practices. These interpretations, in turn, shaped how revolutionary societies incorporated climatology into a broader state policy toward the environment.