School of Humanities and Sciences
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William Haas Professor of Chinese Studies and Professor of Comparative LiteratureOn Leave from 01/01/2022 To 06/30/2022
BioWilliam Haas Professor in Chinese Studies, Stanford University
Departments of East Asian Languages and Comparative Literature
Yangtze River Chair Professor, Simian Institute of Advanced Study,
East China Normal University
Associate Professor of Music and, by courtesy, of Computer Science
BioGe Wang is an Associate Professor at Stanford University in the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA). He specializes in the art of design and computer music — researching programming languages and interactive software design for music, interaction design, mobile music, laptop orchestras, expressive design of virtual reality, aesthetics of music technology design, and education at the intersection of computer science and music. Ge is the author of the ChucK music programming language, the founding director of the Stanford Laptop Orchestra (SLOrk). Ge is also the Co-founder of Smule (reaching over 200 million users), and the designer of the iPhone's Ocarina and Magic Piano. Ge is a 2016 Guggenheim Fellow, and the author of ARTFUL DESIGN: TECHNOLOGY IN SEARCH OF THE SUBLIME—a book on design and technology, art and life‚ published by Stanford University Press in 2018 (see https://artful.design/)
BioLeila Weefur (He/They/She) is an artist, writer, and curator based in Oakland, CA. Through video and installation, their interdisciplinary practice examines the performativity intrinsic to systems of belonging. The work brings together concepts of sensorial memory, abject Blackness, hyper surveillance, and the erotic. Weefur is a recipient of the Walter & Elise Haas Creative Work Fund and the MSP California Black Voices Project. Weefur has worked with local and national institutions including The Wattis Institute, McEvoy Foundation, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, SFMOMA, Museum of the African Diaspora, and Smack Mellon. Weefur’s writing has been published in SEEN by BlackStar Productions, Sming Sming Books, Baest Journal, and more.
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.
Senior Lecturer in Music
BioStudied with Charles Fisher, Marion Owen, Martin Katz, and Eugene Bossart.
Performances throughout U.S., Canada, and Europe; debut at Carnegie Recital Hall, New York; soloist with the Rochester Philharmonic, Utah Symphony, symphonies in Warsaw, Costa Rica.
Prizewinner in Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition; winner, East and West Artists International Auditions and Music at La Gesse Foundation Fellowship
Recipient of National Endowment for the Arts Solo Recitalist Fellowship.
Olive H. Palmer Professor of the Humanities, Senior Fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment and Professor, by courtesy, of Law and of Political Science
BioLeif Wenar is a political philosopher. After receiving his AB at Stanford, he earned his PhD at Harvard, worked in Britain, and returned to Stanford in 2020.
He is the author of Blood Oil: Tyrants, Violence, and the Rules that Run the World and the author-meets-critics volume Beyond Blood Oil: Philosophy, Policy, and the Future. He is also the author of the entries for ‘John Rawls’ and ‘Rights’ in The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. His articles have appeared in Mind, Analysis, Philosophy & Public Affairs, Ethics, The Journal of Political Philosophy, The Columbia Law Review, and The Philosopher’s Annual. He co-edited Giving Well: The Ethics of Philanthropy, as well as an autobiographical volume by the economist FA Hayek.
He has been a Visiting Professor at the Stanford Center on Ethics and Society, a fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford, the William H. Bonsall Visiting Professor in the Stanford Philosophy Department, a Laurance S. Rockefeller Fellow and a Visiting Professor at Princeton’s University Center for Human Values, a Visiting Professor at the Princeton Department of Politics, a Fellow of the Program on Justice and the World Economy at the Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs, a Faculty Fellow at the Center for Ethics and Public Affairs at The Murphy Institute of Political Economy, and a Visiting Fellow at the Australian National University School of Philosophy.
His public writing has been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, Foreign Affairs, and the playbill for the White Light Festival at Lincoln Center. In London, he served for several years on the Mayor’s Policing Ethics Panel, which advises the Mayor and the Metropolitan Police on issues such as digital surveillance and the use of force.
He is currently developing unity theory, a foundational account of what makes for more valuable lives, relationships, and societies. His published work can be found at wenar.info.
Frances and Charles Field Professor of 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).
Professor of Art and Art History
BioGail Wight holds an MFA in New Genres from the San Francisco Art Institute where she was a Javits Fellow, and a BFA from the Studio for Interrelated Media at Massachusetts College of Art. She has an extensive international exhibition record, with over a dozen solo exhibits throughout North America and Great Britain, and her work has been collected by numerous institutions including the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Among her many artist residencies are western Australia’s Symbiotica, Art & Archaeology at Stonehenge, the Rockefeller Foundation in Bellagio, and San Francisco’s Exploratorium. Her work is represented by Patricia Sweetow Gallery in San Francisco.
William Robertson Coe Professor of History and American Studies, Professor of History and, by courtesy, of Classics and of Education
BioCaroline Winterer is William Robertson Coe Professor of History and American Studies, and Professor by courtesy of Classics. She specializes in American history before 1900, especially the history of ideas, political thought, and the history of science. She is currently writing a book on the history of deep time in America, to be published by Princeton University Press.
She teaches classes on American history until 1900, including American cultural and intellectual history, the American Enlightenment, the history of science, and the trans-Atlantic contexts of American thought.
She is the author of five books, including most recently Time in Maps: From the Age of Discovery to Our Digital Era (Chicago, 2020), edited with her Stanford colleague Karen Wigen. Assembling a group of distinguished historians, cartographers, and art historians, the book shows how maps around the world for the last 500 years have ingeniously handled time in the spatial medium of maps.
Her book American Enlightenments: Pursuing Happiness in the Age of Reason (Yale, 2016), showed how early Americans grappled with the promises of the Enlightenment – how they used new questions about the plants, animals, rocks, politics, religions and peoples of the New World to imagine a new relationship between the present and the past, and to spur far-flung conversations about a better future for all of humanity. Earlier books and articles have explored America's long tradition of looking at the ancient classical world for political, artistic, and cultural inspiration. She received an American Ingenuity Award from the Smithsonian Institution for mapping the social network of Benjamin Franklin: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/innovation/dear-sir-ben-franklin-would-like-to-add-you-to-his-network-180947639/.
She is currently accepting graduate students. For more information on the PhD program in the Department of History, visit: https://history.stanford.edu/academics/graduate-degree-programs.
Associate Professor of French and Italian
BioLaura Wittman primarily works on 19th- and 20th-century Italian and French literature from a comparative perspective. She is interested in how modernity articulates new relationships between religious experience, embodiment, mortality, health, and politics, and how these are mediated by literary and artistic creations.
Her book, The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Modern Mourning, and the Reinvention of the Mystical Body (University of Toronto Press, 2011) was awarded the Marraro Award of the Society for Italian Historical Studies for 2012. It explores the creation and reception of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier – an Italian, French, and British invention at the end of the First World War – as an emblem for modern mourning, from a cultural, historical, and literary perspective. It draws on literary and filmic evocations of the Unknown Soldier, as well as archival materials, to show that Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is not pro-war, nationalist, or even proto-Fascist. Rather, it is a monument that heals trauma in two ways: first, it refuses facile consolations, and forcefully dramatizes the fact that suffering cannot be spiritualized or justified by any ideology; second, it rejects despair by enacting, through the concreteness of a particular body, a human solidarity in suffering that commands respect. Anticipating recent analyses of PTSD, the Memorial shows that when traumatic events are relived in a ritual, embodied, empathetic setting, healing occurs not via analysis but via symbolic communication and transmission of emotion.
Laura Wittman is the editor of a special issue of the Romanic Review entitled Italy and France: Imagined Geographies (2006), as well as the co-editor of an anthology of Futurist manifestos and literary works, Futurism: An Anthology (Yale University Press, 2009). She has published articles on d’Annunzio, Marinetti, Fogazzaro, Ungaretti, Montale, Sereni, and Merini, as well as on decadent-era culture and Italian cinema. With Jon Snyder and Simonetta Falasca Zamponi, she recently co-edited a special issue of California Italian Studies on "The Sacred in Italian Culture" (2015).
She received her Ph.D. in 2001 from Yale University where she wrote a dissertation entitled "Mystics Without God: Spirituality and Form in Italian and French Modernism," an analysis of the historical and intellectual context for the self-descriptive use of the term "mystic without God" in the works of Gabriele d'Annununzio and Paul Valéry.
In Spring 2009, she was organizer of the California Interdisciplinary Consortium for Italian Studies (CICIS) Annual Conference, held at the Stanford Humanities Center; she is currently the organizer of the upcoming CICIS 2019 conference, also to be held at the Stanford Humanities Center. She was also organizer of the interdisciplinary conference on Language, Literature, and Mysticism held at the Stanford Humanities Center on 15 and 16 October 2010.
She is currently working on a new book entitled Lazarus' Silence that explores visions of the afterlife and visits to the underworld in modern literature and culture, as a window toward our changing attitudes toward death, accepting our mortality, and accompanying the dying.
Associate Professor of History
BioI am a historian of modern Latin America whose work centers on the intersection of social, political, environmental, and technological change. In particular, I explore questions of water control, agrarian reform, and the effects of climate and weather on the process of social revolution. I employ interdisciplinary historical methods in my scholarship and teaching that seek to transcend the imaginary boundary between the human and nonhuman environments.
I teach undergraduate and graduate courses in modern Latin American history, historiography and film, history of US-Latin American relations, comparative history of modern Latin America and East Asia, environmental history of Latin America and the United States, climate ethics, and water history (see teaching tab to the right. I am accepting graduate students to work under me, but before contacting me, please become familiar with my work. Specific questions engaging with my work and how it relates to your own research interests are more fruitful as a basis for conversation than generally asking to learn more about my work.)
My first book, Watering the Revolution: An Environmental and Technological History of Agrarian Reform in Mexico (Duke, 2017; winner, 2018 Elinor K. Melville Prize for Latin American Environmental History; short-listed, 2018 María Elena Martínez Prize for Mexican History), investigates how people managed their water—via dams, canals, and groundwater pumps—in a great crucible of the Mexican Revolution of 1910-20, the arid north-central Laguna region. In so doing, it demonstrates how Mexican federal engineers were not merely passive implementers of large-scale state development schemes such as agrarian reform. Instead, to implement the latter, they actively mediated knowledge between state and society, identifying what they thought was technologically possible and predicting its environmental consequences.
The book also explains how engineers encountered an intrinsic tension between farmers’ insatiable demand for water and the urgency to conserve it. By closely examining how the Mexican state watered one of the world’s most extensive agrarian reforms, the book tackles an urgent question in the literature on postrevolutionary Mexican state formation, Latin American environmental history and history of technology, and global development studies: how and why do governments persistently deploy invasive technologies for development even when they know those technologies are ecologically unsustainable?
To answer this global question, my book integrates environmental and technological history along with social, economic, political, and legal analyses based on extensive research in archival sources, journals, newspapers, and government publications in Mexico and the United States. Using this “envirotechnical” analytical framework, the book uncovers the varied motivations behind the Mexican government’s decision to use invasive and damaging technologies despite knowing they were unsustainable.
My research on agrarian reform and water management in north central Mexico led me to investigate how weather shapes the process of social revolution across Cuba’s varied climates and environments. In my new book project, Rebellious Climates: How Extreme Weather Shaped the Cuban Revolutions, I combine environmental history and historical climatology to argue that extreme weather events such as drought and hurricanes were not merely infrequent external shocks to Cuba, quickly entering and exiting the main anthropocentric stage of its theater of revolution. Instead, these events were long enmeshed in Cuban politics, economics, society, and culture, and thereby shaped the origins and progression of the 1959 revolution in ways largely overlooked by historians.
Ward W. and Priscilla B. Woods Professor, Emeritus
BioTobias Wolff is the author of the novels The Barracks Thief and Old School, the memoirs This Boy's Life and In Pharaoh's Army, and the short story collections In the Garden of the North American Martyrs, Back in the World, and The Night in Question. His most recent collection of short stories, Our Story Begins, won The Story Prize for 2008. Other honors include the PEN/Malamud Award and the Rea Award - both for excellence in the short story - the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and the PEN/Faulkner Award. He has also been the editor of Best American Short Stories, The Vintage Book of Contemporary American Short Stories, and A Doctor's Visit: The Short Stories of Anton Chekhov. His work appears regularly in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Harper's, and other magazines and literary journals.
Richard W. Lyman Professor of the Humanities and Professor, by courtesy, of Comparative Literature
BioAlex Woloch received his B.A. and PhD in Comparative Literature. He teaches and writes about literary criticism, narrative theory, the history of the novel, and nineteenth- and twentieth-century literature. He is the author of The One vs. The Many: Minor Characters and the Space of the Protagonist in the Novel (Princeton UP, 2003), which attempts to reestablish the centrality of characterization — the fictional representation of human beings — within narrative poetics. He is also the author of Or Orwell: Writing and Democratic Socialism (Harvard UP, 2016), which takes up the literature-and-politics question through a close reading of George Orwell’s generically experimental non-fiction prose. A new book in progress, provisionally entitled Partial Representation, will consider the complicated relationship between realism and form in a variety of media, genres and texts. This book will focus on the paradoxical ways in which form is at once necessary, and inimical, to representation. Woloch is also the co-editor, with Peter Brooks of Whose Freud?: The Place of Psychoanalysis in Contemporary Culture (Yale UP, 2000).
Ward W. and Priscilla B. Woods Professor, Emeritus
BioAllen Wood's interests are in the history of modern philosophy, especially Kant and German idealism, and in ethics and social philosophy. He was born in Seattle, Washington: B. A. Reed College in Portland, Oregon, Ph.D. Yale University. He has held regular professorships at Cornell University, Yale University, and Stanford University, where he is Ward W. and Priscilla B. Woods Professor emeritus. He has also held visiting appointments at the University of Michigan, University of California at San Diego and Oxford University, where he was Isaiah Berlin Visiting Professor in 2005. During year-long periods of research, he has been affiliated with the Freie Universität Berlin in 1983-84 and the Rheinische-Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn in 1991-1992. Wood is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Allen Wood is author of many articles and chapters in philosophical journals and anthologies. The book-length publications he has authored include: Kant's Moral Religion (1970, reissued 2009), Kant's Rational Theology (1978, reissued 2009), Karl Marx (1981, second expanded edition 2004), Hegel's Ethical Thought (1990), Kant's Ethical Thought (1999), Unsettling Obligations (2002), Kant (2004) and Kantian Ethics (2008). His latest book is The Free Development of Each: Studies in Freedom, Right and Ethics in Classical German Philosophy (Oxford University Press, 2014), co-authored with Dieter Schönecker Kant's Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals: A Commentary (Harvard University Press, 2015). (A German language version of this commentary has gone through four editions since 2002.) His next book, Fichte's Ethical Thought, is due to be published by Oxford University Press in 2016.
Books by Wood have appeared in Hebrew, Turkish, Portuguese, Iranian and Chinese translation. With Paul Guyer, Wood is co-general editor of the Cambridge Edition of Kant's Writings, for which he has edited, translated or otherwise contributed to six volumes. Among the other books Wood has edited are Self and Nature in Kant's Philosophy (1984), Hegel: Elements of the Philosophy of Right (1991), Kant: Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals (2002), Fichte: Attempt at a Critique of All Revelation (2010), and, with Songsuk Susan Hahn, the Cambridge History of Philosophy in the Nineteenth Century (1790-1870) (2012). He is on the editorial board of eight philosophy journals, five book series and the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
In the past four years, Allen Wood has taught annual three-day intensive mini-courses at Stanford in early June. His co-teachers in these courses have been Marcia Baron (Indiana University), Frederick Neuhouser (Columbia University, Barnard College) and Arthur Ripstein (University of Toronto). At Indiana University Allen Wood has taught courses on the history of modern philosophy, modern political philosophy, Kant, Fichte and existentialism.