School of Humanities and Sciences
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Nora Elizabeth Barakat
Assistant Professor of History
BioI am a historian of the late Ottoman Empire and the Modern Middle East. My research focuses on people, commodities and landscapes in the interior regions between the Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. I have a particular interest in how legal categories of population, property and economy shaped and were shaped by the everyday experiences of social life. I am also committed to bringing both the Ottoman Empire and the Middle East into discussions of world history, especially narratives about capitalism and modern state formation. I teach courses on modern Middle East history, capital and crisis, Islamic law, and environmental history.
My current book project, Bedouin Bureaucrats: Nomads and Property in the Ottoman Empire, examines the ways tent-dwelling inhabitants of the Syrian interior contributed to and contested attempts to transform the desert fringe into a grain-exporting breadbasket in the second half of the nineteenth century. The project locates the experience of the Ottoman Syrian interior in a global context of commercial and administrative expansion into landscapes deemed underproductive, examining similarities and divergences with the American West and the Russian steppe. Using court and land registers, I uncover the stories of specific tent-dwelling individuals and communities involved in struggles over property, commerce, and the forms of modern governance. My other ongoing project combines my interests in the histories of Islamic law and capitalism. It explores the twentieth-century legacies of late Ottoman economy-making efforts in the Eastern Mediterranean, Iraq and the Persian Gulf, particularly the codification of civil law. My research has been supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Mellon Foundation, the Fulbright Foundation, and the Center for American and Overseas Research Centers.
Before coming to Stanford, I completed my PhD at the University of California, Berkeley and taught in the Persian Gulf for five years, first at Qatar University and then at New York University Abu Dhabi. At NYU Abu Dhabi, I co-founded OpenGulf, a set of interconnected digital projects focusing on historical documentation about the Gulf region.
Associate Professor of History
BioI am a historian of the twentieth century United States working at the intersection of intellectual, political, and cultural history, with a particular interest in ideas about the state, markets, and capitalism and how these play out in policy and politics.
My first book, Goddess of the Market: Ayn Rand and the American Right (Oxford, 2009), was an intellectual biography of the libertarian novelist Ayn Rand. For more on this book, watch my interviews with Jon Stewart and Steven Colbert, or check out my website (www.jenniferburns.org). I am currently writing a book about the economist Milton Friedman.
At Stanford, I’ve been involved in a number of new initiatives, including serving as a faculty advisor to the Approaches to Capitalism Workshop at the Stanford Humanities Center, co-founding the Bay Area Consortium for the History of Ideas in America (BACHIA), and convening the Hoover Institution Library and Archives Workshop on Political Economy.
I teach courses on modern U.S. history, religious history, and the intellectual history of capitalism.
My writing on the history of conservatism, libertarianism, and liberalism has appeared in a number of academic and popular journals, including Reviews in American History, Modern Intellectual History, Journal of Cultural Economy, The New York Times, The New Republic, and Dissent.
Prospective graduate students: please consult my history department webpage for more information on graduate study. https://history.stanford.edu/people/jennifer-burns
Associate Professor of History and, by courtesy, of Religious Studies
BioJoel Cabrita is a historian of modern Southern Africa who focuses on Eswatini (formerly Swaziland) and South Africa. She examines the transnational networks of the Southern African region including those which connect Southern Africans to the Atlantic and the Indian Oceans. Her most recent book (The People’s Zion: Southern Africa, the United States and a Transatlantic Faith-Healing Movement, Harvard University Press, 2018) investigates the convergence of evangelical piety, transnational networks and the rise of industrialized societies in both Southern Africa and North America. The People's Zion was awarded the American Society of Church History's Albert C Outler Prize for 2019 https://churchhistory.org/grants-and-awards/ She is also the co-editor of a volume examining the global dimensions of Christian practice, advocating for a shift away from Western Christianity to the lateral connections connecting southern hemisphere religious practitioners (Relocating World Christianity, Brill, 2017).
Cabrita has a long-standing interest in how Southern Africans used and transformed a range of old and new media forms. Her first book (Text and Authority in the South African Nazaretha Church, Cambridge University Press, 2014) investigates the print culture of a large South African religious organization, while her edited collection (Religion, Media and Marginality in Africa, Ohio University Press, 2018) focuses on the intersection of media, Islam, Christianity and political expression in modern Africa.
Her current project (under contract with Ohio University Press) is the biography of a pioneering African feminist, Christian Pentecostal pioneer and liberation leader, Regina Gelana Twala (1908 – 1968), who co-founded Swaziland’s first political party in 1960 and introduced the Assemblies of God denomination to the region. Celebrated during her lifetime, Twala’s remarkable story is today largely forgotten, in part a consequence of her untimely death in 1968, one month before Swaziland’s independence. Cabrita’s project considers the radically new perspective a figure such as Twala affords on the contribution of women to Africa’s anti-colonial liberation movements and to evangelical history. The book will probe the politics of memory whereby certain African nationalist and religious icons have been erased from the historical record.
Cabrita did her PhD at the University of Cambridge and was subsequently a Junior Research Fellow at Trinity College, Cambridge. Before moving to Stanford, she held permanent posts at SOAS (University of London) and the University of Cambridge. Her research has been recognized by two major early-career research prizes, the British Arts and Humanities Early Career Research Fellowship (2015) and the Philip Leverhulme Prize (2017).
Leon Sloss Jr. Memorial Professor, Emeritus
BioA member of the Stanford University History Department since 1975, Camarillo is widely regarded as one of the founding scholars of the field of Mexican American history and Chicano Studies. He was born and raised in the South Central Los Angeles community of Compton where he attended the Compton public schools before entering the University of California at Los Angeles as a freshman in 1966. He continued his education at UCLA in the Ph.D. program in U.S. History where he received his doctorate in 1975 and where his dissertation was nominated that year as one of the best Ph.D. theses in the nation in American history. Camarillo has published seven books and dozens of articles and essays dealing with the experiences of Mexican Americans and other racial and immigrant groups in American cities.
Camarillo’s newest book, America's Racial Borderhoods: Mexican Americans and the Changing Ethnic/Racial Landscapes of Cities, 1850-2000 will be published in spring 2016 by Oxford University Press. Two of his books, Chicanos in a Changing Society: From Mexican Pueblos to American Barrios (Harvard University Press, 1979, six printings; Southern Methodist University Press edition, March 2005) and Chicanos in California: A History of Mexican Americans (Boyd and Fraser, 1984, four printings) have been widely read. He is currently working on a book entitled Going Back to Compton: Reflections of a Native Son on Life in an Infamous American City, an autobiographical and historical account of Compton from the 1950s to 2010.
Over the course of his career, Camarillo has received many awards and fellowships. He is the only faculty member in the history of Stanford University to receive six of the highest and most prestigious awards for excellence in teaching, service to undergraduate education, and contributions to the University and its alumni association. At Stanford’s Commencement in 1988 and in 1994 respectively, he received the Lloyd W. Dinkelspiel Award for Outstanding Service to Undergraduate Education and the Walter J. Gores Award for Excellence in Teaching. In 1997, he was awarded the Bing Teaching Fellowship Award for Excellence and Innovation in Undergraduate Teaching. Camarillo was awarded the Miriam Roland Prize for Volunteer Service for 2005, an award that recognizes a Stanford Faculty member who “over and above their normal academic duties engage and involve students in integrating academic scholarship with significant volunteer service to society.” Most recently, he received the Richard W. Lyman Award from the Stanford Alumni Association in 2010 and the President’s Award for Excellence Through Diversity in 2011. Camarillo has also received various awards for research and writing including a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship and a Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship; he was also a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences and at the Stanford Humanities Center.
Camarillo served as President of the Organization of American Historians for 2012-13, the nation’s largest membership association for historians of the U.S. He is also the past president to the American Historical Association-Pacific Coast Branch.