School of Humanities and Sciences


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  • Rachel Heise Bolten

    Rachel Heise Bolten

    Lecturer

    Current Research and Scholarly InterestsRachel Heise Bolten specializes in nineteenth and twentieth century American culture. Her research and teaching interests include California and the West, the history of science and technology, photography, material culture, and environmental humanities. Her current book project explores a long history of literary and visual description.

  • Jennifer DeVere Brody

    Jennifer DeVere Brody

    Professor of Theater and Performance Studies

    BioJennifer DeVere Brody (she/her) holds a B.A. in Victorian Studies from Vassar College and an M.A. and Ph.D. in English and American Literature from the University of Pennsylvania. Her scholarship and service in African and African American Studies, Gender and Sexuality Studies, visual and performance studies have been recognized by numerous awards: a 2022 Guggenheim Fellowship, a 2023 Virginia Howard Fellowship from the Bogliasco Foundation, support from the Mellon and Ford Foundations, the Monette-Horwitz Prize for Independent Research Against Homophobia, the Royal Society for Theatre Research, and the Thurgood Marshall Prize for Academics and Community Service among others. Her scholarly essays have appeared in Theatre Journal, Signs, Genders, Callaloo, Screen, Text and Performance Quarterly and other journals as well as in numerous edited volumes. Her books include: Impossible Purities: Blackness, Femininity and Victorian Culture (Duke University Press, 1998), Punctuation: Art, Politics and Play (Duke University Press, 2008) and Moving Stones: About the Art of Edmonia Lewis(forthcoming from Duke University Press). She has served as the President of the Women and Theatre Program, on the board of Women and Performance and has worked with the Ford and Mellon Foundations. She co-produced “The Theme is Blackness” festival of black plays in Durham, NC when she taught in African American Studies at Duke University. Her research and teaching focus on performance, aesthetics, politics as well as black feminist theory, black queer studies and contemporary cultural studies. She co-edited, with Nicholas Boggs, the re-publication of James Baldwin’s illustrated book, Little Man, Little Man (Duke UP, 2018). She held the Weinberg College of Board of Visitors Professorship at Northwestern University and has been a tenured professor at six different universities in her thirty year career. Her expertise in Queer Studies fostered her work as co-editor ,with C. Riley Snorton, of the flagship journal GLQ. She serves on the Editorial Board of Transition and key journals in global 19th Century Studies. At Stanford, she served as Chair of the Theater & Performance Studies Department (2012-2015) and Faculty Director of the Center for Comparative Studies in Race & Ethnicity (2016-2021) where she won a major grant from the Mellon Foundation and developed the original idea for an Institute on Race Studies.

  • Scott Bukatman

    Scott Bukatman

    Professor of Art and Art History

    BioScott Bukatman is a cultural theorist and Professor of Film and Media Studies at Stanford University. His research explores how such popular media as film, comics, and animation mediate between new technologies and human perceptual and bodily experience. His books include Terminal Identity: The Virtual Subject in Postmodern Science Fiction, one of the earliest book-length studies of cyberculture; a monograph on the film Blade Runner commissioned by the British Film Institute; and a collection of essays, Matters of Gravity: Special Effects and Supermen in the 20th Century. The Poetics of Slumberland: Animated Spirits and the Animating Spirit, celebrates play, plasmatic possibility, and the life of images in cartoons, comics, and cinema. Bukatman has been published in abundant journals and anthologies, including October, Critical Inquiry, Camera Obscura, Science Fiction Studies, and the Journal of Cinema and Media Studies.

    Hellboy's World: Comics and Monsters on the Margins shows how our engagement with Mike Mignola's Hellboy comics also a highly aestheticized encounter with the medium of comics and the materiality of the book. Scott Bukatman’s dynamic study explores how comics produce a heightened “adventure of reading” in which syntheses of image and word, image sequences, and serial narratives create compelling worlds for the reader’s imagination to inhabit. His most recent book, Black Panther, part of the 21st Century Film Essentials series (University of Texas Press), explores aspects of the 2018 Ryan Coogler film, including the history of Black superheroes, Black Panther's black body, the Wakandan dream, and the controversies around the Killmonger character.

  • Bruce Cain

    Bruce Cain

    Charles Louis Ducommun Professor in the School of Humanities & Sciences, Senior Fellow at the Woods Institute, at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research & Professor at the Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability

    BioBruce E. Cain is a Professor of Political Science at Stanford University and Director of the Bill Lane Center for the American West. He received a BA from Bowdoin College (1970), a B Phil. from Oxford University (1972) as a Rhodes Scholar, and a Ph D from Harvard University (1976). He taught at Caltech (1976-89) and UC Berkeley (1989-2012) before coming to Stanford. Professor Cain was Director of the Institute of Governmental Studies at UC Berkeley from 1990-2007 and Executive Director of the UC Washington Center from 2005-2012. He was elected the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2000 and has won awards for his research (Richard F. Fenno Prize, 1988), teaching (Caltech 1988 and UC Berkeley 2003) and public service (Zale Award for Outstanding Achievement in Policy Research and Public Service, 2000). His areas of expertise include political regulation, applied democratic theory, representation and state politics. Some of Professor Cain’s most recent publications include “Malleable Constitutions: Reflections on State Constitutional Design,” coauthored with Roger Noll in University of Texas Law Review, volume 2, 2009; “More or Less: Searching for Regulatory Balance,” in Race, Reform and the Political Process, edited by Heather Gerken, Guy Charles and Michael Kang, CUP, 2011; “Redistricting Commissions: A Better Political Buffer?” in The Yale Law Journal, volume 121, 2012; and Democracy More or Less (CUP, 2015). He is currently working on problems of environmental governance.

  • Gordon H. Chang

    Gordon H. Chang

    Olive H. Palmer Professor in Humanities
    On Leave from 09/01/2023 To 08/31/2024

    Current Research and Scholarly InterestsI co-direct an international project that seeks to recover the history of Chinese railroad workers in North America.

  • Matthew Clair

    Matthew Clair

    Assistant Professor of Sociology and, by courtesy, of Law

    BioMatthew Clair is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology and (by courtesy) the Law School. His research interests include law and society, race and ethnicity, cultural sociology, criminal justice, and qualitative methods. He is the author of the book Privilege and Punishment: How Race and Class Matter in Criminal Court.

    Learn more at his personal website: https://www.matthewclair.org/

  • Shane Denson

    Shane Denson

    Associate Professor of Art and Art History and, by courtesy, of German Studies and of Communication

    BioShane Denson is Associate Professor of Film and Media Studies in the Department of Art & Art History at Stanford University. His research and teaching interests span a variety of media and historical periods, including phenomenological and media-philosophical approaches to film, digital media, comics, games, and serialized popular forms. He is the author of three books: Post-Cinematic Bodies (2023), Discorrelated Images (2020) and Postnaturalism: Frankenstein, Film, and the Anthropotechnical Interface (2014). He is also co-editor of several collections: Transnational Perspectives on Graphic Narratives (2013), Digital Seriality (special issue of Eludamos: Journal for Computer Game Culture, 2014), and the open-access book Post-Cinema: Theorizing 21st-Century Film (2016).

    See also shanedenson.com for more info.

  • James Fishkin

    James Fishkin

    Janet M. Peck Professor of International Communication, Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies and Professor, by courtesy, of Political Science

    BioJames S. Fishkin holds the Janet M. Peck Chair in International Communication at Stanford University where he is Professor of Communication, Professor of Political Science (by courtesy) and Director of the Deliberative Democracy Lab.

    He received his B.A. from Yale in 1970 and holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from Yale as well as a second Ph.D. in Philosophy from Cambridge.

    He is the author of Democracy When the People Are Thinking (Oxford 2018), When the People Speak (Oxford 2009), Deliberation Day (Yale 2004 with Bruce Ackerman) and Democracy and Deliberation (Yale 1991).

    He is best known for developing Deliberative Polling® – a practice of public consultation that employs random samples of the citizenry to explore how opinions would change if they were more informed. His work on deliberative democracy has stimulated more than 100 Deliberative Polls in 28 countries around the world. It has been used to help governments and policy makers make important decisions in Texas, China, Mongolia, Japan, Macau, South Korea, Bulgaria, Brazil, Uganda and other countries around the world.

    He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a Guggenheim Fellow, a Fellow of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford, and a Visiting Fellow Commoner at Trinity College, Cambridge.

  • Shelley Fisher Fishkin

    Shelley Fisher Fishkin

    Joseph S. Atha Professor of Humanities and Professor, by courtesy, of African and African American Studies
    On Leave from 04/01/2024 To 06/30/2024

    BioShelley Fisher Fishkin is the Joseph S. Atha Professor of Humanities and Professor of English at Stanford, where she is also Director of Stanford's American Studies Program and Co-Director of the Chinese Railroad Workers in North America Project. She is the author, editor, or co-editor of forty-eight books and has published over one hundred fifty articles, essays and reviews, many of which have focused on issues of race and racism in America, and on recovering and interpreting voices that were silenced, marginalized, or ignored in America's past. Her books have won awards from Choice, Library Journal, the New York Public Library, and elsewhere. She holds a Ph.D. in American Studies from Yale. Before coming to Stanford in 2003, she was chair of the American Studies Department at the University of Texas at Austin. Her research has been featured twice on the front page of the New York Times, and twice on the front page of the New York Times Arts section. In 2017 she was awarded the John S. Tuckey Lifetime Achievement award by the Center for Mark Twain Studies in recognition of her efforts "to assure that a rigorous, dynamic account of Twain stays in the public consciousness," and stated that "Nobody has done more to recruit, challenge, and inspire new generations and new genres of Mark Twain studies." Her most recent book, Writing America: Literary Landmarks from Walden Pond to Wounded Knee, came out in 2017. Junot Díaz called it "a triumph of scholarship and passion, a profound exploration of the many worlds which comprise our national canon....a book that redraws the literary map of the United States."
    She has served as President of the American Studies Association and the Mark Twain Circle of America, was co-founder of the Charlotte Perkins Gilman society, and was a founding editor of the Journal of Transnational American Studies. She has given keynote talks at conferences in Beijing, Cambridge, Coimbra, Copenhagen, Dublin, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Kunming, Kyoto, La Coruña, Lisbon, Mainz, Nanjing, Regensburg, Seoul, St. Petersburg, Taipei, Tokyo, and across the U.S.
    In June 2019, the American Studies Association created a new prize, the "Shelley Fisher Fishkin Prize for International Scholarship in Transnational American Studies." The prize honors publications by scholars outside the United States that present original research in transnational American Studies. In its announcement of the new award, the ASA said, "Shelley Fisher Fishkin's leadership in creating a crossoads for international scholarly collaboration and exchange has transformed the field of American Studies in both theory and practice. This award honors Professor Fishkin's outstanding dedication to the field by promoting exceptional scholarship that seeks multiple perspectives that enable comprehensive and complex approaches to American Studies, and which produce culturally, socially, and politically significant insights and interpretations relevant to Americanists around the world." In 2023 the American Studies Association awarded Fishkin the "Bode-Pearson Prize for Lifetime Achievement and Outstanding Contribution to the field of American Studies." Her current book projects include a book entitled "Jim (Huckleberry Finn's Comrade)" forthcoming in Yale University Press's "Black Lives" biography series, and a book about Hal Holbrook and Mark Twain.

  • Estelle Freedman

    Estelle Freedman

    Edgar E. Robinson Professor of United States History, Emerita

    Current Research and Scholarly InterestsI continue to work on the history sexual violence, including the use of oral history testimony. I am currently co-producing an historical documentary film "Singing for Justice: Faith Petric and the Folk Process."

  • Jonathan Gienapp

    Jonathan Gienapp

    Associate Professor of History and of Law

    BioJonathan Gienapp is Associate Professor of History and Associate Professor of Law. He received his B.A. from Harvard University and his Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University. Principally a scholar of Revolutionary and early republican America, he is particularly interested in the period’s constitutionalism, political culture, and intellectual history. More generally, he is interested in the method and practice of the history of ideas.

    His first book, *The Second Creation: Fixing the American Constitution in the Founding Era* (Harvard University Press, 2018), rethinks the conventional story of American constitutional creation by exploring how and why founding-era Americans’ understanding of their Constitution transformed in the earliest years of the document’s existence. More specifically, it investigates how early political debates over the Constitution’s meaning, in transforming the practices through which one could justifiably interpret the document, helped in the process alter how Americans imagined the Constitution and its possibilities. In the process, it considers how these changes created a distinct kind of constitutional culture, the consequences of which endure to this day. It won the 2017 Thomas J. Wilson Memorial Prize from Harvard University Press and the 2019 Best Book in American Political Thought Award from the American Political Science Association and was a finalist for the 2019 Frederick Jackson Turner Award from the Organization of American Historians. In addition, it was named a Choice Outstanding Academic Title for 2019 and a Spectator USA Book of the Year for 2018. It has been reviewed in The Nation, was the subject of a symposium at Balkinization, and was chosen for the 2019 Publius Symposium co-hosted by the Stanford Constitutional Law Center and the Stanford Center for Law and History. He wrote about some of the book's central themes in an op-ed for the Boston Globe, and has discussed the book on "New Books in History" and "The Age of Jackson Podcast" as well as in interviews for The Way of Improvement Leads Home and the Harvard University Press Blog.

    Gienapp has also written on a range of related topics pertaining to early American constitutionalism, politics, and intellectual history, originalism and modern constitutional theory, and the study of the history of ideas. He has published articles and book chapters in a host of venues, including the Journal of the Early Republic, Law and History Review, The New England Quarterly, and Constitutional Commentary.

    He has written extensively on the relationship between history and constitutional originalism and is completing a book on that subject, entitled "Against Constitutional Originalism: A Historical Critique," which is under contract with Yale University Press and to be published in early 2024.

    He is also at work on a large book on the forgotten history of the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution, currently entitled "We the People of the United States: The Struggle over Popular Sovereignty and Nationhood." It tells the story of the Preamble's early vitality and eventual descent into political and legal irrelevance as a way of exploring the broader struggle over popular sovereignty and national union in the early United States.

    He has lectured widely on the U.S. Constitution and the American Founding era. Among other appearances, he discussed the Constitution's history in an episode of the podcast, "Writ Large," participated in a National Constitution Center Town Hall, "The Founders' Library: Intellectual Sources of the Constitution," was interviewed about the history of election disputes in the United States for The New York Times, and discussed the history of minority rule in the United States on NPR's All Things Considered. He also helped compile the National Constitution Center's Founders' Library.

  • J. Christian Greer

    J. Christian Greer

    Lecturer

    BioDr. J. Christian Greer is a scholar of Religious Studies and American culture, who specializes in psychedelic religion and spirituality. In addition to earning a BA (summa cum laude) from Boston University and a MDiv at Harvard Divinity School, he received his MA and PhD (cum laude) in Western esotericism from the History of Hermetic Philosophy department at the University of Amsterdam. While a postdoctoral researcher at Harvard Divinity School, he led a series of research seminars on psychedelic culture, which culminated in the creation of the *Harvard Psychedelic Walking Tour,* a free audio guide detailing how the Harvard community has shaped the modern history of psychedelic culture. His research addresses popular culture & religion, radical politics & religious activism, esotericism and occultism, ecological spiritualities, pilgrimage, countercultures and subcultures, and drugs & religion.

    His latest book, *Kumano Kodo: Pilgrimage to Powerspots* (co-authored with Dr. Michelle Oing) analyzes the pilgrimage folklore associated with the rainforests of Japan's Kii Peninsula. His forthcoming book, *Angelheaded Hipsters: Psychedelic Militancy in Nineteen Eighties North America* (Oxford University Press), explores the growth, diversification, and expansion of psychedelic culture within fanzine networks in the late Cold War era.

    Before accepting his position at Stanford, he held research and teaching appointments at Yale, Harvard, and the University of Amsterdam. As director of the University of Amsterdam's summer/winter school program on esotericism, he teaches an intensive seminar focusing on the global history of esotericism each winter (“Visions of the Occult: Introduction to Esotericism"), and likewise teaches an advanced version of the course each summer ("Arcane Worlds: New Directions in the Study of esotericism").

    Some of his scholarship & artwork can be found at www.jchristiangreer.com

  • Allyson Hobbs

    Allyson Hobbs

    Associate Professor of History

    BioAllyson Hobbs is an Assistant Professor in the History Department at Stanford University. She graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University and she received a Ph.D. with distinction from the University of Chicago. She has received fellowships from the Ford Foundation, the Michelle R. Clayman Institute for Gender Research, and the Center for the Comparative Study of Race and Ethnicity at Stanford. Allyson teaches courses on American identity, African American history, African American women’s history, and twentieth century American history. She has won numerous teaching awards including the Phi Beta Kappa Teaching Prize, the Graves Award in the Humanities, and the St. Clair Drake Teaching Award. She gave a TEDx talk at Stanford, she has appeared on C-Span, MSNBC, National Public Radio, and her work has been featured on cnn.com, slate.com, and in the Los Angeles Times, The Chronicle of Higher Education, the Christian Science Monitor, and the New York Times.

    Allyson’s first book, A Chosen Exile: A History of Racial Passing in American Life, published by Harvard University Press in October 2014, examines the phenomenon of racial passing in the United States from the late eighteenth century to the present. A Chosen Exile won two prizes from the Organization of American Historians: the Frederick Jackson Turner Prize for best first book in American history and the Lawrence Levine Prize for best book in American cultural history. A Chosen Exile has been featured on All Things Considered on National Public Radio, Book TV on C-SPAN, The Melissa Harris-Perry Show on MSNBC, the Tavis Smiley Show on Public Radio International, the Madison Show on SiriusXM, and TV News One with Roland Martin. A Chosen Exile has been reviewed in the New York Times Book Review, the San Francisco Chronicle, Harper’s, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and the Boston Globe. The book was selected as a New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice, a “Best Book of 2014” by the San Francisco Chronicle, and a “Book of the Week” by the Times Higher Education in London. The Root named A Chosen Exile as one of the “Best 15 Nonfiction Books by Black Authors in 2014.”

  • Gavin Jones

    Gavin Jones

    Frederick P. Rehmus Family Professor of Humanities

    BioGavin Jones is the author of Strange Talk: The Politics of Dialect Literature in Gilded Age America (U of California, 1999), American Hungers: The Problem of Poverty in U.S. Literature, 1840-1945 (Princeton, 2007), Failure and the American Writer: A Literary History (Cambridge, 2014), and Reclaiming John Steinbeck: Writing for the Future of Humanity (Cambridge 2021). He has published articles on writers such as George W. Cable, Theodore Dreiser, W.E.B. DuBois, Sylvester Judd, Paule Marshall, Mark Twain, and Herman Melville, in journals including American Literary History, New England Quarterly, and African American Review. Jones has edited a new version of a neglected classic of American literature, Sylvester Judd's "transcendental novel," Margaret: A Tale of the Real and Ideal, Blight and Bloom (1845). He is also co-editing a much needed Cambridge Companion to the American Short Story, and is beginning a new project titled The Secret History of the Short Story.

  • Ari Y. Kelman

    Ari Y. Kelman

    Jim Joseph Professor of Education and Jewish Studies and Associate Professor, by courtesy, of Religious Studies

    Current Research and Scholarly InterestsProfessor Kelman's research focuses on the forms and practices of religious knowledge transmission. His work emerges at the intersection of sociocultural learning theory and scholarly/critical studies of religion, and his methods draw on the social sciences and history. Currently Professor Kelman is at work on a variety of projects ranging from a history of religious education in the post-war period to an inquiry about Google's implicit definitions of religion.

  • Elizabeth Kessler

    Elizabeth Kessler

    Lecturer

    BioElizabeth Kessler’s research and teaching focus on twentieth and twenty-first century American visual culture. Her diverse interests include: the role of aesthetics, visual culture, and media in modern and contemporary science, especially astronomy; the interchange between technology and ways of seeing and representing; the history of photography; and the representation of fashion in different media. Her first book, Picturing the Cosmos: Hubble Space Telescope Images and the Astronomical Sublime, on the aesthetics of deep space images, was published in 2012. She’s currently writing on book on extraterrestrial time capsules, as well as developing a new project on fashion photography.

  • Marci Kwon

    Marci Kwon

    Assistant Professor of Art and Art History

    BioMarci Kwon is Assistant Professor of Art History at Stanford University, and co-director of the Cantor Art Center's Asian American Art Initiative. She is the author of Enchantments: Joseph Cornell and American Modernism (Princeton, 2021), and co-editor of the online Martin Wong Catalogue Raisonné. She is the recipient of Stanford’s Asian American Teaching Prize, CCSRE Teaching Prize, Phi Beta Kappa Teaching Award, and the Women's Faculty Forum Inspiring Early Career Academic Award, and the Mellon Foundation Emerging Faculty Leader award.

  • Kathryn Lum

    Kathryn Lum

    Professor of Religious Studies

    BioKathryn Gin Lum specializes in American religious history. Her research and teaching interests focus on the lived ramifications of religious beliefs, and particularly on the relationship between religious and racial othering in the United States. She is author of Damned Nation: Hell in America from the Revolution to Reconstruction (Oxford University Press 2014) and Heathen: Religion and Race in American History (Harvard University Press 2022). She is co-editor, with Paul Harvey, of The Oxford Handbook of Religion and Race in American History (Oxford University Press 2018). She is affiliated with the Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity (CCSRE) and is Director of the American Religions in a Global Context Initiative (argc.stanford.edu) at Stanford.

    Professor Gin Lum received her B.A. in History from Stanford and her Ph.D. in History from Yale.

  • Lerone A. Martin

    Lerone A. Martin

    Martin Luther King, Jr. Centennial Professor and Associate Professor of Religious Studies

    BioLerone A. Martin is the Martin Luther King, Jr., Centennial Professor in Religious Studies and Director of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute at Stanford University.

    Martin is an award-winning author. His most recent book, "The Gospel of J. Edgar Hoover: How the FBI Aided and Abetted the Rise of White Christian Nationalism," was published in February 2023 by Princeton University Press. The book has garnered praise from numerous publications including The Nation, Foreign Affairs, The Guardian, Publisher’s Weekly, and History Today.

    In 2014 he published, "Preaching on Wax: The Phonograph and the Making of Modern African American Religion."vvThe book received the 2015 first book award by the American Society of Church History.

    In support of his research, Martin has received a number of nationally recognized fellowships, including the National Endowment for the Humanities, The American Council of Learned Societies, The Institute for Citizens and Scholars (formerly The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation), The Teagle Foundation, Templeton Religion Trust, the Louisville Institute for the Study of American Religion, and the Forum for Theological Exploration.

    Most recently, Martin became Co-Director of $1 million grant from the Henry Luce Foundation to fund “The Crossroads Project,” a four-year, multi-institution project to advance public understanding of the history, politics, and cultures of African American religions.

    He has also been recognized for his teaching, receiving institutional teaching awards as well as fellowships from the Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion.

    His commentary and writing have been featured on The NBC Today Show, The History Channel, PBS, CSPAN, and Newsy, as well as in The New York Times, Boston Globe, CNN.com, and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He currently serves as an advisor on the upcoming PBS documentary series The History of Gospel Music & Preaching.

    Lerone is currently working on a nonfiction book and an adapted graphic novel about the adolescence and calling of Martin Luther King, Jr., both to be published by HarperCollins.

  • Douglas McAdam

    Douglas McAdam

    Ray Lyman Wilbur Professor, Emeritus

    BioDoug McAdam is The Ray Lyman Wilbur Professor of Sociology at Stanford University and the former Director of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences. He is the author or co-author of 18 books and some 85 other publications in the area of political sociology, with a special emphasis on race in the U.S., American politics, and the study of social movements and “contentious politics.” Among his best known works are Political Process and the Development of Black Insurgency, 1930-1970, a new edition of which was published in 1999 (University of Chicago Press), Freedom Summer (1988, Oxford University Press), which was awarded the 1990 C. Wright Mills Award as well as being a finalist for the American Sociological Association’s best book prize for 1991 and Dynamics of Contention (2001, Cambridge University Press) with Sid Tarrow and Charles Tilly. He is also the author of the 2012 book, A Theory of Fields (Oxford University Press), with Neil Fligstein and a book due out this summer on the historical origins of the deep political and economic divisions that characterize the contemporary U.S. The book, from Oxford University Press, is entitled: The Origins of Our Fractured Society: Racial Politics and Social Movements in Post-War America (with Karina Kloos). He was elected to membership in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2003.

  • Christina Mesa

    Christina Mesa

    Undergraduate Advising Director, Academic Advising Operations

    Current Role at StanfordUndergraduate Advising Director;

    Lecturer, American Studies

  • Richard Meyer

    Richard Meyer

    Robert and Ruth Halperin Professor of Art History

    BioAreas of Specialization:
    20th-century American art and visual culture

  • Ana Raquel Minian Andjel

    Ana Raquel Minian Andjel

    Associate Professor of History

    BioAna Raquel Minian is an Associate Professor in the Department of History. Her first book, Undocumented Lives: The Untold Story of Mexican Migration (Harvard University Press, 2018) explores how unauthorized migration from Mexico to the United States became an entrenched phenomenon in the years between 1965 and 1986. In this period, Mexican policymakers, US authorities, and Mexican communities of high out-migration came to reject the long-term presence of Mexican working-class men. In Mexico, the country’s top politicians began to view men’s migration with favor as a way of alleviating national economic problems. In the United States, migrants were classified as “illegal aliens.” Migrants’ permanent residence was also denied at the local level. When they resided in Mexico, their communities pressured them to head north to make money. But when they lived in the United States, their families insisted that they return home. As a result migrants described themselves as being “from neither here nor there” (“Ni de aquí ni de allá”). They responded to their situation by engaging in circular, undocumented migration and by creating their own cartographies of belonging. Migrants resisted the idea that they were superfluous in Mexico by becoming indispensable economic agents through the remittances they sent; they countered their illegality in the United States by establishing that they deserved constitutional rights; and they diminished the pressures enacted by their communities by reconfiguring the very meaning of community life. These efforts provided migrants with at least partial inclusion in the multiple locales in which they lived; however, that inclusion was only possible because they resided, at least part of their time, in the United States. In 1986, the US Congress passed the Immigration Reform and Control Act, which made it more difficult to cross the border. By then, however, undocumented migration had already become a self-perpetuating phenomenon. Thereafter, migrants settled permanently in the United States and dared not return to Mexico. Rather than feeling “pushed” from all the spaces in which they resided, they now felt trapped in the United States, which they started calling “La Jaula de Oro” (The Golden Cage).

    A version of a chapter of my book entitled “De Terruño a Terruño: Re-imagining Belonging through Clubes Sociales,” was published in the Journal of American History in June 2017. It analyzes the growth of migrant organizations that sent aid to Mexico from Los Angeles between the early 1960s to the mid-1980s. Beyond work from my book, I also published “‘Indiscriminate and Shameless Sex’: The Strategic Use of Sexuality by the United Farm Workers” in American Quarterly in 2013. This article examines the ways in which the union used a sexual discourse to propagate its labor goals.


    Minian's second book project, No Man’s Lands: North American Migration and the Remaking of Peoples and Places, examines how during the late Cold War and its aftermath, U.S. officials created new spaces and territories designed to prevent Latin American and Spanish-speaking Caribbean migrants from entering the United States. Rather than a thought-out and coherent project, these various spatial enterprises were designed haphazardly in response to particular incidents and migrations.

    Minian is also writing a history about immigration detention in the United States

  • Paula M. L. Moya

    Paula M. L. Moya

    Danily C. and Laura Louise Bell Professor of the Humanities and Professor, by courtesy, of Iberian and Latin American Cultures

    BioMoya is currently the Faculty Director of the Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity (CCSRE).

    She is the author of The Social Imperative: Race, Close Reading, and Contemporary Literary Criticism (Stanford UP 2016) and Learning From Experience: Minority Identities, Multicultural Struggles (UC Press 2002). She has co-edited three collections of original essays including Doing Race: 21 Essays for the 21st Century (W.W. Norton, Inc. 2010), Identity Politics Reconsidered (Palgrave 2006) and Reclaiming Identity: Realist Theory and the Predicament of Postmodernism (UC Press 2000). 

    Her teaching and research focus on twentieth-century and early twenty-first century literary studies, feminist theory, critical theory, narrative theory, speculative fiction, interdisciplinary approaches to race and ethnicity, and Chicano/a and U.S. Latina/o studies.

    At Stanford, Moya has served as the Director of the Research Institute of the Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity (CCSRE), Director of the Program of Modern Thought and Literature (MTL), Vice Chair of the Department of English, and the Director of the Undergraduate Program of CCSRE. She has been the faculty coordinator of several faculty-graduate student research networks sponsored by the Stanford Humanities Center, the Research Institute for the Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity, and Modern Thought and Literature. They include The Interdisciplinary Working Group in Critical Theory (2015-2016, 2012-2014), Feminist Theory (2007-08, 2002-03), Americanity / Coloniality / Modernity (2006-07), and How Do Identities Matter? (2003-06).

    Moya is a co-PI of the Stanford Catalyst Motivating Mobility project, and team leader of the Perfecto Project, a fitness tracking app that combines narrative theory, social psychology, and UI/UX research to leverage culturally-specific narratives and artwork to encourage positive behavior change and healthier living in middle-aged and elderly Latinx populations. She was also a founding organizer and coordinating team member of The Future of Minority Studies research project (FMS), an inter-institutional, interdisciplinary, and multigenerational research project facilitating focused and productive discussions about the democratizing role of minority identity and participation in a multicultural society.

    Moya has been a recipient of the Dean’s Award for Distinguished Teaching, a Ford Foundation postdoctoral fellowship, and an Outstanding Chicana/o Faculty Member award. She has been a Brown Faculty Fellow, a Clayman Institute Fellow, a CCSRE Faculty Research Fellow, and a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences.

  • Alexander Nemerov

    Alexander Nemerov

    Carl and Marilynn Thoma Provostial Professor of the Arts and Humanities and Professor, by courtesy, of English

    BioA distinguished scholar of American culture, Alexander Nemerov explores our connection to the past and the power of the humanities to shape our lives. Through his empathetic, intuitive research and close readings of history, philosophy, and poetry, Nemerov reveals art as a source of emotional truth and considers its ethical demands upon us in our moment. Revered for his breadth of scholarship and celebrated for his eloquent public speaking, Nemerov inspires audiences with his belief in the affirming and transfiguring force of art.

    An instinctive, nuanced author, Nemerov’s most recent book is The Forest: A Fable of America in the 1830s presenting tales of a visionary experience in the last years of America as a heavily forested land. His conjuring of a lost world of shade and sun has been praised by Annie Proulx ("deeply beautiful”, “astonishingly tender”, “one of the richest books ever to come my way") and Edmund de Waal (“moving and shocking and beautiful, an extraordinary achievement”).

    Previous titles by Nemerov have gained further recognition: Fierce Poise: Helen Frankenthaler and 1950s New York was short-listed for the 2021 National Book Critics Circle Prize in Biography; Summoning Pearl Harbor, was praised by the novelist Ali Smith as "a unifying and liberating meditation”; Soulmaker: The Times of Lewis Hine, was short-listed for the Marfield Prize, a national award in arts writing; Wartime Kiss: Visions of the Moment in the 1940s was named one of Choice's Outstanding Academic Titles in 2013; Acting in the Night: Macbeth and the Places of the Civil War was a Choice Outstanding Academic Book; Icons of Grief: Val Lewton and 1940s America was praised by The New York Review of Books as "superbly original." Nemerov’s initial books include Silent Dialogues: Diane Arbus and Howard Nemerov, a meditation on his father, the poet Howard Nemerov, and his aunt, the photographer Diane Arbus; The Body of Raphaelle Peale: Still Life and Selfhood, 1812-1824; and Frederic Remington and Turn-of-the-Century America.

    Nemerov, an engaging, eloquent speaker, gave the 2007 Andrew Wyeth Lecture at the National Gallery of Art, and in 2017, he delivered the 66th Andrew W. Mellon Lectures at the National Gallery of Art, becoming the first scholar to deliver them with a focus on American art. He has also published two exhibition catalogues: To Make a World: George Ault and 1940s America, the companion to a National Museum of American Art exhibition of that name and Ralph Eugene Meatyard: American Mystic.

    After receiving his B.A. in Art History and English with Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa honors from the University of Vermont and his Ph.D. in the History of Art from Yale University, Nemerov began his teaching career at Stanford University in 1992. Returning to Yale in 2001, Nemerov chaired the Department of the History of Art from 2009 to 2012 and in 2010 was named to the Vincent Scully Professorship. Nemerov returned to Stanford in 2012 as the Carl and Marilynn Thoma Provostial Professor in the Arts and Humanities and served as chair of the Department of Art and Art History from 2015 to 2021. The Stanford Daily has named him one of the university's top ten professors.

  • Kathryn Meyer Olivarius

    Kathryn Meyer Olivarius

    Assistant Professor of History

    Current Research and Scholarly InterestsI am an historian of nineteenth-century America, interested primarily in the antebellum South, Greater Caribbean, slavery, and disease. My research seeks to understand how epidemic yellow fever disrupted Deep Southern society. Nearly every summer, this mosquito-borne virus killed up to ten percent of the urban population. But it also generated culture and social norms in its fatal wake. Beyond the rigid structures of race and unfreedom in Deep Southern society, I argue there was alternate, if invisible, hierarchy at work, with “acclimated” (immune) people at the top and a great mass of “unacclimated” (non-immune) people awaiting their brush with yellow fever languishing in social and professional purgatory. About half of all people died in the acclimating process.

    In New Orleans, alleged-imperviousness or vulnerability to epidemic disease evolved into an explanatory tool for success or failure in commodity capitalism, and a justification for a race- and ethnicity-based social hierarchy where certain people were decidedly less equal than others. Disease justified highly asymmetrical social and labor relations, produced politicians apathetic about the welfare of their poor or recently-immigrated constituents, and accentuated the population’s xenophobic, racist, pro-slavery, and individualist proclivities. Alongside skin color, acclimation-status, I argue, played a major role in determining a person’s position, success, and sense of belonging in antebellum New Orleans.

    Most of all, disease provided the tacit justification for who did what work during cotton and sugar production, becoming the essence of an increasingly elaborate and tortuous justification for widespread and permanent black slavery. In the Deep Southern view, only enslaved black people could survive work like cane cutting, swamp clearing, and cotton picking. In fact, proslavery theorists argued, black slavery was positively natural, even humanitarian, for it protected the health of whites—and thus the nation writ large—insulating them from diseased-labor and spaces that would kill them.

    By fusing health with capitalism in my forthcoming book Necropolis, I will present a new model—beyond the toxic fusion of white supremacy with the flows of global capitalism—for how power operated in Atlantic society.

    I am also interested in historical notions of consent (sexual or otherwise); slave revolts in the United States and the Caribbean; anti- and pro-slavery thought; class and ethnicity in antebellum America; the history of life insurance and environmental risk; comparative slave systems; technology and slavery; the Haitian Revolution; and boosterism in the American West.

  • Vaughn Rasberry

    Vaughn Rasberry

    Associate Professor of English and of African and African American Studies

    BioVaughn Rasberry studies African American literature, global Cold War culture, the European Enlightenment and its critics, postcolonial theory, and philosophical theories of modernity. As a Fulbright scholar in 2008-09, he taught in the American Studies department at the Humboldt University Berlin and lectured on African American literature throughout Germany. His current book project, Race and the Totalitarian Century, questions the notion that desegregation prompted African American writers and activists to acquiesce in the normative claims of postwar liberalism. Challenging accounts that portray black cultural workers in various postures of reaction to larger forces--namely U.S. liberalism or Soviet communism--his project argues instead that many writers were involved in a complex national and global dialogue with totalitarianism, the defining geopolitical discourse of the twentieth century.

    His article, "'Now Describing You': James Baldwin and Cold War Liberalism," appears in an edited volume titled James Baldwin: America and Beyond (University of Michigan Press, 2011). A review essay, "Black Cultural Politics at the End of History," appears in the winter 2012 issue of American Literary History. An article, "Invoking Totalitarianism: Liberal Democracy versus the Global Jihad in Boualem Sansal's The German Mujahid," appears in the spring 2014 special issue of Novel: a Forum on Fiction. For Black History Month, he published an op-ed essay, "The Shape of African American Geopolitics," in Al Jazeera English.

    An Annenberg Faculty Fellow at Stanford (2012-14), he has also received fellowships from the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and the Humanities Center at the University of Pittsburgh.

    Vaughn also teaches in collaboration with the Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity (CCSRE) and the programs in Modern Thought and Literature, African and African American Studies, and American Studies.

  • Judith Richardson

    Judith Richardson

    Senior Lecturer in English

    BioJudith Richardson is a senior lecturer in English and program coordinator for American Studies. After receiving her PhD from Harvard University, Judith began teaching at Stanford in 2001, offering a range of courses on American literature, including classes on women writers, early American literature, autobiographies, and the literature of cities. The author of Possessions: The History and Uses of Haunting in the Hudson Valley (2003) she continues to write and lecture—at Stanford and beyond—on the history and literature of New York, and on issues of place and cultural memory more broadly. She is currently working on a book about nineteenth-century America’s “plant-mindedness,” its multivalent obsession with vegetable matters.

  • Ramon Saldivar

    Ramon Saldivar

    Hoagland Family Professor of Humanities and Sciences and Professor of English, of Comparative Literature and, 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.

  • Frederick Turner

    Frederick Turner

    Harry and Norman Chandler Professor of Communication, Akiko Yamazaki and Jerry Yang University Fellow in Undergraduate Education and Professor, by courtesy, of Art and Art History and of History

    BioFred Turner’s research and teaching focus on media technology and cultural change. He is especially interested in the ways that emerging media have helped shape American life since World War II.

    Turner is the author of three books: The Democratic Surround: Multimedia and American Liberalism from World War II to the Psychedelic Sixties; From Counterculture to Cyberculture: Stewart Brand, the Whole Earth Network and the Rise of Digital Utopianism; and Echoes of Combat: The Vietnam War in American Memory. His essays have tackled topics ranging from the rise of reality crime television to the role of the Burning Man festival in contemporary new media industries. They are available here: fredturner.stanford.edu/essays/.

    Turner’s research has received a number of academic awards and has been featured in publications ranging from Science and the New York Times to Ten Zen Monkeys. It has also been translated into French, Spanish, German, Polish and Chinese.

    Turner is also the Akiko Yamazaki and Jerry Yang University Fellow in Undergraduate Education. Before joining the faculty at Stanford, Turner taught Communication at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He also worked as a freelance journalist for ten years, writing for the Boston Sunday Globe Magazine, the Boston Phoenix, and the Pacific News Service.

    Turner earned his Ph.D. in Communication from the University of California, San Diego. He has also earned a B.A. in English and American Literature from Brown University and an M.A. in English from Columbia University.

  • Sam Wineburg

    Sam Wineburg

    Margaret Jacks Professor of Education, Emeritus

    Current Research and Scholarly InterestsDistinguishing what is true in our current digital morass; the teaching and learning of history

    Latest book, with co-author Mike Caulfield, "Verified: How to think straight, get duped less, and make better decisions about what to believe online."

    How young people make decisions about what to believe on the Internet.

    New forms of assessment to measure digital literacy

    The creation of Web-based environments for the learning and teaching of history

  • Caroline Winterer

    Caroline Winterer

    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.

  • Gavin Wright

    Gavin Wright

    William Robertson Coe Professor in American Economic History, Emeritus

    Current Research and Scholarly InterestsProfessor Wright is now studying the economic implications of voting rights and vote suppression in the American South. He is also revisiting the relationship between slavery and Anglo-American capitalism.