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 HistoryOn Leave from 10/01/2022 To 12/31/2022
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.
Associate Professor of Classics and, by courtesy, of History
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsIntellectual history, data science in the humanities, ancient and modern historiography, history of archaeology, early modern travels and explorations of the past
Senior Associate Vice Provost for Under Graduate Education and the Olive H. Palmer Professor in HumanitiesOn Leave from 10/01/2022 To 06/30/2023
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsI co-direct an international project that seeks to recover the history of Chinese railroad workers in North America.
Professor of HistoryOn Leave from 10/01/2022 To 06/30/2023
BioMy teaching and research focus on the following areas of interest:
History of print
History of Political Thought
History of Religion and the Reformation
Professor of History
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsAfghanistan: A Very Short Introduction (book manuscript co-authored with Wazhmah Osman, under contract with Oxford University Press).
Muslims from the Margins: The Politics of Islam in a Global Age (book manuscript – a history of the politics of Muslim minority communities in Mexico, Ghana, India, Russia, and Northern Ireland)
The Afghan Shia: A Revolutionary Minority (book manuscript)
J. P. Daughton
Professor of History
BioJ. P. Daughton is Professor of History, and Professor (by courtesy) of French and Italian. He is an historian of Europe, imperialism and colonialism, and global history. His teaching and publications explore political, cultural, social, and environmental history, as well as the modern history of religion, technology, and humanitarianism. His affiliations at Stanford include the Europe Center, the Center for African Studies, and the Center for Human Rights and International Justice.
His most recent book, In the Forest of No Joy: The Congo-Océan Railroad and the Tragedy of French Colonialism (W. W. Norton, 2021), tells the story of one of the deadliest construction projects in history. Between 1921 and 1934, French colonial interests recruited -- most often by force -- more than 100,000 men, women, and children to work on a 500-kilometer stretch of rail between Brazzaville and the Atlantic Coast. In the end, tens of thousands of Africans were dead, killed by mistreatment, starvation, and disease. The book painstakingly recounts the experiences of local communities in the face of colonial economic development, considers why the railroad witnessed such extraordinary violence and suffering, and explores how the rhetoric of "civilization" and "development" were used to justify the loss of so many African lives. In the Forest of No Joy has been shortlisted for the Cundill History Prize and the American Library in Paris Book Prize.
Daughton is also the author of An Empire Divided: Religion, Republicanism, and the Making of French Colonialism, 1880-1914 (Oxford University Press, 2006), a book that tells the story of how troubled relations between Catholic missionaries and a host of republican critics shaped colonial policies, Catholic perspectives, and domestic French politics in the decades before the First World War. Based on archival research from four continents, the book challenges the long-held view that French colonizing and “civilizing” goals were the product of a distinctly secular republican ideology built on Enlightenment ideals. A CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title, An Empire Divided was awarded the George Louis Beer Prize for the best book in international history from the American Historical Association, as well as the Alf Andrew Heggoy Book Prize from the French Colonial Historical Society.
He is also the editor, with Owen White, of In God’s Empire: French Missionaries in the Modern World (Oxford University Press, 2012), a collection of essays on the role played by French religious workers in the empire and beyond. His essays and reviews, on themes related to colonial violence, international governance, informal empire, and cultural policy, have appeared in publications like the Journal of Modern History, the American Historical Review, and French Historical Studies.
Daughton’s PhD advisees have written on a wide range of subjects, from nineteenth-century French cultural policies to the history of famine, and from alcohol consumption and violence in the First World War to the work of international NGOs in Algeria during decolonization. He is currently accepting graduate students interested in transnational history, modern Europe, empire, humanitarianism, international politics, and environment history.
Assistant Professor of HistoryOn Leave from 10/01/2022 To 06/30/2023
BioI am a historian of western Europe and the Mediterranean, primarily during the high and late Middle Ages. Much of my research tries to understand how law and society interact with each other, especially where legal norms conflict with social practices. Another strand of my research explores the history of economic life and economic thought, especially medieval debates over usury and moneylending. I have also written on the circulation of goods, people, and ideas in the medieval Mediterranean.
My current book project (Conflicts of Interest: Jews, Christian Moneylenders, and the Rise of Mass Expulsion in Medieval Europe) uses the banishment of Jewish and Christian moneylenders to explore the rise of mass expulsion as a widespread practice in the later Middle Ages. A second ongoing project examines the ways in which medieval canon law was adapted, reinterpreted, or resisted in local contexts in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. The latter builds on Corpus Synodalium, a searchable full-text database of late medieval local ecclesiastical legislation that I have been developing since 2016, with assistance from colleagues around the world.
Born and raised in western Canada, I did my undergraduate and doctoral work at Harvard University, earning an MPhil in Medieval History from the University of Cambridge along the way. Before coming to Stanford, I was a Junior Fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows.
William H. Bonsall Professor of French and Professor, by courtesy, of History and of Political Science
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsMy current research lies in the fields of intellectual history, political thought, and digital humanities (DH). I recently published a book that explores the history of rights from the Wars of Religion to the Age of Revolutions; I'm currently working on a book that explores the intellectual history of revolution; I have a number of papers on Rousseau's political thought underway; and I continue to work on a number of DH projects.
Ubaldo Pierotti Professor of Italian History and Professor, by courtesy, of French and ItalianOn Leave from 10/01/2022 To 12/31/2022
BioI have taught the early history of science and medicine for many years on the premise that one of the most important ways to understand how science, medicine and technology have become so central to contemporary society comes from examining the process by which scientific knowledge emerged. I also take enormous pleasure in examining a kind of scientific knowledge that did not have an autonomous existence from other kinds of creative endeavors, but emerged in the context of humanistic approaches to the world (in defiance of C.P. Snow's claim that the modern world is one of "two cultures" that share very little in common). More generally, I am profoundly attracted to individuals in the past who aspired to know everything. It still seems like a worthy goal.
My other principal interest lies in understanding the world of the Renaissance, with a particular focus on Italy. I continue to be fascinated by a society that made politics, economics and culture so important to its self-definition, and that obviously succeeded in all these endeavors for some time, as the legacy of such figures as Machiavelli and Leonardo suggests. Renaissance Italy, in short, is a historical laboratory for understanding the possibilities and the problems of an innovative society. As such, it provides an interesting point of comparison to Gilded Age America, where magnates such as J.P. Morgan often described themselves as the "new Medici," and to other historical moments when politics, art and society combined fruitfully.
Finally, I have a certain interest in the relations between gender, culture and knowledge. Virginia Woolf rightfully observed at the beginning of the twentieth century that one could go to a library and find a great deal about women but very little that celebrated or supported their accomplishments. This is no longer true a century later, in large part thanks to the efforts of many scholars, male and female, who have made the work of historical women available to modern readers and who have begun to look at relations between the sexes in more sophisticated ways. Our own debates and disagreements on such issues make this subject all the more important to understand.
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."
Associate Professor of History
BioJonathan Gienapp is an assistant professor in the History department. 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 recently-published 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 and interpretation, early national political culture, originalism and modern constitutional theory, and the study of the history of ideas. He has published articles and essays in the Journal of the Early Republic, The New England Quarterly, the Fordham Law Review, Constitutional Commentary, the Texas Law Review Online, the American University Law Review Forum, Process: A Blog for American History, and an edited volume on neo-nullification and secession in American constitutional culture. He has articles forthcoming in Law and History Review and an edited volume on the early American presidency.
Professor of History and, by courtesy, of Religious Studies and of German Studies
BioFiona Griffiths is a historian of medieval Western Europe, focusing on intellectual and religious life from the ninth to the thirteenth century. Her work explores the possibilities for social experimentation and cultural production inherent in medieval religious reform movements, addressing questions of gender, spirituality, and authority, particularly as they pertain to the experiences and interactions of religious men (priests or monks) with women (nuns and clerical wives). Griffiths is the author of Nuns' Priests' Tales: Men and Salvation in Medieval Women's Monastic Life,The Middle Ages Series (The University of Pennsylvania Press: 2018) and The Garden of Delights: Reform and Renaissance for Women in the Twelfth Century, The Middle Ages Series (The University of Pennsylvania Press: 2007); she is co-editor (with Kathryn Starkey) of Sensory Reflections: Traces of Experience in Medieval Artifacts (Berlin: De Gruyter, 2019) and (with Julie Hotchin) of Partners in Spirit: Men, Women, and Religious Life in Germany, 1100-1500 (Turnhout: Brepols, 2014). Her essays have appeared in Speculum, Church History, the Journal of Medieval History, and Viator. She has held fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities; the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation; the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study; and the Institute of Historical Research (University of London).
A.A. and Jeanne Welch Milligan Professor, Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution and at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, Professor of History and, by courtesy, of Economics
BioStephen Haber is A.A. and Jeanne Welch Milligan Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences and Peter and Helen Bing Senior Fellow of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. He is also Professor of Political Science, Professor of History, and Professor of Economics (by courtesy), a Senior Fellow of the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, and a Senior Fellow of the Stanford Center for International Development. Haber’s research spans a number of academic disciplines, including comparative politics, financial economics, and economic history. He has authored, coauthored, or edited ten books, and his papers have been published in journals such as American Political Science Review, World Politics, International Security, the Journal of Economic History, the Hispanic American Historical Review, the Journal of Banking and Finance, and the Journal of International Business Studies. Haber's most recent book, Fragile by Design: The Political Origins of Banking Crises and Scarce Credit (coauthored with Charles Calomiris) was published by Princeton University Press in 2014. His current research focuses on two areas: the impact of geography on the long-run evolution of economic and political institutions; and the political conditions under which societies sustain intellectual property systems that promote innovation.
Stanton Foundation Professor of Nuclear Security and Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies
BioGabrielle Hecht is Professor of History, Professor (by courtesy) of Anthropology, and Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute's Center for International Security and Cooperation. She is Vice-President/President-Elect of the Society for the History of Technology.
Her current research explores radioactive residues, mine waste, air pollution, and the Anthropocene in Africa. Essays based on this research have appeared in Cultural Anthropology, Aeon, Somatosphere, the LA Review of Books, and e-fluxArchitecture. Hecht's graduate courses include colloquia on "Infrastructure and Power in the Global South," "Technopolitics," and "Materiality and Power." She teaches a community-engaged undergraduate research seminar on "Racial Justice in the Nuclear Age," in partnership with the Bayview Hunters Point Community Advocates (BVHPCA). She is currently working with BVHPCA and other partners to develop knowledge infrastructures to underpin community-driven public history that supports racial equity and environmental justice.
Hecht’s 2012 book Being Nuclear: Africans and the Global Uranium Trade offers new perspectives on the global nuclear order by focusing on African uranium mines and miners. It received awards from the Society for the Social Studies of Science, the American Historical Association, the American Sociological Association, and the Suzanne M. Glasscock Humanities Institute, as well as an honorable mention from the African Studies Association. An abridged version appeared in French as Uranium Africain, une histoire globale (Le Seuil 2016), and a Japanese translation is due out in 2021. Her first book, The Radiance of France: Nuclear Power and National Identity (1998/ 2nd ed 2009), explores how the French embedded nuclear policy in reactor technology, and nuclear culture in reactor operations. It received awards from the American Historical Association and the Society for the History of Technology, and has appeared in French as Le rayonnement de la France: Énergie nucléaire et identité nationale après la seconde guerre mondiale (2004/ 2014).
Her affiliations at Stanford include the Center for African Studies, the Program in Science, Technology, and Society, the Center for Global Ethnography, the Program on Urban Studies, and the Program in Modern Thought and Literature. Before rejoining Stanford in 2017, Hecht taught at the University of Michigan’s History department for 18 years. She helped to found and direct UM’s Program in Science, Technology, and Society (STS). She served as associate director of UM’s African Studies Center, and participated in its long-term collaboration with the Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research (South Africa). She has supervised dissertations in STS, African history and anthropology, nuclear studies, and French history.
Hecht holds a PhD in History and Sociology of Science from the University of Pennsylvania (1992), and a bachelor’s degree in Physics from MIT (1986). She’s been a visiting scholar in universities in Australia, France, the Netherlands, Norway, South Africa, and Sweden. Her work has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council for Learned Societies, and the South African and Dutch national research foundations, among others. She serves on numerous advisory boards, including for the Andra, France’s national radioactive waste management agency.
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.”
William H. Bonsall Professor of History
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsOctober 2018: In 2017 I published a synthetic history -- "The Russian empire 1450-1801" (Oxford). I am working on images of Russia in early modern Europe, generally by eyewitness travelers but also in the scurrilous penny press. I'm exploring how the tropes of engraving culture shaped images, how knowledge of Russia was disseminated and what image of Russia literate Europeans received. Then I'll return to the law -- Catherine II's 1772 judicial reforms on the local level across the Empire.
Emily Jane Levine
Associate Professor of Education and, by courtesy, of History
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsCurrent research topics include a genealogy of academic concepts; the contemporary consequences of Germany and America’s divergent paths in knowledge organization; Jews and private philanthropy for scholarship; the historical tension between knowledge-for-its-own sake and applied knowledge; the global transfer of the kindergarten, mass schooling, and higher education; and the history and future of institutional innovation.
Kwoh-Ting Li Professor of Chinese Culture and Professor, by courtesy, of Religious StudiesOn Leave from 10/01/2022 To 06/30/2023
BioMark Edward Lewis’s research deals with many aspects of Chinese civilization in the late pre-imperial, early imperial and middle periods (contemporary with the centuries in the West from classical Greece through the early Middle Ages), and with the problem of empire as a political and social form.
His first book, Sanctioned Violence in Early China, studies the emergence of the first Chinese empires by examining the changing forms of permitted violence—warfare, hunting, sacrifice, punishments, and vengeance. It analyzes the interlinked evolution of these violent practices to reveal changes in the nature of political authority, in the units of social organization, and in the defining practices and attitudes of the ruling elites. It thus traces the changes that underlay the transformation of the Chinese polity from a league of city-states dominated by aristocratic lineages to a unified, territorial state governed by a supreme autocrat and his agents.
His second book, Writing and Authority in Early China covers the same period from a different angle. It traces the evolving uses of writing to command assent and obedience, an evolution that culminated in the establishment of a textual canon as the foundation of imperial authority. The book examines the full range of writings employed in early China, including divinatory records, written communications with ancestors, government documents, collective writings of philosophical traditions, speeches attributed to historical figures, chronicles, verse anthologies, commentaries, and encyclopedic compendia. It shows how these writings in different ways served to form social groups, administer populations, control officials, invent new models of intellectual and political authority, and create an artificial language whose mastery generated power and whose graphs become potent, almost magical, objects.
His third book, The Construction of Space in Early China, examines the formation of the Chinese empire through its reorganization and reinterpretation of its basic spatial units: the human body, the household, the city, the region, and the world. It shows how each higher unit—culminating in the empire—claimed to incorporate and transcend the units of the preceding level, while in practice remaining divided and constrained by the survival of the lower units, whose structures and tensions they reproduced. A companion volume, The Flood Myths of Early China, shows how these early Chinese ideas about the constituent elements of an ordered, human space—along with the tensions and divisions therein—were elaborated and dramatized in a set of stories about the re-creation of a structured world from a watery chaos that had engulfed it.
In addition to these specialist monographs, Lewis has written the first three volumes of a six-volume survey of the entire history of imperial China: The Early Chinese Empires: Qin and Han, China Between Empires: The Northern and Southern Dynasties, and China’s Cosmopolitan Empire: The Tang Dynasty. These volumes serve as introductions to the major periods of Chinese history for non-specialists, and as background readings to introductory surveys. In addition to recounting the major political events, they devote chapters to the most important aspects of the society of each period: geographic background, cities, rural society, kinship, religion, literature, and law.
He has published a new monograph, Honor and Shame in Early China, which traces evolving ideas about honor and shame in the Warring States and early empires in order to understand major developments in the social history of the period. It examines the transformation of elites and the emergence of new groups through scrutinizing differing claims to “honor” (and consequent re-definitions of what was “shameful”) entailed in claiming a public role without necessarily being a noble or an employee of the state.
Senior Lecturer in History, Emeritus
BioMartin W. Lewis is a senior lecturer in international history at Stanford University. He graduated from UC Santa Cruz with a degree in Environmental Studies in 1979, and received a Ph.D. from UC Berkeley in geography in 1987. His dissertation, and first book, examined the interplay among economic development, environmental degradation, and cultural change in the highlands of northern Luzon in the Philippines. Subsequently, he turned his attention to issues of global geography, writing (with Karen Wigen) The Myth of Continents: A Critique of Metageography (University of California Press, 1997). He is also the co-author of a world geography textbook, Diversity Amid Globalization: World Regions, Environment, Development (Prentice Hall), and is the former associate editor of The Geographical Review. Martin W. Lewis taught at the George Washington University and then at Duke University, where he was co-director of the program in Comparative Area Studies, before coming to Stanford University in the fall of 2002. He writes on current events and issues of global geography and at GeoCurrents.info.
Associate Professor of Religious Studies and, by courtesy, of History
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.
Associate Professor of Political Science and, by courtesy, of HistoryOn Leave from 09/01/2022 To 06/30/2023
BioAlison McQueen is an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at Stanford University. Her research focuses on early modern political theory and the history of International Relations thought.
McQueen’s book, Political Realism in Apocalyptic Times (Cambridge University Press, 2018), traces the responses of three canonical political realists—Niccolò Machiavelli, Thomas Hobbes, and Hans Morgenthau—to hopes and fears about the end of the world. A second book project, Absolving God: Hobbes’s Scriptural Politics, tracks and explains changes in Thomas Hobbes’s strategies of Scriptural argument over time.
Her other ongoing research projects explore methods of textual interpretation, the ethics and politics of catastrophe, and treason in the history of political thought.
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
Associate Professor of History and, by courtesy, of East Asian Languages and Cultures
BioI joined the department in 2006 after I completed my dissertation on the last phase of Korean reformist movements and the Japanese colonization of Korea between 1896 and 1910. In my dissertation, I revisited the identity of the pro-Japanese collaborators, called the Ilchinhoe, and highlighted the tensions between their populist orientation and the state-centered approach of the Japanese colonizers. Examining the Ilchinhoe’s reformist orientation and their dissolution by the Japanese authority led me to question what it meant to be collaborators during the period and what their tragic history tells us about empire as a political entity. I am currently working on a book manuscript centered on the theme of collaboration and empire, notably in relation to the recent revisionist assessments of empire. My next research will extend to the colonial period of Korea after the annexation and will examine what constituted colonial modernity in people’s everyday lives and whether the particulars of modernity were different in colonial and non-colonial situations. To explore these questions, I plan to look at the history of movie theaters in East Asia between 1890 and 1945, a subject which will allow me to study the interactions between the colonial authority, capitalists and consumers, as well as to look at the circulation of movies as consumed texts.
Professor of History and, by courtesy, of East Asian Languages and Cultures
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsThomas S. Mullaney is Associate Professor of Chinese History at Stanford University. He is the author of Coming to Terms with the Nation: Ethnic Classification in Modern China and principal editor of Critical Han Studies: The History, Representation and Identity of China’s Majority. He received his BA and MA degrees from the Johns Hopkins University, and his PhD from Columbia University under the direction of Madeleine Zelin.
His most recent project, The Chinese Typewriter: A Global History, examines China’s development of a modern, nonalphabetic information infrastructure encompassing telegraphy, typewriting, word processing, and computing. This project has received three major awards and fellowships, including the 2013 Usher Prize, a three-year National Science Foundation fellowship, and a Hellman Faculty Fellowship. The book manuscript is about to be submitted for formal editorial review.
He also directs DHAsia, a new Digital Humanities initiative at Stanford University focused on East, South, Southeast, and Inner/Central Asia. The program is supported by the Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis (CESTA). DHAsia 2016 will center around a series of intellectually intensive 3-day visits by a core group of scholars incorporating three components: (a) a 45-minute talk on their research; (b) a hands-on Digital Humanities clinic for faculty and graduate students (focused on the particular tool/technique/method/platform employed in their work); and (c) a schedule of one-on-one meetings with interested faculty and graduate student researchers.
He is also the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Dissertation Reviews, which publishes more than 500 reviews annually of recently defended dissertations in nearly 30 different fields in the Humanities and Social Sciences.
Patrick Suppes Professor of Greek Mathematics and Astronomy and Professor, by courtesy, of Philosophy and of History
BioNetz's main field is the history of pre-modern mathematics. His research involves the wider issues of the history of cognitive practices, e.g. visual culture, the history of the book, and literacy and numeracy. His books from Cambridge University Press include The Shaping of Deduction in Greek Mathematics: a Study in Cognitive History (1999, Runciman Award), The Transformation of Early Mediterranean Mathematics: From Problems to Equations (2004), and Ludic Proof: Greek Mathematics and the Alexandrian Aesthetic (2009).
He is also the author of the translation and commentary of the works of Archimedes, also with CUP, a three-volume work of which the first has appeared, The Two Books on Sphere and Cylinder (2004). Together with Nigel Wilson, he prepares the edition of the recently rediscovered Archimedes Palimpsest (evidence from which already gave rise to two major discoveries: a text showing actual infinity in Archimedes, published in SCIAMVS 2001-2002, and a text showing, possibly, combinatorics in Archimedes, published in SCIAMVS 2004.) Two volumes, Transcription and Critical Edition, are forthcoming from the British Academy, of which the transcription is already available online. His popular book on the Archimedes Palimpsest Project, The Archimedes Codex, (co-authored with William Noel, Neumann Prize) was published by Widenfeld and Nicolson, 2007, and is translated into 20 languages.
Related to his research in cognitive history is his interest in ecological history, and he has published Barbed Wire: an Ecology of Modernity (Wesleyan University Press, 2004, finalist for PEN award). Reviel Netz is also a poet (Adayin Bahuc, 1999 Shufra: Tel Aviv, AMOS prize), one of a group of Hebrew poets active today whose work revives formal verse and he is the co-author, together with his wife, the Israeli author Maya Arad, of a collection of essays on Israeli literature, Positions of Stress (Meqom Hata'am, 2008 Axuzat Bayit: Tel Aviv).
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.
Assistant Professor of History
BioSteven Press is an Assistant Professor of History and an affiliated member of the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, the Center for African Studies, and the Stanford Center for Law and History.
Press' first book, Rogue Empires: Conmen and Contracts in Europe's Scramble for Africa (published Spring 2017 with Harvard University Press), draws on archival work in ten countries and three languages. The book offers a new approach to understanding the European Scramble for Africa by examining one of its pivotal projects: empires run by companies and individual adventurers.
Press' second book, Blood and Diamonds: Germany's Imperial Ambitions in Africa, will appear in April 2021 with Harvard University Press.
In his article in the Journal of Modern History, Press explored the exchanges between Germany, China, and Cuba that led to the USA's lease for Guantanamo Bay in 1903. His article on post-Napoleonic European nationalism appeared in Central European History.
Press received his B.A. from Vanderbilt University and his A.M. and Ph.D. from Harvard University. He taught at Harvard and Vanderbilt before coming to Stanford. His research interests include European sovereignty, international relations, and commodity networks.
Robert N. Proctor
Professor of History and, by courtesy, of Medicine (Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine)On Leave from 10/01/2022 To 06/30/2023
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsTobacco and cigarette design; human origins and evolution; changing concepts of health and disease; medical history and medical politics
Frances and Charles Field Professor of History
BioJessica Riskin received her B.A. from Harvard University and her Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley. She taught at MIT before coming to Stanford, and has also taught at Iowa State University and at Sciences Po, Paris. Her research interests include early modern science, politics and culture and the history of scientific explanation.
Riskin is the author of Science in the Age of Sensibility: The Sentimental Empiricists of the French Enlightenment (2002), which won the American Historical Association's J. Russell Major Prize for best book in English on any aspect of French history, and the editor of Genesis Redux: Essays in the History and Philosophy of Artificial Life (2007) and, with Mario Biagioli, of Nature Engaged: Science in Practice from the Renaissance to the Present (2012). She is also the author of The Restless Clock: A History of the Centuries-Long Debate over What Makes Living Things Tick (2016), which won the 2021 Patrick Suppes Prize in the History of Science from the American Philosophical Society.