School of Humanities and Sciences


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  • Jennifer DeVere Brody

    Jennifer DeVere Brody

    Professor of Theater and Performance Studies

    BioJennifer DeVere Brody graduated with a B.A. in Victorian Studies from Vassar College and did her graduate work in English and American Literature at the University of Pennsylvania which awarded her the Thurgood Marshall Prize for Academics and Community Service. Her scholary essays have appeared in Theatre Journal, Signs, Genders, Callaloo, Screen, Text and Performance Quarterly and in numerous edited volumes. Her books, Impossible Purities: Blackness, Femininity and Victorian Culture (Duke University Press, 1998) and Punctuation: Art, Politics and Play (Duke University Press, 2008) both discuss relations among and between sexuality, gender, racailization, visual studies and performance. 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 received that Monette-Horwitz Prize for Independent Research Against Homophobia. 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 and subjectivity as well as black feminist theory, black queer studies and contemporary cultural studies. Currently, she with Prof. Nicholas Boggs on the re-publication of James Baldwin’s illustrated book, Little Man, Little Man and is writing a new book about the intersections of sculpture and performance. She held the Weinberg College of Board of Visitors Professorship at Northwestern University and was a member of Duke University's African & African American Studies Dept. for three years.

  • 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, and Science Fiction Studies.

    His most recent book, 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.

  • Bruce Cain

    Bruce Cain

    Charles Louis Ducommun Professor in Humanities and Sciences and Senior Fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment, at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research and at the Precourt Institute for Energy

    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 Chang

    Gordon Chang

    Senior Associate Vice Provost for Under Graduate Education and the Olive H. Palmer Professor in Humanities

    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/

  • James Fishkin

    James Fishkin

    Janet M. Peck Professor of International Communication 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 Center for Deliberative Democracy.

    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 in Humanities

    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." Her current projects include a book entitled Citizen Twain: Hal Holbrook and Mark Twain on Racism, Jingoism and Corruption.

  • Estelle Freedman

    Estelle Freedman

    Edgar E. Robinson Professor in United States History

    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

    Assistant 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.

  • William Gow

    William Gow

    Lecturer

    BioWilliam Gow is a San Francisco-based historian, educator, and documentary filmmaker. His research interests include Asian American history, race and visual culture, and the history of California in the Pacific World. His current book project, tentatively entitled "Performing Chinatown: Hollywood, Tourism, and the Making of a Los Angeles Community," examines the social, economic, and political contexts through which representations of Chinese Americans in Los Angeles were produced and consumed during the Chinese exclusion era. The book project draws on oral histories, archival research, and analysis of film and related visual culture.

    A proud product of San Francisco’s public school system, William holds an MA in Asian American Studies from UCLA and a PhD in Ethnic Studies from UC Berkeley. Prior to entering his doctoral program, William worked for eight years as a high school history teacher in California. He also served as a community historian with the Chinese Historical Society of Southern California in Los Angeles Chinatown. His documentary More to the Chinese Side (co-directed with Sharon Heijin Lee in 2003) was a finalist for the Golden Reel Award at the Visual Communications Asian American Film Festival in Los Angeles. The video is a first-person examination of his family history, mixed race identity, and Chinese American community. His writing and research have appeared in a variety of publications including Pacific Historical Review, Amerasia Journal, and the CHSSC's Gum Saan Journal.

    In 2019, the Western History Association awarded William the Vicki Ruiz Award for Best Journal article on Race in the North American West for his essay, "A Night in Old Chinatown: American Orientalism, China Relief Fundraising, and the 1938 Moon Festival in Los Angeles" published in Pacific Historical Review.

  • 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

    Rehmus Family Professor in the 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 Chair in Education and Jewish Studies and Associate Professor, by courtesy, of Religious Studies
    On Leave from 04/01/2021 To 06/30/2021

    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.

  • Charles Kronengold

    Charles Kronengold

    Assistant Professor of Music

    BioSpecial Fields: Music since World War II; American Popular Music; Film and Media Theory; Comparative and Counter-Modernities; Music and Poetry. Current research concerns the ways that modern artistic genres condition, depict, embody and help to transform the activity of thinking.

    Articles and book-chapters published and forthcoming on Schoenberg, John Cage and Elliott Carter, soul, funk and disco, urban cinema, and such philosophical subjects as composers’ intentions, the role of accidents in theory, Theodor Adorno’s aesthetics, and the relevance of African American music to current debates about the "post-secular". Completing two books, Live Genres in Late Modernity and Different Methods, Different Signs: Crediting Thinking in Soul and Dance Music.

    Doctoral Fellowship at the UC-Humanities Research Institute; Society for the Humanities Fellowship at Cornell University.

    Taught music, film and cultural theory at Wayne State University. Undergraduate courses include World Music and Globalized Culture (Stanford), The Soul Tradition (Stanford), History of Music: 1800 to the Present (Wayne State), Music and Representation (Wayne State), Ethics and Communication (Wayne State). Graduate courses include Genres and Politics in the Late-Modern Work (Stanford), Analyzing Modern Song (Wayne State), Music and Urban Film (Wayne State), Sensing Thinking (Cornell).

  • Marci Kwon

    Marci Kwon

    Assistant Professor of Art and Art History
    On Leave from 10/01/2020 To 06/30/2021

    BioMarci Kwon specializes in art and culture of the United States. Her research and teaching interests include the intersection of fine art and vernacular practice, theories of modernism, cultural exchange between Asia and the Americas, "folk" and "self-taught" art, and issues of race and objecthood. Her current book project considers the work of Joseph Cornell and the desire for a populist art in the mid-century United States. She is also working on a study of the intersections of art and anthropology in American modernism.

  • Kathryn Lum

    Kathryn Lum

    Associate Professor of Religious Studies

    BioProfessor Gin Lum specializes in American religious history. Her research and teaching interests focus on religion and race, religion and violence, and the afterlife, evil, and death in America. She is author of the forthcoming Damned Nation: Hell in America from the Revolution to Reconstruction (Oxford University Press). She is an Annenberg Faculty Fellow (2012-14), is affiliated with the Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity (CCSRE), and organizes the American Religions Workshop at Stanford.

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

  • 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

    Academic Advising Director, Academic Advising Operations

    Current Role at StanfordAcademic Advising Director;

    Lecturer, American Studies

  • Richard Meyer

    Richard Meyer

    Robert and Ruth Halperin Professor in Art History

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

  • Ana Raquel Minian Andjel

    Ana Raquel Minian Andjel

    Associate Professor of History
    On Leave from 09/01/2020 To 08/31/2021

    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 Moya

    Paula Moya

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

    BioMoya 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, American cultural studies, 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 Program of Modern Thought and Literature, Vice Chair of the Department of English, and the Director of the Undergraduate Program of the Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity. She has also 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).

    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 is a recipient of the Dean’s Award for Distinguished Teaching, a Ford Foundation postdoctoral fellowship, the Outstanding Chicana/o Faculty Member award. She has been a Brown Faculty Fellow, a Clayman Institute Fellow, and is currently a CCSRE Faculty Research Fellow. 

  • Alexander Nemerov

    Alexander Nemerov

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

    BioA scholar of American art, Nemerov writes about the presence of art, the recollection of the past, and the importance of the humanities in our lives today. Committed to teaching the history of art more broadly as well as topics in American visual culture--the history of American photography, for example--he is a noted writer and speaker on the arts. His most recent books are To Make a World: George Ault and 1940s America (2011), the catalogue to the exhibition of the same title he curated at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and Acting in the Night: Macbeth and the Places of the Civil War (2010). His new book, Wartime Kiss: Visions of the Moment in the 1940s, will be published by Princeton University Press this fall.

  • 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.

  • Gary Rasberry

    Gary Rasberry

    Associate Professor of English

    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, T. Robert and Katherine States Burke Family Director of BOSP, and Professor, 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 and Professor, by courtesy, of History

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

    New book out in 2018, Why Learn History (When It's Already on Your Phone)

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

    New forms of assessment to measure historical understanding

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

  • Caroline Winterer

    Caroline Winterer

    Willilam 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.