School of Humanities and Sciences


Showing 1-20 of 29 Results

  • Marina Del Cassio

    Marina Del Cassio

    Ph.D. Student in History, admitted Autumn 2022

    BioMarina Del Cassio is a history Ph.D. student focused on wildfire and water in California. She is particularly interested in learning from Native land stewardship practices, and in probing the nineteenth-century origins of California’s water rights, land use, and wildfire liability regimes. Her work aims to support pathways to sustainability and environmental justice. Before coming to Stanford, Marina practiced environmental law in San Francisco and clerked on the Ninth Circuit and the California Supreme Court. She holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School.

  • Paul N. Edwards

    Paul N. Edwards

    Senior Lecturer in the Program in Science, Technology and Society

    BioI'm Director of the Program on Science, Technology & Society (STS) and a Senior Research Scholar at the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford. I also co-direct the Stanford Existential Risks Initiative with Prof. Steve Luby.

    I'm Professor of Information and History (Emeritus) at the University of Michigan, where I worked for almost 20 years in the School of Information, the Dept. of History, and the STS Program. I taught previously at Stanford from 1992-1998 in various capacities, mainly in the Science, Technology & Society Program that I now direct.

    I study the history, politics, and culture of information infrastructures, especially climate knowledge systems. My books include A Vast Machine: Computer Models, Climate Data, and the Politics of Global Warming (MIT Press, 2010), The Closed World: Computers and the Politics of Discourse in Cold War America (MIT Press, 1996), and Changing the Atmosphere: Expert Knowledge and Environmental Governance (MIT Press, 2001, co-edited with Clark Miller). I'm academic editor of the MIT Press book series Infrastructures.

    From 2018-2021, I served as one of 234 Lead Authors for the Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Working Group I (Physical Sciences), released in August 2021.

  • Paula Findlen

    Paula Findlen

    Ubaldo Pierotti Professor of Italian History and Professor, by courtesy, of French and Italian

    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.

  • Gabrielle Hecht

    Gabrielle Hecht

    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 FSI. She is President of the Society for the History of Technology.

    Hecht's research explores the inside-out Earth and its wastes in order to reveal the hidden costs of the so-called "energy transition," with research sites in the Arctic, the Andes, southern Africa, and west Africa. Her new book, Residual Governance: How South African Foretells Planetary Futures (Duke, 2023), received the 2024 PROSE Award in Government and Politics from the Association of American Publishers.

    Hecht's graduate courses include colloquia on "Power in the Anthropocene," "Infrastructure and Power in the Global South," "Technopolitics," and "Materiality and Power." She supervises dissertations in science and technology studies (STS), transnational history, and African studies. Her undergraduate course in "Racial Justice in the Nuclear Age" was built in partnership with the Bayview Hunters Point Community Advocates (BVHPCA).

    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. Hecht taught in the University of Michigan’s History department for 18 years, where 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).

    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.

  • Lochlann Jain

    Lochlann Jain

    Professor of Anthropology

    BioJain is an award-winning author and Professor of Anthropology at Stanford University, Visiting Chair of Global Health and Social Medicine at King’ College London, and a Research Affiliate at VIAD, University of Johannesburg. His work aims to unsettle some of the deeply held assumptions about objectivity that underlie the history of medical research. Jain is the author of Injury (Princeton UP: 2006); Malignant: How Cancer Becomes Us (UC Press: 2013); and a book of drawings, Things that Art: A Graphic Menagerie of Enchanting Curiosity (U of Toronto Press: 2019).

    Jain is currently working on two books. The first, supported by a Guggenheim Fellowship, develops the concept of The WetNet, which refers to fluid bonding among humans and animals in ways that create pathways for the transmission of pathogens. Specifically, mid-century bioscientific practices such as blood harvesting and transfusion, and vaccine development and testing involved exchanges in human and animal effluvia, the risks of which have largely been disavowed. Jain’s current book project elucidates the concept of The WetNet through a rigorous history of the hepatitis B virus and the development of the first hepatitis B vaccine.

    The second project, “The Lung is a Bird and a Fish,” is a cultural history of drowning in prose and drawing.

  • Mengyao Liu

    Mengyao Liu

    Ph.D. Student in Classics, admitted Autumn 2022

    BioI am broadly interested in the production of knowledge in ancient worlds, with a particular interest in the Greco-Roman and Chinese traditions. My curiosity is a comparative and genealogical one at root: by comparing different societies, I seek to grasp the historicity of intellectual practices and the ideas thus produced. Currently, my research interest focuses on astronomy and astrology in Ancient Greece and China.
    While completing my B.A. in Classics at Sorbonne University, I investigated how the urban metamorphoses of Rome materialized the transformation of the political regime. My master's thesis at EHESS, "Statues pour les corps, livres pour les mots" : La vie (βἰος) et la rhétorique (λόγος) dans les Discours Sacrés, offers insight into the psychosomatic relations conceived by the Greeks. The inquiry breaks into two interdependent questions: the therapeutic usage of rhetorical practices and the unconventional representation of Asclepius in the Sacred Tales of Aristides.
    Having one year of training in software engineering from Tsinghua University, I am also passionate about the potentials of digital humanities.

  • Helen Longino

    Helen Longino

    Clarence Irving Lewis Professor of Philosophy, Emerita

    Current Research and Scholarly InterestsI am currently pursuing research in several different areas. 1) The concept of interaction in science and philosophy. 2) The epistemology of science, especially social epistemology. 3) The contributions feminist philosophy of science can make to understanding science and sustainability policy in so-called developing countries? 4) How engagement with communities can inform philosophical analysis.

  • Thomas Mullaney

    Thomas Mullaney

    Professor of History and, by courtesy, of East Asian Languages and Cultures

    Current Research and Scholarly InterestsThomas S. Mullaney is Professor of History and Professor of East Asian Languages and Cultures, by courtesy. He is also the Kluge Chair in Technology and Society at the Library of Congress, and a Guggenheim Fellow.

    He is the author or lead editor of 7 books, including The Chinese Typewriter (winner of the Fairbank prize), Your Computer is on Fire, Coming to Terms with the Nation: Ethnic Classification in Modern China, and the forthcoming The Chinese Computer—the first comprehensive history of Chinese-language computing.

    His writings have appeared in the Journal of Asian Studies, Technology & Culture, Aeon, Foreign Affairs, and Foreign Policy, and his work has been featured in the LA Times, The Atlantic, the BBC, and in invited lectures at Google, Microsoft, Adobe, and more. He holds a PhD from Columbia University.

  • Reviel Netz

    Reviel Netz

    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

    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.

  • Greg Priest

    Greg Priest

    Ph.D. Student in History, admitted Autumn 2011

    BioI am a PhD candidate (ABD) in History of Science at Stanford. I focus on the history and philosophy of biology and the historical sciences, with particular interests in Charles Darwin and in the sciences of complex systems.

    Before coming to Stanford, I was a lawyer, serving as a law clerk to Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall and then representing Silicon Valley technology companies. I left the law for the software business, first as CFO of a publicly-traded software company, next as founding CEO of a software start-up, and finally as Chairman and CEO of a global, publicly-traded internet education company.

    I did my undergraduate work at Princeton and got my law degree at Stanford. I also have a Masters of Liberal Arts from Stanford. I am married, have two children and one grandchild and am an avid hiker, skier, and cook.

  • Robert N. Proctor

    Robert N. Proctor

    Professor of History and, by courtesy, of Medicine (Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine)

    Current Research and Scholarly InterestsTobacco and cigarette design; human origins and evolution; changing concepts of health and disease; medical history and medical politics