School of Humanities and Sciences
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Associate Professor of Anthropology, Emeritus
BioJohn Rick’s research focuses on prehistoric archaeology and anthropology of hunter-gatherers and initial hierarchical societies, stone tool analysis and digital methodologies, Latin America, Southwestern U.S. Rick’s major research efforts have included long-term projects studying early hunting societies of the high altitude puna grasslands of central Peru, and currently he directs a major research project at the monumental World Heritage site of Chavín de Huántar aimed at exploring the foundations of authority in the central Andes. Other field projects include work on early agricultural villages in the American Southwest, and a recently-initiated project on the Preclassic and Early Classic archaeology of the Guatemalan highlands near Panajachel, Atitlan. Current emphasis is on employing dimensional analytical digital techniques to the study of landscape and architecture, and on exploring the contexts and motivations for the development of sociopolitical inequalities.
J. E. Wallace Sterling Professor in the Humanities, Emeritus
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsI am a variationist sociolinguist (someone who studies language variation, often quantitatively, in relation to society and culture). I’m interested in understanding the relations between language variation, social structure and meaning, and language change, from descriptive, theoretical and applied perspectives.
A lot of my work has been devoted to understanding the linguistic, social and stylistic constraints on specific linguistic variables, like the variation between Guyanese pronouns am, she, and her in “e like am” (deep creole, basilect) versus “e like she” (intermediate creole, mesolect) versus “He likes her” (standard English, acrolect). Or, to take an American example, the variation between all and like as quotative introducers in “He’s all/like ‘I don’t know’.” But I’ve also been concerned with trying to figure out where such variables come from historically, and whether they represent ongoing or completed change. I’ve also used the data from specific variables to address larger methodological and theoretical concepts in sociolinguistics, like how best to conceptualize the speech community and analyze linguistic variation by social class and ethnicity, or to assess the role of addressee versus topic in style shifting or the validity of the hyothesis that linguistic and social constraints are essentially independent (in their effects, not frequencies).
My data come primarily from English-based creoles of the Caribbean (especially my native Guyanese Creole, but also Jamaican and Barbadian) and from colloquial American English (especially African American Vernacular English, but also, recently, from computer corpora, like Google newsgroup data). I’ve also been interested, increasingly since the 1990s, in how sociolinguistic research can be applied to help us understand and overcome the challenges that vernacular and creole speakers face in schools, where standard/mainstream varieties are expected.
Associate Professor of Education and, by courtesy, of Linguistics and of Anthropology
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsDr. Rosa’s book, Looking like a Language, Sounding like a Race: Raciolingusitic Ideologies and the Learning of Latinidad (2019, Oxford University Press), presents an ethnographic analysis of how administrators in a Chicago public high school whose student body is more than 90% Mexican and Puerto Rican seek to transform “at risk” Latinx youth into “young Latino professionals.” This intersectional mobility project paradoxically positions Latinx identity as the cause of and solution to educational underachievement. As a result, students must learn to be – and sound – “Latino” in highly studied ways. Students respond to anxieties surrounding their ascribed identities by symbolically remapping borders between nations, languages, ethnoracial categories, and institutional contexts. This reimagining of political, linguistic, cultural, and educational borders reflects the complex interplay between racialization and socialization for Latinx youth. The manuscript argues that this local scene is a key site in which to track broader structures of educational inequity by denaturalizing categories, differences, and modes of recognition through which raciolinguistic exclusion is systematically reproduced across contexts.
Professor of Sociology
BioI am a social demographer who studies race, ethnicity, and family structure, the family's effect on children, and the history of the family. I am interested in mate selection as a social as well as a personal process.
Professor of Iberian and Latin American Cultures, Emeritus
BioProfessor Jorge Ruffinelli (Uruguay), a disciple of Angel Rama at the University of Uruguay, followed him as Director of the literary section of the seminal Uruguayan weekly Marcha in 1968. In 1973 he was Adjunct Professor of the Latin American literature program (directed by Noé Jitrik) at the University of Buenos Aires. In 1974 he emigrated to México, where he was appointed Director of the Centro de Investigaciones Lingüístico-Literarias at the Universidad Veracruzana, a position he held for for twelve years. At the Universidad Veracruzana he was also Professor in the school of Letters, and collaborated in all the major cultural journals and newspapers of the Latin American continent. In 1986 he was appointed Full Professor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at Stanford. In Mexico he founded and directed the literary journal Texto crítico for twelve years. A member of various international editorial boards, in the United States he has directed the journal Nuevo texto crítico since 1987.
He has published twenty books of literary and cultural criticism and more than five hundred articles, critical notes and reviews in journals throughout the world. A recognized authority on Onetti, García Márquez, Juan Rulfo, and Latin American literary history, during the nineties his critical work has centered on Latin American cinema. In 1993 he filmed a documentary on Augusto Monterroso for which he interviewed major Mexican writers and critics. He is completing the first Encyclopedia of Latin American Cinema, for which he has written around two thousand articles on feature films from and about Latin America. His current work also includes a book of interpretation and survey of the most recent Spanish American prose published by writers born after 1968, a project that analyzes the work, marketing, and reception of over more than fifty authors (Ana Solari, Milagros Socorro, Karla Suarez, Mayra Santos, David Toscana, Rodrigo Fresan, Juan Forn, Martin Kohan, Jorge Vopli, among others). His teaching centers on the intersection of the interests above and cultural politics.
Leon Sloss, Jr. Professor and Professor, by courtesy, of Iberian and Latin American Cultures
BioJosé David Saldívar is a scholar of late postcontemporary culture, especially the minoritized literatures of the United States, Latin America, and the transamerican hemisphere, and of border narrative and poetics from the sixteenth century to the present.
He is the author of The Dialectics of Our America: Genealogy, Cultural Critique, and Literary History (Duke University Press, 1991), Border Matters: Remapping American Cultural Studies (University of California Press, 1997), and Trans-Americanity: Subaltern Modernities, Global Coloniality, and the Cultures of Greater Mexico (Duke University Press, 2012),coeditor (with Monica Hanna and Jennifer Harford Vargas) of Junot Díaz and the Decolonial Imagination (Duke University Press, 2016) coeditor (with Héctor Calderón) of Criticism in the Borderlands (Duke University Press, 1991), and editor of The Rolando Hinojosa Reader (Arte Público Press, 1985).
Additionally, he has published numerous articles in journals such as Cultural Studies, American Literary History, The Americas Review, Revista Casa de las Américas, Daedalus, Modern Fiction Studies, and The Global South. He has served on the editorial boards of Duke University Press, the University of California Press, and currently serves on the editorial boards of the journals American Literary History, The Global South, Aztlan, and World Knowledges Otherwise. He has received personal research grants from The Ford Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies, the University of California President's Research Fellowship in the Humanities, the William Rice Kimball Fellowship, Stanford Humanities Center, and the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford (invitation for a future visit).
His teaching is divided evenly between graduate seminars and undergraduate courses, and some of his undergraduate courses are cross-listed in Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity.
In 2003, he received the Distinguished Achievement Award for Literary and Cultural Criticism from the Western Literature Association; in 2005, he received the Chicano Scholar of the Year Award from the Modern Language Association; in 2007 he received the Sarlo Distinguished Graduate Student Mentoring Award from the University of California, Berkeley; and in 2016, he was the winner of the American Literature Society’s highest honor, the Jay B. Hubbell Medal. The medal is sponsored by the American Literature Society, an allied organization of the Modern Language Association, and is awarded annually to one “scholar whose lifetime of scholarly work has significantly advanced the study of American literature.” . Before coming to Stanford in January 2010, Saldívar was the Class of 1942 Professor of English and Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Berkeley.
Hoagland Family Professor, T. Robert and Katherine States Burke Family Director of BOSP, and Professor, by courtesy, of Iberian and Latin American CulturesOn Leave from 01/01/2021 To 03/31/2021
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.
Associate Professor of Iberian and Latin American Cultures
BioProfessor Surwillo teaches courses on Iberian literature, with an emphasis on the nineteenth-century. Her research addresses the questions of property, empire, race and personhood as they are manifested by literary works, especially dramatic literature, dealing with colonial slavery, abolition and Spanish citizenship. Surwillo is the author of The Stages of Property: Copyrighting Theatre in Spain (Toronto 2007), an analysis of the development of copyright and authorship in nineteenth-century Spain and the impact of intellectual property on theater. Her forthcoming book Monsters by Trade (Stanford 2014) is a study of slave traders in Spanish literature and the role of these colonial mediators in the development of modern Spain.
William Bennett Munro Professor in Political Science and Senior Fellow at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research
BioMichael Tomz is the William Bennett Munro Professor in Political Science and Chair of the Department of Political Science at Stanford University. He is also a Senior Fellow at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, a Senior Fellow at the Stanford Center on Global Poverty and Development, and the Landreth Family University Fellow in Undergraduate Education.
Tomz has published in the fields of international relations, American politics, comparative politics, and statistical methods. He is the author of Reputation and International Cooperation: Sovereign Debt across Three Centuries and numerous articles in political science and economics journals.
Tomz received the International Studies Association’s Karl Deutsch Award, given to a scholar who, within 10 years of earning a Ph.D., has made the most significant contribution to the study of international relations. He has also won the Giovanni Sartori Award for the best book developing or applying qualitative methods; the Jack L. Walker Award for the best article on Political Organizations and Parties; the best paper award from the APSA section on Elections, Public Opinion and Voting Behavior; the best paper award from the APSA section on Experimental Research; and the Okidata Best Research Software Award. His research has been supported by the National Science Foundation.
Tomz has received numerous teaching awards, including the Dean’s Award for Distinguished Teaching and the Cox Medal for Excellence in Fostering Undergraduate Research. In 2017 he received Stanford’s highest teaching honor, the Walter J. Gores Award for Excellence in Teaching. He founded and continues to direct the Summer Research College program for undergraduates in political science.
Tomz holds a Ph.D. from Harvard University; a master’s degree from the University of Oxford, where he was a Marshall Scholar; and an undergraduate degree from Georgetown University. He has been a visiting scholar at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, the Hoover Institution, the Institute for Research in the Social Sciences, and the International Monetary Fund.
Professor of Sociology
BioFlorencia Torche is a social scientist with substantive interests in social demography, stratification, and education. Professor Torche’s scholarship encompasses two related areas. A longer-term area of research studies inequality dynamics -- the dynamics that result in persistence of inequality across generations -- with a particular focus on educational attainment, assortative mating (who marries who), and the intergenerational transmission of wealth. A more recent area of research examines the influence of early-life exposures –as early as the prenatal period– on individual development, attainment, and socioeconomic wellbeing. She has studied the effect of in-utero exposure to environmental stressors on children’s outcomes, and how these exposures contribute to the persistence of poverty across generations.
Torche’s research combines diverse methodological approaches including quantitative analysis, causal inference, experiments and natural experiments, and in-depth interviews. Much of her research uses an international comparative perspective. She has conducted large cross-sectional and longitudinal surveys, including the first national survey on social mobility in Chile and Mexico. Her work has appeared in journals in sociology and other disciplines, such as the American Sociological Review, the American Journal of Sociology, the Annual Review of Sociology, Demography, Sociology of Education, Human Reproduction, and the International Journal of Epidemiology. Her research has received funding from the National Science Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and the Spencer Foundation, among others.
Professor Torche holds a BA from the Catholic University of Chile and an MA and PhD in Sociology from Columbia University.
Bonnie Katz Tenenbaum Professor in Education
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsFounding partner of Understanding Language, an initiative that focuses attention on the role of language in subject-area learning, with a special focus on helping English Language Learners meet the new Common Core State Standards and Next Generation Science Standards.
Clifford G. Morrison Professor in Population and Resource Studies, Senior Fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment and Professor, by courtesy, of Earth System Science
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsVitousek's research interests include: evaluating the global cycles of nitrogen and phosphorus, and how they are altered by human activity; understanding how the interaction of land and culture contributed to the sustainability of Hawaiian (and other Pacific) agriculture and society before European contact; and working to make fertilizer applications more efficient and less environmentally damaging (especially in rapidly growing economies)
Professor of Biology
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsOur current focus is on maize anther development to understand how cell fate is specified. We discovered that hypoxia triggers specification of the archesporial (pre-meiotic) cells, and that these cells secrete a small protein MAC1 that patterns the adjacent soma to differentiate as endothecial and secondary parietal cell types. We also discovered a novel class of small RNA: 21-nt and 24-nt phasiRNAs that are exceptionally abundant in anthers and exhibit strict spatiotemporal dynamics.
Senior Lecturer in the Language Center
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsMy research interests include sociolinguistics, discourse analysis, acquisition of cognate languages, development of cultural competence, and translation. I am one of the creators of the international symposium on Portuguese for Spanish Speakers: Acquisition and Teaching, which had its fifth edition in 2014, and an author and editor of several scholarly articles and books. My current focus is on the acquisition of Portuguese by speakers of Spanish and other Romance languages.
Holbrook Working Professor in Commodity Price Studies and Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute and at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research
BioFrank A. Wolak is a Professor in the Department of Economics at Stanford University. His fields of specialization are Industrial Organization and Econometric Theory. His recent work studies methods for introducing competition into infrastructure industries -- telecommunications, electricity, water delivery and postal delivery services -- and on assessing the impacts of these competition policies on consumer and producer welfare. He is the Chairman of the Market Surveillance Committee of the California Independent System Operator for electricity supply industry in California. He is a visiting scholar at University of California Energy Institute and a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER).
Professor Wolak received his Ph.D. and M.S. from Harvard University and his B.A. from Rice University.
Assistant Professor of History
BioIn my work, I examine the intersection of social, political, environmental, and technological change in modern Mexico and Latin America by focusing on the history of agrarian reform, water control, hydraulic technology, drought, and climate change. I offer a wide range of undergraduate and graduate courses in Mexican, Latin American, environmental, and comparative and global history, on topics such as the history of water control, climate ethics, economic development, international relations, revolution and film (see course offerings below).
My first book, Watering the Revolution, recipient of the 2018 Conference on Latin American History's Elinor Melville Prize for Latin American Environmental History, transforms our understanding of Mexican agrarian reform, Latin America's most extensive and longest-lasting (1915-1992) through an environmental and technological history of water management in the emblematic Laguna region. Drawing on extensive archival research in Mexico and the United States, it shows how during the long Mexican Revolution (1910-1940) engineers’ distribution of the water paradoxically undermined land distribution. In so doing, it highlights the intrinsic tension engineers faced between the urgent need for water conservation and the imperative for development during the contentious modernization of the Laguna's existing flood irrigation method into one regulated by high dams, concrete-lined canals, and motorized groundwater pumps. This tension generally resolved in favor of development, which unintentionally diminished and contaminated the water supply while deepening existing rural social inequalities by dividing people into water haves and have-nots, regardless of their access to land. By uncovering the varied motivations behind the Mexican government’s decision to use invasive and damaging technologies despite knowing they were ecologically unsustainable, the book tells a cautionary tale of the long-term consequences of short-sighted development policies.
The research I completed for my first book led to my second book project tentatively entitled “Revolution in the Air: A Comparative Historical Climatology of the Mexican and Cuban Revolutions.” The book makes climate endogenous to the story of revolution. It contends that climatic events did not simply happen once, only to disappear in importance. Rather, revolutionaries and counterrevolutionaries interpreted climatic variability through a mixture of geopolitical, scientific, and religious knowledge and practices. These interpretations, in turn, shaped how revolutionary societies incorporated climatology into a broader state policy toward the environment.