School of Humanities and Sciences
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James T. Watkins IV and Elise V. Watkins Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences
BioDavid D. Laitin is the James T. Watkins IV and Elise V. Watkins Professor of Political Science at Stanford University. He received his BA from Swarthmore College, and then served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Somalia and Grenada, where he became national tennis champion in 1970. Back in the US, he received his Ph.D. in political science from UC Berkeley, working under the direction of Ernst Haas and Hanna Pitkin.
He has taught at three great universities: UCSD (1975-87), the University of Chicago (1987-1999) and now at Stanford. Over his career, as a student of comparative politics, he has conducted field research in Somalia, Yorubaland (Nigeria), Catalonia (Spain), Estonia, and France, all the time focusing on issues of language and religion, and how these cultural phenomena link nation to state. His books include Politics, Language and Thought: The Somali Experience (1977), Hegemony and Culture: Politics and Religious Change among the Yoruba (1986), Language Repertoires and State Construction in Africa (1992), Identity in Formation: The Russian-Speaking Populations in the Near Abroad (1998), and Nations, States and Violence (2007).
Over the past decade, mostly in collaboration with James Fearon, he has published several papers on ethnicity, ethnic cooperation, the sources of civil war, and on policies that work to settle civil wars. Laitin has also collaborated with Alan Krueger on international terrorism and with Eli Berman on suicide terrorism.
In 2008-2009, with support from the National Science Foundation, and with a visiting appointment at Sciences-Po Paris, Laitin conducted ethnographic, survey and experimental research on Muslim integration into France, seeking to assess the magnitude of religious discrimination and isolate the mechanisms that sustain it. The initial results from that project were published in the "Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences" (2010).
Laitin has been a recipient of fellowships from the Howard Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the Russell Sage Foundation. He is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences.
George and Setsuko Ishiyama Provostial Professor and Senior Fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsResearch
My research is in the area of human-environment interactions in land systems. I develop integrated approaches to study land use change by linking remote sensing, GIS and socio-economic data. I aim at better understanding causes and impacts of changes in tropical forests, drylands, and farming systems. I currently focus on three related themes: land use transitions – i.e., the shift from deforestation (or land degradation) to reforestation (or land sparing for nature), – the influence of globalization on land use decisions, and the interactions between public and private governance aimed at promoting sustainable land use. My research is mostly focused on tropical regions in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
I teach a course for graduate and undergraduate students on satellite remote sensing of land (Winter). In Spring, I co-teach a graduate-level course on Earth System Dynamics, including the human dimensions of global environmental changes.
I was Chair of the international scientific project Land Use and Land Cover Change (IGBP/IHDP LUCC) from 1999 to 2005. I also contributed to the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. I am often consulted by international organizations on issues related to tropical deforestation, desertification and the potential role of tropical forests in mitigating climate change. I am Foreign associate at the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. In addition to my research at Stanford, I am involved in several European research projects.
Andrew B. Hammond Professor in French Language, Literature and Civilization, and Professor of Comparative Literature and, by courtesy, of English
BioJoshua Landy is the Andrew B. Hammond Professor of French, Professor of Comparative Literature, and co-director of the Literature and Philosophy Initiative at Stanford, home to a PhD minor and undergraduate major tracks in Philosophy and Literature.
Professor Landy is the author of Philosophy as Fiction: Self, Deception, and Knowledge in Proust (Oxford, 2004) and of How To Do Things with Fictions (Oxford, 2012). He is also the co-editor of two volumes, Thematics: New Approaches (SUNY, 1995, with Claude Bremond and Thomas Pavel) and The Re-Enchantment of the World: Secular Magic in a Rational Age (Stanford, 2009, with Michael Saler). Philosophy as Fiction deals with issues of self-knowledge, self-deception, and self-fashioning in Proust's A la recherche du temps perdu, while raising the question of what literary form contributes to an engagement with such questions; How to Do Things with Fictions explores a series of texts (by Plato, Beckett, Mallarmé, and Mark) that function as training-grounds for the mental capacities.
Professor Landy has appeared on the NPR shows "Forum" and "Philosophy Talk" (on narrative selfhood and on the function of fiction) and has on various occasions been a guest host of Robert Harrison's "Entitled Opinions" (with Lera Boroditsky on Language and Thought, with Michael Saler on Re-Enchantment, with John Perry and Ken Taylor on the Uses of Philosophy, and with Alexander Nehamas on Beauty).
Professor Landy has received the Walter J. Gores Award for Teaching Excellence (1999) and the Dean's Award for Distinguished Teaching (2001).