School of Humanities and Sciences


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  • 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 at Stanford University. She is also 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.

  • Mikael Wolfe

    Mikael Wolfe

    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.

  • Ali Yaycioglu

    Ali Yaycioglu

    Associate Professor of History

    BioMy main research interest is the Middle East and the Balkans under the Ottoman Empire. In my forthcoming book, Partners of the Empire: Notables, Communities and the Crisis of the Ottoman Order (1770-1820), which is a revised version of my dissertation, I analyze the rise of the provincial notables and different forms of collective actions in various parts of the Ottoman world and their challenge to the empire. I depict how the new provincial formations triggered institutional restructuring of the Ottoman order in the global age of revolutions. Currently, I am working on two different projects. The first one is on capital accumulation and imperial confiscations in the Ottoman Empire, roughly from 16th to the early 19th centuries. In this project, I focus on economic and social implications of imperial confiscations and examine how some individuals and families developed strategies to maintain their wealth and power and to escape from the constant threat of imperial seizure. I also analyze how this instability of property rights affected attitudes towards inheritance, life and mortality in Ottoman society. My other project is on the imaginations of the political spaces in Early Modern Eurasia. In this project, I am particularly interested in the interactions and competitions between territorial organizations of the early modern Eurasian empires, particularly the Ottoman Empire, and exterritorial imaginations and practices of the Islamic and Chingissid legacies.