School of Humanities and Sciences
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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, of Anthropology and of Comparative Literature
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsI am currently working on two book projects through which I am continuing to develop insights into ethnoracial, linguistic, and educational formations. The first offers frameworks for understanding ethnoracial contradictions across distinctive societal contexts by interweaving ethnographic analysis of diasporic Puerto Rican experiences and broader constructions of Latinidad that illustrate race and ethnicity as colonial and communicative predicaments. The second spotlights decolonial approaches to the creation of collective well-being through educational and societal transformations based on longstanding community collaborations in Chicago.
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.
Associate Director, Center for Latin American Studies
Current Role at StanfordElizabeth provides administrative leadership for the Center. She oversees Center programming, administering various fellowship and grant programs and visiting professorships, including a U.S. Department of Education National Resource Center grant, Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowships, and the Tinker Visiting Professorship. She directs undergraduate and graduate degree programs, manages the Center’s budget, fundraising, and outreach, and supervises the administrative staff. She supports and advises the Director in developing and setting program priorities, in policy and decision making, in liaising with other units on campus, and in representing the Center on and off campus. She serves as an academic advisor for LAS degree candidates.
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 of Humanities and Sciences and Professor of English, of Comparative Literature and, 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.