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American Studies Faculty


Theater and Performance Studies

Jennifer Brody’s research and teaching focus on performance, aesthetics, politics and subjectivity as well as feminist theory, queer studies and contemporary cultural studies. Her work has appeared in Theatre Journal, Signs, Genders, Callaloo, Text and Performance Quarterly and in several edited volumes. Her books, Impossible Purities (Duke University Press, 1998) and Punctuation: Art, Politics and Play (Duke University Press, 2008) both discuss relations among and between sexuality, gender, racialization, visual studies and performance. She is the Drama Department Chair, Professor of Theater & Performance Studies and Affiliate in the CCSRE, Professor of Cultural Studies, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Race Theory, and Performance Studies. She has served as the President of the Women and Theatre Program, on the board of Women and Performance and has worked with the Ford and Mellon Foundations. She co-produced “The Theme is Blackness” festival of black plays in Durham, NC, and curated “Ultra Super” at the Franklin Humanities Center at Duke University. Currently, she is working with colleagues the re-publication of James Baldwin’s illustrated book, Little Man, Little Man and a new book about the intersections of sculpture and performance.

Art & Art History

Scott Bukatman’s interests include film theory, science fiction, electronic cultures and technology in cinema, and musicals, with a focus on American, German, Japanese and Soviet films. He is currently a professor in the Film and Media Studies Program of Department of Art and Art History. His recent book publications include The Poetics of Slumberland: Animated Spirits and the Animating Spirit and Matters of Gravity: Special Effects & Supermen in the 20th Century. His essay “Some Observations on Cartoon Physics, or The Cartoon Cat in the Machine” was featured in Karen Beckman’s Animating Film Theory in 2013. Professor Bukatman received his Ph.D. in Cinema Studies from New York University and his B.A. in Semiotics from Brown University.

Director, Bill Lane Center for the American West

Bruce Cain is an expert in U.S. politics, and particularly the politics of California and the American West. A pioneer in computer-assisted redistricting, he is a prominent scholar of elections, political regulation, and the relationships between lobbyists and elected officials. 

Prior to joining Stanford, Professor Cain was Director of the Institute of Governmental Studies at UC Berkeley from 1990-2007 and Executive Director of the UC Washington Center from 2005-2012.  He was elected the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2000 and has won awards for his research (Richard F. Fenno Prize, 1988), teaching (Caltech 1988 and UC Berkeley 2003) and public service (Zale Award for Outstanding Achievement in Policy Research and Public Service, 2000).  He is currently working on state regulatory processes and stakeholder involvement in the areas of water, energy and the environment.



James Campbell’s research focuses on African American history and the wider history of the black Atlantic. He is particularly interested in the long history of interconnections and exchange between Africa and America, a history that began in the earliest days of the transatlantic slave trade and continues into our own time.  In recent years, his research has also moved in the direction of so-called “public history.”  He is intrigued by the ways in which societies tell stories about their pasts, not only in textbooks and academic monographs but also in historic sites, museums, memorials, movies, and political movements. His book publications include Songs of Zion: The African Methodist Episcopal Church in the United States and South AfricaMiddle Passages: African American Journeys to Africa, 1787-2005, and Race, Nation, and Empire in American Life. He is currently the Edgar E. Robinson Professor of U.S. History. Professor Campbell received the Community and Justice Award, Rhode Island for Community and Justice, for work with Brown University’s Steering Committee on Slavery and Justice in 2007. His book Middle Passages: African American Journeys to Africa, 1787-2006 was a 2007 finalist for Pulitzer Prize in History, and the recipient of Columbia School of Journalism and Nieman Foundation’s Mark Lynton History Prize, and New England American Studies Association’s Lois P. Rudnik Prize.


I am interested in two areas of American life that are often considered separately. The historical connections between race and ethnicity in America, on the one hand, and foreign relations, on the other are in fact profound. I explore these interconnections in my teaching and scholarship. My particular area of focus is trans-Pacific relations, the inter-connections between East Asia and America.I am interested in political, social, and cultural interactions from the earliest days of America to the present.My current research project concerns the recovery and interpretation of the experiences of Chinese railroad workers in North America. Please go to for more information.

Michele Elam

Michele Elam is Olivier Nomellini Family University Fellow in Undergraduate Education and Martin Luther King Jr. Centennial Professor of English; she is past Director of African & African American Studies. Affiliated with the Michelle R. Clayman Insitute for Gender Studies, Feminist Studies, African & African American Studies, and Comparative Studies in Race & Ethnicity,  Elam is the recipient of the St Clair Drake Outstanding Teaching Award at Stanford (in both 2004 and 2006) and the CSRE Faculty Recognition Award for Outstanding Teaching, Mentorship and Advising (2013). Her books, Race Work and Desire in American Literature (Cambridge Univ. Press, 2003) and The Souls of Mixed Folk: Race, Politics and Aesthetics (Stanford Univ. Press, 2011) reflect also her teaching interests, which range widely from African American literature and culture; the study of race-mixing and cross-cultural experience; literature by women of color; art and activism. Her interests span the 18th-21st centuries.


James Fishkin holds the Janet M. Peck Chair in International Communication at Stanford University where he is Professor of Communication and Professor of Political Science. He is also Director of Stanford’s Center for Deliberative Democracy and Chair of the Dept of Communication. He is the author of a number of books including Democracy and Deliberation: New Directions for Democratic Reform (1991), The Dialogue of Justice (1992), The Voice of the People: Public Opinion and Democracy (1995). With Bruce Ackerman he is co-author of Deliberation Day (Yale Press, 2004). Oxford University Press published his most recent book When the People Speak: Deliberative Democracy and Public Consultation in fall 2009. He is best known for developing Deliberative Polling® – a practice of public consultation that employs random samples of the citizenry to explore how opinions would change if they were more informed. Professor Fishkin and his collaborators have conducted Deliberative Polls in the US, Britain, Australia, Denmark, Bulgaria, China, Greece and other countries.

Director, Program in American Studies / English

Shelley Fisher Fishkin's broad, interdisciplinary research interests have led her to focus on topics including the ways in which American writers' apprenticeships in journalism shaped their poetry and fiction; the influence of African American voices on canonical American literature; the need to desegregate American literary studies; American theatre history; the development of feminist criticism; the relationship between public history and literary history; literature and animal welfare; the role literature can play in the fight against racism; the place of humor and satire in movements for social justice; digital humanities; and the challenge of doing transnational American Studies. Dr. Fishkin is the author, editor or co-editor of over forty books and has published over one hundred articles, essays, columns, and reviews. Her work has been translated into Arabic, Spanish, Japanese, Chinese, Russian, Georgian, and Italian, and has been published in English-language journals in Turkey, Japan, and Korea.


Estelle Freedman is a U.S. historian specializing in women's history and feminist studies. Her contributions to teaching have been recognized by the Dinkelspiel Award for Outstanding Service to Undergraduate Education, the Dean's Award for Distinguished Teaching, the Rhodes Prize for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching at Stanford, and the Kahn-Van Slyke Graduate Mentoring Award at Stanford, as well as the Nancy Lyman Roelker Mentorship Award for graduate mentorship from the American Historical Association. Professor Freedman's research interests include the history of women and social reform, including feminism and prison reform, as well as the history of sexuality. The role of women in movements for social reform, including feminism and women's prison reform, is a longstanding concern. Her current book project draws on interdisciplinary feminist scholarship to explore the influence of feminism in the West and its relationship to broader movements for women's rights and social change throughout the world. Her most recent book, The Essential Feminist Reader (2007), is an edited anthology of 64 primary documents from feminist history around the world spanning the fifteenth to the twenty-first centuries. Feminism, Sexuality, and Politics (University of North Carolina Press, 2006) is a collection of eight previously published and three new essays. No Turning Back: The History of Feminism and the Future of Women (Ballantine Books, 2002) explores feminism in the West and its relationship to broader movements for women's rights and social change throughout the world. She is currently studying the history of sexual violence in America.


Jonathan Gienapp is a scholar of Revolutionary and early republican America who is particularly interested in the period’s constitutionalism, political culture, and intellectual history. His book, The Second Creation: Fixing the American Constitution in the Founding Era (Harvard University Press, 2018), rethinks the conventional story of American constitutional creation by exploring how and why founding-era Americans’ understanding of their Constitution transformed in the earliest years of the document’s existence. He has also written on a range of topics pertaining to early American constitutionalism and interpretation, early national political culture, originalism and modern constitutional theory, and the study of the history of ideas.

American Studies

William Gow is a San Francisco-based historian, educator, and documentary filmmaker who is joining the American Studies program as a lecturer for the 2018-2019 academic year. Bridging methodologies from social history and cultural studies, William examines Asian American engagement with film and popular culture in the United States between the late nineteenth century and the present. A proud product of San Francisco’s public school system, William holds a Master’s degree in Asian American Studies from UCLA and a Ph.D. in Ethnic Studies with a designated emphasis in Film Studies from UC Berkeley. He previously served as a public historian and board member at the Chinese Historical Society of Southern California in Los Angeles Chinatown.

William received his undergraduate degree from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts with departmental honors in Cinema Studies and double major in History. His first documentary video More to the Chinese Side (co-directed with Sharon Heijin Lee in 2003) was a first person examination of his parents’ interracial marriage and his own mixed race identity. The documentary was nominated for the Golden Reel Award at the Visual Communications Asian American Film Festival in Los Angeles. William is currently working on a book tentatively entitled, Performing Chinatown, which examines the history of Los Angeles Chinatown and its relationship to Hollywood cinema during the Chinese exclusion era. William’s work has appeared in Pacific Historical Review, Amerasia Journal, and the CHSSC’s Gum Saan Journal.



Allyson Hobb’s research focuses on African American social and cultural history, African American women's history and twentieth century American history. She is particularly interested in identity formation, racial mixture, migration and urbanization and the intersections of race, class and gender. Her research considers the interplay between the physical practice of passing and the psychic tolls that passing exacted. Drawing on historical sources as well as literature and film, her dissertation argues that passing was never an entirely individualistic or opportunistic enterprise. Instead, her work turns on the communal politics of passing and reveals the centrality of family relationships to the practice of passing. Her research focuses on nineteenth and early twentieth century African American social and cultural history; in particular, racial mixture and miscegenation, racial identity, migration, and the intersections of race, class and respectability. Her current book project examines the phenomenon of racial passing in the United States from the late eighteenth century to the present, in which she argues that racial passing, the practice by which light-skinned African Americans deliberately chose to present themselves as white, opens a window onto the enduring problem of race in American society and onto the personal and intimate meanings of race and racial identity for African Americans.


Gavin Jones is department Chair. He is the author of Strange Talk: The Politics of Dialect Literature in Gilded Age America (University of California Press, 1999), American Hungers: The Problem of Poverty in U.S. Literature, 1840-1945 (Princeton University Press, 2007), and Failure and the American Writer: A Literary History (Cambridge University Press, 2014). He has published articles on George W. Cable, Theodore Dreiser, W.E.B. DuBois, Sylvester Judd, Paule Marshall, Mark Twain, and Herman Melville, in journals such as American Literary History, New England Quarterly, and African American Review. Jones recently edited a new version of a neglected classic of American literature, Sylvester Judd's "transcendental novel," Margaret: A Tale of the Real and Ideal, Blight and Bloom. He is currently planning a new project about John Steinbeck.

Ari Kelman

Ari Kelman is interested in research at the intersection of Education and Jewish Studies, with an emphasis on the myriad ways in which people cultivate ethnic and religious identities and practices. His research focuses on questions of culture in all its manifestations including the material, aural, visual, and ideological. He is the coordinator of the Concentration in Education and Jewish Studies. Professor Kelman is the author of Station Identification: A Cultural History of Yiddish Radio (California, 2009), the editor of Is Diss a System?: A Milt Gross Comic Reader (NYU, 2010), and a co-author of Sacred Strategies: Transforming Synagogues from Functional to Visionary (Alban Institute, 2011). He is also the author of a number of articles about contemporary Jewish identity and culture, among other things. Professor Kelman is currently completing a book that explores the culture of contemporary evangelical worship music. The book examines how songwriters, worship leaders, and music industry professionals understand the role of songs as both vehicles for and practices of faith and identity. He is also writing a collection of essays entitled "Learning to be Jewish," that takes a case study approach to questions about how people learn to be Jewish. The book will take an interdisciplinary approach to a variety of sites from Fiddler on the Roof to the Crackow Jewish Festival. "Learning to be Jewish" approaches its subjects with a sense that much of how people understand themselves in relation to Jewish communities, beliefs, practices, and texts is learned well beyond formal and informal educational structures.

Elizabeth Kessler
American Studies- Program Coordinator

Elizabeth Kessler’s research and teaching focus on twentieth and twenty-first century American visual culture. Her diverse interests include: the role of aesthetics, visual culture, and media in modern and contemporary science, especially astronomy; the interchange between technology and ways of seeing and representing; the history of photography; and the representation of fashion in different media. Her first book, Picturing the Cosmos: Hubble Space Telescope Images and the Astronomical Sublime, on the aesthetics of deep space images, was published in 2012. She’s currently writing on book on extraterrestrial time capsules, as well as developing a new project on fashion photography.


Special Fields: Music since World War II; American Popular Music; Film and Media Theory; Comparative and Counter-Modernities; Music and Poetry. Current research concerns the ways that modern artistic genres condition, depict, embody and help to transform the activity of thinking.

Articles and book-chapters published and forthcoming on Schoenberg, John Cage and Elliott Carter, soul, funk and disco, urban cinema, and such philosophical subjects as composers’ intentions, the role of accidents in theory, Theodor Adorno’s aesthetics, and the relevance of African American music to current debates about the "post-secular". Completing two books, Live Genres in Late Modernity and Different Methods, Different Signs: Crediting Thinking in Soul and Dance Music.

Doctoral Fellowship at the UC-Humanities Research Institute; Society for the Humanities Fellowship at Cornell University.

Taught music, film and cultural theory at Wayne State University. Undergraduate courses include World Music and Globalized Culture (Stanford), The Soul Tradition (Stanford), History of Music: 1800 to the Present (Wayne State), Music and Representation (Wayne State), Ethics and Communication (Wayne State). Graduate courses include Genres and Politics in the Late-Modern Work (Stanford), Analyzing Modern Song (Wayne State), Music and Urban Film (Wayne State), Sensing Thinking (Cornell).


Art & Art History
Assistant Professor, Art & Art History

Marci Kwon specializes in art and culture of the United States. Her research and teaching interests include the intersection of fine art and vernacular practice, theories of modernism, cultural exchange between Asia and the Americas, "folk" and "self-taught" art, and issues of race and objecthood. Her current book project considers the work of Joseph Cornell and the desire for a populist art in the mid-century United States. She is also working on a study of the intersections of art and anthropology in American modernism.

Religious Studies and, by courtesy, History

Kathryn Gin Lum is Assistant Professor in the Religious Studies Department in collaboration with the Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity at Stanford. She is affiliated with American Studies, Asian American Studies, and History (by courtesy). Her teaching and research focus on the lived ramifications of religious beliefs and on the intersections between religion and race in America. Her first book, Damned Nation: Hell in America from the Revolution to Reconstruction (Oxford University Press, 2014), asks how widespread belief in hell influenced Americans’ perceptions of themselves and the rest of the world in the first century of nationhood. She is currently co-editing the Oxford Handbook of Religion and Race in American History and is developing a book on the history of the “heathen” in America.


Douglas McAdam is currently working on three major research projects. The first is a comprehensive follow-up study of all accepted applicants to the Teach for America (TFA) Program between 1993-1998. The study is primarily interested in assessing the longer-term “civic effects” of the TFA experience. The second project seeks to understand the factors that shape county-level variation in arson attacks on churches in the U.S. between 1996-2001. The specific question of interest is whether a history of racial conflict in the county is related to the burning of African-American churches. Finally, Professor McAdam is collaborating with Professor Rob Sampson (sociology, Harvard) in an ongoing study of neighborhood activism in Chicago between 1970-2005. The goal is to better understand the structural factors and dynamic processes that shape the capacity of neighborhood groups to organize and act on their own behalf.

Art & Art History

Richard Meyer studies modern and contemporary art, with an emphasis on twentieth-century American art, cultural studies, gay and lesbian studies, censorship and the public sphere, and the history of photography. His research is particularly concerned with the ongoing cultural debate over sexuality and gender and its effects upon modern art and visual culture. Professor Meyer's work has appeared in a variety of venues, ranging from art journals and museum publications to anthologies of lesbian and gay theory and literary criticism. He recently completed two book projects: Art and Queer Culture, 1885-present, an illustrated survey, and What was Contemporary Art? a short history of the idea of contemporary art in the United States during the last 100 years.


Ana Raquel Minian is an Associate Professor in the Department of History. Her first book, Undocumented Lives: The Untold Story of Mexican Migration (Harvard University Press, 2018) explores how unauthorized migration from Mexico to the United States became an entrenched phenomenon in the years between 1965 and 1986. In this period, Mexican policymakers, US authorities, and Mexican communities of high out-migration came to reject the long-term presence of Mexican working-class men. In Mexico, the country’s top politicians began to view men’s migration with favor as a way of alleviating national economic problems. In the United States, migrants were classified as “illegal aliens.” Migrants’ permanent residence was also denied at the local level. When they resided in Mexico, their communities pressured them to head north to make money. But when they lived in the United States, their families insisted that they return home. As a result migrants described themselves as being “from neither here nor there” (“Ni de aquí ni de allá”). They responded to their situation by engaging in circular, undocumented migration and by creating their own cartographies of belonging. Migrants resisted the idea that they were superfluous in Mexico by becoming indispensable economic agents through the remittances they sent; they countered their illegality in the United States by establishing that they deserved constitutional rights; and they diminished the pressures enacted by their communities by reconfiguring the very meaning of community life. These efforts provided migrants with at least partial inclusion in the multiple locales in which they lived; however, that inclusion was only possible because they resided, at least part of their time, in the United States. In 1986, the US Congress passed the Immigration Reform and Control Act, which made it more difficult to cross the border. By then, however, undocumented migration had already become a self-perpetuating phenomenon. Thereafter, migrants settled permanently in the United States and dared not return to Mexico. Rather than feeling “pushed” from all the spaces in which they resided, they now felt trapped in the United States, which they started calling “La Jaula de Oro” (The Golden Cage).

A version of a chapter of my book entitled “De Terruño a Terruño: Re-imagining Belonging through Clubes Sociales,” was published in the Journal of American History in June 2017. It analyzes the growth of migrant organizations that sent aid to Mexico from Los Angeles between the early 1960s to the mid-1980s. Beyond work from my book, I also published “‘Indiscriminate and Shameless Sex’: The Strategic Use of Sexuality by the United Farm Workers” in American Quarterly in 2013. This article examines the ways in which the union used a sexual discourse to propagate its labor goals.

Minian's second book project, No Man’s Lands: North American Migration and the Remaking of Peoples and Places, examines how during the late Cold War and its aftermath, U.S. officials created new spaces and territories designed to prevent Latin American and Spanish-speaking Caribbean migrants from entering the United States. Rather than a thought-out and coherent project, these various spatial enterprises were designed haphazardly in response to particular incidents and migrations.

Minian is also writing a history about immigration detention in the United States


Moya is the author of The Social Imperative: Race, Close Reading, and Contemporary Literary Criticism (Stanford UP 2016) and Learning From Experience: Minority Identities, Multicultural Struggles (UC Press 2002). She has co-edited three collections of original essays including Doing Race: 21 Essays for the 21st Century (W.W. Norton, Inc. 2010), Identity Politics Reconsidered (Palgrave 2006) and Reclaiming Identity: Realist Theory and the Predicament of Postmodernism (UC Press 2000). 

Her teaching and research focus on twentieth-century and early twenty-first century literary studies, feminist theory, critical theory, narrative theory, American cultural studies, interdisciplinary approaches to race and ethnicity, and Chicano/a and U.S. Latina/o studies.

At Stanford, Moya has served as the Director of the Program of Modern Thought and Literature, Vice Chair of the Department of English, and the Director of the Undergraduate Program of the Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity. She has also been the faculty coordinator of several faculty-graduate student research networks sponsored by the Stanford Humanities Center, the Research Institute for the Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity, and Modern Thought and Literature. They include The Interdisciplinary Working Group in Critical Theory (2015-2016, 2012-2014), Feminist Theory (2007-08, 2002-03), Americanity / Coloniality / Modernity (2006-07), and How Do Identities Matter? (2003-06).

She was also a founding organizer and coordinating team member of The Future of Minority Studies research project (FMS), an inter-institutional, interdisciplinary, and multigenerational research project facilitating focused and productive discussions about the democratizing role of minority identity and participation in a multicultural society.

Moya is a recipient of the Dean’s Award for Distinguished Teaching, a Ford Foundation postdoctoral fellowship, the Outstanding Chicana/o Faculty Member award. She has been a Brown Faculty Fellow, a Clayman Institute Fellow, and is currently a CCSRE Faculty Research Fellow. 

Political Science

Clayton Nall's research explains how policies that manipulate geographic space change American elections, issue politics, and public policy.  Clayton's book manuscript, The Road to Conflict: How the American Highway System Divides Communities and Polarizes Politics, examines how the largest public works project in U.S. history created Republican suburbs, increased the urban-suburban political divide, broke apart political networks in urban neighborhoods, and polarized issue politics.  A version of this manuscript won the Harvard Department of Government’s Toppan Prize for best dissertation in political science.  Clayton's other research projects encompass public policy, causal inference, political geography, and American political development.

Art & Art History

A scholar of American art, Alex Nemerov writes about the presence of art, the recollection of the past, and the importance of the humanities in our lives today. Committed to teaching the history of art more broadly as well as topics in American visual culture--the history of American photography, for example--he is a noted writer and speaker on the arts. His new book, Wartime Kiss: Visions of the Moment in the 1940s, was published by Princeton University Press in 2012. Other recent books are To Make a World: George Ault and 1940s America (2011), the catalogue to the exhibition of the same title he curated at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and Acting in the Night: Macbeth and the Places of the Civil War (2010).

Hilton Obenzinger writes fiction, poetry, history and criticism. He has most recently published Beginning: The Immigration Poems, 1924-1926, of Nachman Obzinger, poems by his father translated from the Yiddish by Benjamin Weiner, edited by Hilton  Obenzinger.


Jack Rakove is the William Robertson Coe Professor of History and American Studies and professor of political science and (by courtesy) law at Stanford, where he has taught since 1980. His principal areas of research include the origins of the American Revolution and Constitution, the political practice and theory of James Madison, and the role of historical knowledge in constitutional litigation. He is the author of six books, including Original Meanings: Politics and Ideas in the Making of the Constitution (1996), which won the Pulitzer Prize in History, and Revolutionaries: A New History of the Invention of America (2010), which was a finalist for the George Washington Prize, and the editor of seven others, including The Unfinished Election of 2000 (2001). He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and a past president of the Society for the History of the Early American Republic.


Vaughn Rasberry studies African American literature, global Cold War culture, the European Enlightenment and its critics, postcolonial theory, and philosophical theories of modernity. As a Fulbright scholar in 2008-09, he taught in the American Studies department at the Humboldt University Berlin and lectured on African American literature throughout Germany. His current book project, Race and the Totalitarian Century, questions the notion that desegregation prompted African American writers and activists to acquiesce in the normative claims of postwar liberalism. Challenging accounts that portray black cultural workers in various postures of reaction to larger forces--namely U.S. liberalism or Soviet communism--his project argues instead that many writers were involved in a complex national and global dialogue with totalitarianism, the defining geopolitical discourse of the twentieth century.


Judith Richardson's research interests include nineteenth- and twentieth-century American literature and culture: place and historical memory; technology and culture; regionalism; women's studies; popular culture; folklore.


Ramón Saldívar's teaching and research areas at Stanford have concentrated on the areas of cultural studies, literary theory, modernism, Chicano narrative, and Post-colonial literature. He is also interested in the history of the novel and nineteenth- and early twentieth-century British and American comparative studies. With a degree in Comparative Literature, his publications reflect the variety of his interests. His first book, Figural Language in the Novel: The Flowers of Speech from Cervantes to Joyce (1984), was a study of the authority of meaning in selected canonical European and American novels. His second book, Chicano Narrative: The Dialectics of Difference (1990), is a history of the development of Chicano narrative forms. His most recent book, titled The Borderlands of Culture: Américo Paredes and the Transnational Imaginary (2006), is a study of the modern American borderlands, transnationalism and globalism and their role in creating and delimiting agents of history.


Fred Turner’s research and teaching focus on media technology and cultural change. He is especially interested in the ways that emerging media have helped shape American life since World War II. Turner is the author of three books: The Democratic Surround: Multimedia and American Liberalism from World War II to the Psychedelic SixtiesFrom Counterculture to Cyberculture: Stewart Brand, the Whole Earth Network and the Rise of Digital Utopianism; and Echoes of Combat: The Vietnam War in American Memory. His essays have tackled topics ranging from the rise of reality crime television to the role of the Burning Man festival in contemporary new media industries. They are available here: Turner is currently the Director of Stanford’s Program in Science Technology, and Society, and Director of Undergraduate Studies in Communication. He is also the Akiko Yamazaki and Jerry Yang University Fellow in Undergraduate Education.

Margaret Jacks Professor of Education and Professor of History (by courtesy)

Sam Wineburg's work engages questions of identity and history in modern society: how today's youth use the past to construct individual and collective identities. Increasingly his work focuses on how young people learn about world through digital media; specifically, in the digital Wild West what do they decide to believe or reject? Over the last fifteen years his interests have spanned a wide terrain, from how adolescents and professional historians interpret primary sources to issues of teacher assessment and teacher community in the workplace. His book, Historical Thinking and Other Unnatural Acts, won the 2002 Frederic W. Ness Award from the Association of American Colleges and Universities for the book "that best illuminates the goals and practices of a contemporary liberal education." From 2007-2009 he was the Executive Director of the Department of Education's National Clearinghouse for History Education, a collaboration between George Mason University, Stanford, and the American Historical Association. With the late Roy N. Rosenzweig, he created the award-winning website, He directs the Stanford History Education Group, a research and development outfit dedicated to improving history instruction in the US and abroad, whose materials have been downloaded over 3.5 million times since 2009. In 2013 he was awarded an honorary doctorate from Sweden's Umeå University and the following year he was named the Obama-Nehru Distinguished Chair by the US-India Fulbright Commission.


Caroline Winterer is an intellectual and cultural historian of early America in its transatlantic contexts. Her focus is the history of scholarship, books, reading, libraries, and education, as well as the history of art and material culture. She is also interested in the many ways in which early Americans have made sense of the past, from the deep past of earth history to the more recent antiquity of ancient Mediterranean peoples and American Indians. She is currently working on Stanford’s collaborative Mapping the Republic of Letters project, which is digitally mapping some of the major European and American correspondence networks and libraries of the early modern scholarly world (1500-1800). As part of this project she is mapping the extensive correspondence network of Benjamin Franklin, as well as the holdings of the Library Company of Philadelphia, the leading library of Enlightenment America.


Gavin Wright's main interest is American economic history, specifically, historical sources of American economic performance, U.S. technology as a network phenomenon, and slavery and the economic development of the American South. A new project involves property rights and the California Gold Rush.

Hoover Institute

Amy Zegart is the Davies Family Senior Fellow and Associate Director of Academic Affairs at the Hoover Institution. She is also Co-director of Stanford's Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC), and holds courtesy appointments as Professor of Political Economy in the Graduate School of Business and Professor of Political Science. Before coming to Stanford in 2011, she served as Professor of Public Policy at UCLA’s Luskin School of Public Affairs.

Zegart’s research examines the organization of American national security agencies and their effectiveness. She is the author of two award-winning books. Flawed by Design, which chronicles the development of the Central Intelligence Agency, Joint Chiefs of Staff, and National Security Council, won the highest national dissertation award in political science. Spying Blind, which examines why American intelligence agencies failed to adapt to the terrorist threat before 9/11, won the National Academy of Public Administration’s Brownlow Book Award. She has also published in International SecurityPolitical Science Quarterly, and other leading academic journals. She serves on the editorial boards of Terrorism and Political Violence and Intelligence and National Security. Her most recent book is Eyes on Spies: Congress and the United States Intelligence Community.

Additional Faculty

Academic Advising Director;Lecturer, American Studies

Christina Mesa has served as an Academic Advising Director for Academic Advising, part of the Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education, since the Academic Advising Director program began in 2004. She works with students on choosing courses and majors, connecting to faculty, getting involved in research, requesting exceptions to University policy, and managing academics in the context of difficult situations.

Christina began her career with Stanford’s Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education teaching for Introduction to the Humanities (1998-9) and Structured Liberal Education (SLE), a humanities program for first-year students (1999-2005). She has taught at Mills College and continues to teach at Stanford in American Studies. Courses taught include: Americans in Paris, Black and White Race Relations in American Fiction and Film, Jefferson in Paris, On the Road, American Automobility in Fiction and Film, Ten Ways to Study the Car, and Designing a Life in the Humanities, with Clare Whistler. Christina earned her undergraduate degree in Political Science, and her PhD in Modern Thought and Literature. Projects currently in progress: American History of Black and White Race Relations in Film, with Eric Roth, Routledge, 2020. Fugitive Flâneur: Following the Footsteps of William Wells Brown in England and France, with Cairn Macfarland-Whistler, Locomotion and Automobility in Modern Literature, and Nella's Solo (a black and white film).