MLA Faculty

"There is nothing like teaching a group of mature students who come to an evening seminar after a full day of having a life outside of the university. They are among the best, most engaged students I have worked with."

- Paula Findlen, Ubaldo Pierotti Professor of History and, by courtesy, of French and Italian

Stanford's faculty is one of the most distinguished in the nation. It includes 17 Nobel laureates, 4 Pulitzer Prize winners, 18 National Medal of Science winners, 150 members of the National Academy of Sciences, 263 members of the Academy of Arts and Sciences, 94 members of the National Academy of Engineering, and 31 members of the National Academy of Education. 

MLA faculty, who are recruited from among Stanford University’s most distinguished professors, are eager to share their own enthusiasm for their subjects with this group of students. In the small group setting of MLA seminars, students have the opportunity to get to know their professors in a way that many students have never before experienced.

Beverly Allen

Visiting Professor in Comparative Literature

Beverly Allen is Professor Emerita of French, Italian and Comparative Literature at Syracuse University, where she held the William P. Tolley Distinguished Teaching Professorship in The Humanities, and Visiting Professor at Stanford University. She has taught at the University of California, Santa Cruz, Cornell University, and the University of Zagreb and been a fellow at the Stanford Humanities Center and visiting scholar at the Gothenburg University Humanities Center. She has received numerous fellowships and prizes for her scholarship, literary translations, and screenwriting. Rape Warfare, her investigation of Bosnia in wartime, led to her serving as counsel at the U.N. International Criminal Tribunal for The former Yugoslavia.

Jonathan Berger

The Denning Family Provostial Professor in Music and The William R. and Gretchen B. Kimball Fellow in Undergraduate Education

Jonathan Berger is a composer and researcher at Stanford's Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics. His violin concerto, Jiyeh, is slated for release on Harmonia Mundi's Eloquentia label this Fall. Berger is currently writing a chamber opera that will premiere in April 2013. His research includes studies in music cognition, auditory display of data, and research on musical expectations and timbre. Full bio

Russell A. Berman

Walter A. Haas Professor in the Humanities

Russell Berman has been at Stanford since 1979. He is a member of the departments of Comparative Literature and German Studies. He has written widely on modern German and European literature and politics, as well as on issues in contemporary cultural theory. He has been awarded fellowships from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. His publications have twice been awarded the distinguished book award of the German Studies Association. Full bio

Jay Bhattacharya

Associate Professor of Medicine and core faculty of the Center for Health Policy

Professor Bhattacharya's research focuses on the constraints that vulnerable populations face in making decisions that affect their health status, as well as the effects of government policies and programs designed to benefit vulnerable populations. He has published empirical economics and health services research on the elderly, adolescents, HIV/AIDS and managed care. He has been at Stanford since his freshman year in 1984, earning an M.D. and a Ph.D. along the way. He teaches MLA courses on the economics of life and death. Full bio

Eamonn Callan

Professor, School of Education and Pigott Family Professor Associate Dean for Student Affairs

Dr. Callan is a philosopher of education whose work draws heavily on contemporary moral and political theory. His principal interests are in civic and moral education, and in the application of theories of justice and democracy to problems in educational policy and practice. Full bio

Clayborne Carson

Professor of American History and Director of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute

Clayborne Carson has devoted his professional life to the study of Martin Luther King, Jr., and the movements King inspired. Since receiving his doctorate from UCLA in 1975, Dr. Carson has taught at Stanford University, where he is now professor of history and founding director of the Martin Luther King, Jr., Research and Education Institute. In 1985, the late Coretta Scott King invited Dr. Carson to direct a long-term project to edit and publish the papers of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  In 2005, Carson founded the Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute to endow and expand the work of the Kings Papers Project. Under Carson’s direction, the King Papers Project has produced six volumes of The Papers of Martin Luther King, Jr. -- a projected fourteen-volume comprehensive edition of King’s most significant speeches, sermons, correspondence, publications, and unpublished writings.

William Chace

Professor of English, Emeritus

William Chace teaches courses on James Joyce, Irish Fiction, and Poetry. Professor Chace taught in the Department of English at Stanford for twenty years before leaving to become president of Wesleyan University (1988–1994) and then of Emory University (1994–2003). He has written One Hundred Semesters: My Adventures as Student, Professor, and University President, and What I Learned Along the Way. The author of many articles on multiculturalism, political correctness, consumerism and education, he has written two other books—The Political Identities of Ezra Pound and T.S. Eliot and Lionel Trilling: Criticism and Politics.

James P. Daughton

Associate Professor of Modern European History

J.P. Daughton is a historian of modern Europe and European imperialism with a particular interest in political, cultural, and social history. He explores how expansionist and colonialist policies in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries shaped both European and non-European societies, with particular interest in nineteenth and twentieth-century France and the history of French colonialism and imperialism.  His first book, An Empire Divided: Religion, Republicanism, and the Making of French Colonialism, 1880-1914 (2006), examines how conflict between religious missionaries and a host of anticlerical critics defined French colonial policies and “civilizing” ideologies in the empire, especially in Indochina, Madagascar, and Polynesia.  He is currently working on a second book that considers how Europeans understood and responded to instances of violence and humanitarian crises caused or exacerbated by colonialism. He received a J. William Fulbright fellowship for research in France, as well as dissertation fellowships from the Harry Frank Guggenheim and Woodrow Wilson foundations.

Gerald Dorfman

Hoover Senior Fellow and Professor, by courtesy emeritus, of Political Science

Gerald Dorfman is an authority and does research on British and European politics including the European Union. He is also interested in U.S. foreign policy and international relations. Dorfman served in the Agency for International Development, Department of State. He was a professor of political science at Iowa State University, a visiting professor at the University of California at Berkeley, and a distinguished visiting professor at San Jose State University. He co-founded and published the scholarly journals in the social sciences, Politics and Society, Political Methodology, and Educational Policy. Full bio

Bill H. Durham

Bing Professor in Human Biology, Department of Anthropology, and Senior Fellow, Woods Institute for the Environment

Bill Durham is an internationally acclaimed human ecologist. His major contributions have been in the theory of coevolution in human populations, in the causes of scarcity and environmental degradation in Latin America, and in the dual challenges of conservation and community development in the tropics. He won a prestigious MacArthur Fellowship in 1983, and has received fellowships from the Behavioral Sciences Center and the Guggenheim, Danforth, and National Science foundations. Among Durham's specialties is indigenous ecotourism, and his contributions to this field include co-founding the Center for Responsible Travel. Full Bio

Recent MLA courses have been taught by such eminent Stanford faculty as:

Marc Bertrand

Professor of French, Emeritus

Professor Marc Bertrand was raised in France and obtained his Ph.D. in Romance Languages at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the author of L'Oeuvre de Jean Prevost and editor, contributor, and co-author of a number of other publications concerning French literature and cultural history. He is working on Le Roman du bâtard, a book on the contemporary French novel. A recent essay in French Cultural Studies, "L'Ecrit et l'image populaires dans les études d'histoire culturelle," advocated the inclusion of new material from popular culture (17th to 19th century) in the teaching of French cultural history. Professor Bertrand loves Paris past and present: Parisian cultures of the 19th & early 20th century is one of his favorite courses to teach. He has participated in the Stanford in Paris program, lecturing on contemporary French society and culture.

George Hardin Brown

Professor of English, Emeritus

George Brown did his undergraduate studies as a Jesuit at St. Louis University, and, after gaining an advanced degree in philosophy, he received an M.A. in English. In Innsbruck, Austria, he studied theology for four years. After further studies in Europe, he went to Harvard for his doctorate in English. He has studied paleography (Greek and Latin manuscripts) in St. Louis, Los Angeles, Oxford, London, and Rome. Following two years teaching at St. Louis University, Brown came to Stanford in 1971. Recipient of the Dinkelspiel award for his contribution to Stanford education, he teaches Old and Middle English language and literature, history of the English language, post-classical Latin, theology and medieval literature, monasticism, Arthurian literature, humanities, and (in the library department of Special Collections) paleography and codicology.

Bliss Carnochan

Richard W. Lyman Professor in the Humanities, Emeritus

Bliss carnochan is the Richard W. Lyman Professor of the Humanities, Emeritus, and was director of the Stanford Humanities Center from 1985 to 1991. Carnochan's research and writing has focused on 18th-century literature in its cultural and historical settings. Other research interests include prison literature, Victorian culture, and American higher education.

Gordon Chang

Professor of American History and Director, Center for East Asian Studies

Gordon Chang’s research focuses on Asian American history, U.S.-East Asia relations, and U.S. diplomatic history.  He is the author of Chinese American Voices: From the Gold Rush to the Present (2006), Asian Americans and Politics: An Exploration (2001), Morning Glory, Evening Shadow: Yamato Ichihashi and His Wartime Writing, 1942-1945 (1997), Friends and Enemies: The United States, China, and the Soviet Union, 1948-1972 (1990), and senior editor for Asian American Art: A History, 1850-1970 (2008).

Michele Elam

Martin Luther King, Jr. Centennial Professor of English

Michele Elam, Martin Luther King, Jr. Centennial Professor and Olivier Nomellini Family University Fellow in Undergraduate Education, is Professor of English and Director of Curriculum at Stanford University. She is the author of Race, Work, and Desire in American Literature, 1860-1930, and The Souls of Mixed Folk: Race, Politics, and Aesthetics in the New Millenium. She has taught "Slave Narratives" and "The Harlem Renaissance" for the MLA Program. Full bio

Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht

Albert Guérard Professor in Literature in the Departments of Comparative Literature, of French & Italian, of Spanish & Portuguese (by courtesy)

Hans Gumbrecht focuses on the histories of the national literatures in Romance languages (especially French, Spanish, and Brazilian), and on German literature, while, at the same time, he teaches and writes about the western philosophical tradition with an emphasis on French and German nineteenth- and twentieth-century texts. Over the past forty years he has published more than sixteen hundred texts, including books, translated into more than twenty languages. In Europe and in South America, he has a presence as a public intellectual; in the academic world he has been acknowledged by nine honorary doctorates. Full bio.

Van A. Harvey

Professor of Religious Studies, Emeritus

After serving in the Navy in World War II, Professor Harvey earned his Ph.D. at Yale University. He has taught at Princeton, Southern Methodist, and the University of Pennsylvania. He has twice been awarded a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship as well as an honorary doctorate from Occidental College and a Dean's award at Stanford for outstanding teaching. As well as having written many articles, he is the author of A Handbook of Theological Terms, The Historian and the Believer, and the award-winning Feuerbach and the Interpretation of Religion.

Arnold Rampersad

The Sara Hart Kimball Professor in the Humanities, Emeritus

Rush Rehm

Professor of Classics and Drama

Rush Rehm has worked extensively on Greek tragedy. As well as directing many productions of ancient Greek plays (including Stanford Summer Theater's Lysistrata, translated by Amy Freed), Rush has written several books on Greek tragedy, including Radical Theatre: Greek Tragedy in the Modern World (London 2003); The Play of Space: Spatial Transformation in Greek Tragedy (Princeton 2002); Marriage to Death: The Conflation of Wedding and Funeral Rituals in Greek Tragedy (Princeton 1994); Greek Tragic Theatre (Routledge 1992); and Aeschylus' Oresteia: A Theatre Version (Melbourne 1978). For Stanford Summer Theater, Rush has produced summer festivals on many great playwrights, including Chekhov, Brecht, Beckett, Ionesco, Aristophanes, Sophocles, Pinter, Friel, and Shepard.

Paul Robinson, Chair, MLA Faculty Advisory Committee, Richard W. Lyman Professor in the Humanities, Emeritus

Charles Junkerman, Associate Provost and Dean, Continuing Studies

Linda Paulson, Associate Dean and Director, MLA Program

Russell A. Berman, Walter A. Haas Professor in the Humanities

Jay Bhattacharya, Associate Professor of Medicine and core faculty of the Center for Health Policy

William Chace, Professor of English and President Emeritus, Emory University

Eamonn Callan, Pigott Family School of Education Professor

Gerald Dorfman, Hoover Senior Fellow and Professor, by courtesy emeritus, of Political Science

William Durham, Bing Professor in Human Biology, Dept. of  Anthropology, and Senior Fellow, Woods Institute

Barbara Gelpi, Professor of English, Emerita

David Palumbo-Liu, Professor of Comparative Literature

Jeremy Sabol, Lecturer, Structured Liberal Education program

Peter Stansky, Frances and Charles Field Professor of History, Emeritus