Humanities

classroom scene

Perseverance key to children's intellectual growth, Stanford scholar says

Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck says that children are more motivated when they are told their intelligence or talents can grow and expand. "Grit" is also important for children and adults alike because, when facing challenges, setbacks are inevitable.

student working at laptop computer / ESTUDI M6/Shutterstock

Online 'mindset' interventions help students do better in school, Stanford research shows

Stanford researchers found that brief Internet-based interventions that instill a "growth mindset" and a sense of purpose can improve learning, especially for struggling students. These interventions could potentially reach vast numbers of students at low cost.

actress/playwright Anna Deavere Smith / Courtesy Stanford Live

Stanford Live expands its mission with 2015-16 season

Next year's Stanford Live season will feature three events with Anna Deavere Smith and a new work by Stanford composer Jonathan Berger for the Kronos Quartet. Other highlights include appearances by Chick Corea and Béla Fleck, Bernadette Peters, Arlo Guthrie and scratch DJ Kid Koala.

bridge on the Congo-Ocean Railway / Archives nationales d'outre mer

Stanford historian uncovers the dark roots of humanitarianism

Through a study of the history of the French colonial Congo-Océan Railway, Stanford historian JP Daughton has discovered how modern humanitarianism arose from the brutality of European colonialism.

Oprah Winfrey with the Rev. Jane Shaw in background / L.A. Cicero

Oprah Winfrey delivers 2015 "Harry's Last Lecture" at Stanford University

Oprah Winfrey shared her vision for a meaning life with the Stanford community as the Rathbun Visiting Fellow for 2015.  

Oprah Winfrey and Jane Shaw

A spiritual practice is the foundation of a meaningful life, Oprah Winfrey tells Stanford audience

At the end of her daylong visit to Stanford, Oprah Winfrey delivered "Harry's Last Lecture on a Meaningful Life."  

religious camp meeting ca. 1829 / H. Bridport/Wikimedia

Stanford scholar reveals how fears of damnation undergird American history

Drawing on 18th-and 19th-century writings, religious studies scholar Kathryn Gin Lum shows how the concept of "hell" influenced religion, politics and social reform.  

Marine and Jean-Marie Le Pen

Stanford scholar unpacks the rhetoric behind extremist politician's mainstream success

A pioneering textual analysis of French political speeches led by Stanford Professor of French Cécile Alduy reveals how Marine Le Pen, leader of France's surging far-right National Front, has made extremism palatable in a land of republican values.

Dancers with Parkinson's disease

Stanford Dance Division brings documentary about dancing with Parkinson's to campus

Stanford faculty and students explore approaching Parkinson's disease with intentional movement. Screening of documentary Capturing Grace by a Stanford alumnus is the centerpiece of two days of events during Parkinson's Awareness Month.

Black student

Teachers more likely to label black students as troublemakers, Stanford research shows

Stanford psychologists Jennifer Eberhardt and Jason Okonofua experimentally examined the psychological processes involved when teachers discipline black students more harshly than white students.

Stanford students planting trees

Sense of youthful purpose driven by action, passion, says Stanford researcher

Stanford education Professor William Damon says that research shows that while young people can sometimes struggle with a sense of purpose, they are likely to find it in concrete and action-oriented goals.

Henri Edmond Cross (France, 1856–1910), Trees (Arbres), 1909.

Stanford art history scholar explores nature and culture in frost and forests

George Philip LeBourdais, a doctoral student in Stanford's Department of Art & Art History, applies his research on Arctic artistry and ecology to curate an exhibition on how trees inform human judgment and imagination. The exhibition opens April 15 at the Cantor Arts Center.

People gathered near remnants of the Berlin Wall / Paolo Bona/Shutterstock

Political disruptions generated economic collapses in post-communist states, Stanford scholar says

New Stanford research on socialist countries' transitions to market systems in the 1990s found that the longer the decline of that country's communist system before regime change and the greater the uncertainty over state ownership of assets, the more likely the country fell into a long decline.

Mischa Shoni in the studio / Courtesy Mischa Shoni

Stanford undergrads explore the power of storytelling with audio documentaries

From orphans in Ghana to drag queens in San Francisco – Stanford students in a storytelling program have learned about communities, events and traditions both foreign and familiar. In April the latest audio documentaries will be aired on campus radio station KZSU and released online on the Stanford Storytelling website.

Russell Berman / L.A. Cicero

Stanford scholar with an international voice

Russell Berman, a professor of German studies and of comparative literature, is the chair of the Faculty Senate. He is an international voice for foreign language study and for reforming PhD programs in the humanities. He also is an expert on cultural and political relations between Europe and the United States.