Stanford University
Our Team
CESTA Lab Affiliates
Laura Eidem
Lab Manager, Literary Lab
Laura Eidem is a PhD candidate in Stanford's Department of English. Her interests lie in the digital humanities and computational literary history, particularly in researching the geographic change of literature's settings over the course of the 18th and 19th centuries.

Claudia Engel
Claudia Engel is an Academic Technology Specialist and Lecturer at the Department of Anthropology. She holds a doctorate degree in Anthropology. Her work centers around the academic uses of technology. She has been involved in anthropological projects that explore and apply innovative technologies, including the use of iPads in anthropological field research or the use of linked open data for archaeological repositories. In recent years she has increasingly become involved in spatial analysis and GIS and teaches a course on "Spatial Approaches in the Social Sciences." Claudia is co-organizer of the Spatial and GIS Special Interest Group at Stanford.
Jon Felt
Jason Heppler
Academic Technology Specialist, History
Jason A. Heppler is the Academic Technology Specialist for the Department of History at Stanford University. Before coming to Stanford, he served as the project manager on the William F. Cody Digital Archive at the Center for Digital Research in the Humanities at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and has created or consulted on various digital history research projects over the last several years. He took a B.A. from South Dakota State University, an M.A. from UNL, and is currently working on his dissertation through UNL under the direction of Patrick Jones. Jason's research and teaching interests include the North American West, spatial humanities, digital history, information visualization, urban and environmental history.
Teri Hessel
Researcher, Chinese Railroad Workers Project
Teri Hessel has a BA in American History from UC Santa Barbara and a MLA from Stanford University.  She has a particular interest in literature by 19th century marginalized groups in America as demonstrated by her thesis “Frank J. Webb’s The Garies and Their Friends: A Reconsideration of an Early African American Novel.”  Happiest in the stacks with their tantalizing possibility of discovery, Teri will investigate primary sources to help recover the 19th century Chinese experience in America.
Denise Khor
Director of Research, Chinese Railroad Workers Project
Denise is Visiting Scholar at Stanford’s Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity. She received her Ph.D. in Ethnic Studies at UC San Diego and her research interests include 20th century U.S. social and cultural history, comparative ethnic studies, Asian American history, and cinema studies. She held a postdoctoral position in the MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies at Yale University and was a lecturer in the Department of History at Harvard University.
Maria McVarish
Lab Affiliate
Maria McVarish is doctoral student in Modern Thought and Literature with a background in architecture and visual research. Her doctoral work centers on the relationships between historical thought, spatial practice and public memory, with particular attention to the after effects of railroad and industry history on landscape and identity.
Hilton Obenzinger
Associate Director, Chinese Railroad Workers Project
Hilton Obenzinger is a critic, poet, novelist and historian, and the recipient of the American Book Award. He is the author of American Palestine: Melville, Twain, and the Holy Land Mania, as well as articles in scholarly journals on American Holy Land travel, Mark Twain, Herman Melville, and American cultural interactions with the Middle East. His most recent book is the autobiographical novel Busy Dying. He teaches writing and American studies at Stanford University and is Associate Director of the Chinese Railroad Workers in North America project.
Giovanni Svevo
Giovanni Svevo is a professional archaeologist with 15 years of work experience in archaeological excavation and research, primarily in the territory of Rome. Since 2010 he has been the national director of the Associazione Nazionale Archeologi (ANA), Italy’s main professional archaeologists association. In recent years he has specialized in the use of GPS/TPS technologies and GIS software, applying this knowledge to archaeological fieldwork, focusing on the use of GPS/GNSS handhelds in surveys and the integration of different sources of data in GIS environment. He is currently involved in the Forma Urbis Romae project working on two aspects: georeferencing  Lanciani’s map on a modern base and organizing and digitizing archeological information on the map to integrate it into a geo-database.
Spatial History