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Office: Building 460, Room 216
Mail Code: 94305-2022
Phone: (650) 723-3413
Web Site:

Courses offered by the Program in Modern Thought and Literature are listed under the subject code MTL on the Stanford ExploreCourses web site.

The program in Modern Thought and Literature admits students for the Ph.D. and a limited number for a coterminal B.A./M.A. Program.

Graduate Programs in Modern Thought and Literature

Modern Thought and Literature (MTL) is an interdisciplinary humanities graduate program advancing the study of critical issues in the modern world. Since 1971, MTL students have helped to redefine the cutting edge of many interdisciplinary fields and to reshape the ways in which disciplinary scholarship is understood and practiced. MTL graduates are leaders in fields such as American studies, ethnic studies, film studies, social and cultural studies, and women's studies, as well as English and comparative literature.

The program trains students to understand the histories and methods of disciplines and to test their assumptions. It considers how disciplines shape knowledge and, most importantly, how interdisciplinary methods reshape objects of study. MTL students produce innovative analyses of diverse texts, forms, and practices, including those of literature, history, philosophy, anthropology, law, and science; film, visual arts, popular culture, and performance; and material culture and technology.

Each student constructs a unique program of study suited to his or her research. Students have focused on such areas as gender and sexuality; race and ethnicity; science, technology, and medicine; media and performance; legal studies; and critical and social theory. The program's affiliated faculty is drawn from fields throughout the humanities and humanistic social sciences, as well as from education and law. As interdisciplinary study is impossible without an understanding of the disciplines under consideration, each student is expected to master the methods of literary analysis and to gain a foundation in a second field or discipline.


Director: Shane Denson

Director of Graduate Studies: Mark Algee-Hewitt

Committee in Charge: Mark Algee-Hewitt (DGS), Michaela Bronstein, Maxe Crandall, Shane Denson (Director), Shelley Fisher Fishkin, Roanne Kantor, Elizabeth Kessler, Marci Kwon, Xiaochang Li, Hideo Mabuchi, Bernadette Meyler, Ana Minian, Dafna Zur

Affiliated Faculty:   Lanier Anderson (Philosophy), Russell Berman (German Studies), Jennifer Brody (Theater & Performance Studies), Michaela Bronstein (English), Scott Bukatman (Art & Art History), Gordon Chang (History), Maxe Crandall (Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies), Adrian Daub (German Studies), Jean-Pierre Dupuy (French & Italian), Paulla Ebron (Anthropology), Michele Elam (English), Amir Eshel (German Studies, Comparative Literature), Shelley Fisher Fishkin (English), Zephyr Frank (History), Duana Fullwiley (Anthropology), Thomas Hansen (Anthropology), David Hills (Philosophy), Héctor Hoyos (Iberian & Latin American Cultures) Lochlain Jain (Anthropology), Tomas Jimenez (Sociology), Roanne Kantor (English), Elizabeth Kessler (American Studies), Matthew Kohrman (Anthropology), Marci Kwon (Art & Art History), Joshua Landy (French & Italian, Comparative Literature), Pavle Levi (Art & Art History), Hideo Mabuchi (Applied Physics), Mark McGurl (English), Alison McQueen (Political Science), Jisha Menon (Theater & Performance Studies), Ana Minian (History), Paula Moya (English), Tom Mullaney (History), Alex Nemerov (Art & Art History), David Palumbo-Liu (Comparative Literature), Peggy Phelan (Theater & Performance Studies), Robert Proctor (History), Vaughn Rasberry (English), Robert Reich (Political Science), Jessica Riskin (History),  Aileen Robinson (Theater and Performance Studies), José David Saldívar (Comparative Literature), Ramón Saldívar (English, Comparative Literature), Wendy Salkin (Philosophy), Londa Schiebinger (History), Matthew Smith (German Studies, Theater and Performance Studies), Sharika Thiranagama (Anthropology), Fred Turner (Communication), Ban Wang (East Asian Languages and Cultures),  Gail Wight (Art & Art History),  Alex Woloch (English)