Skip to content Skip to navigation

Lead Faculty and Staff


Giovanna Ceserani, Faculty Director

Giovanna Ceserani works on the classical tradition with an emphasis on the intellectual history of classical scholarship, historiography, and archaeology from the eighteenth century onwards. She is interested in the role that Hellenism and Classics played in the shaping of modernity and, in turn, in how the questions we ask of the classical past originate in specific modern cultural, social and political contexts. Her interest in travel is engaging new digital approaches with a focus on the Grand Tour.


Mark Algee-Hewitt, Faculty Advisory Board

Mark Algee-Hewitt’s work combines critical and quantitative approaches to the analysis of literature. He is particularly interested in the literature and aesthetic philosophy of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and he has used computational methods to explore the history of aesthetic concepts across this period. As director of the Stanford Literary Lab, he has led projects on the literature of suspense, the history of racialized language in American literature, and an analysis of the reports of the OECD’s anti-bribery convention.

Michael Penn, Faculty Advisory Board

Michael Penn, the Teresa Hihn Moore Professor of Religious Studies, is a specialist in the history of early Christianity with a particular focus on middle eastern Christians who wrote in the Aramaic dialect of Syriac. Professor Penn is currently working on an Andrew Mellon Foundation funded collaboration that uses recent advances in the computerized analysis of handwriting to help analyze ancient Aramaic manuscripts. In addition to this work in the digital humanities, Professor Penn has begun several related projects that focus on the history of Syriac Christianity and the manuscripts they produced.

Ali Yaycioglu, Faculty Advisory Board

Ali Yaycioglu is a historian of the Ottoman Empire. His research centers on the economic, political, and legal institutions, ideas and practices; forms of accumulating and losing power and wealth; spatial organization of the empire; and the transformation of the social-religious order in the eighteenth and the early nineteenth centuries. Professor Yaycioglu is faculty director of Mapping Ottoman Epirus, a big data project which aims to analyze and illustrate the spatial dimension of political, economic, infra-structural, and environmental relations in the Ottoman Empire.

Kathryn Starkey, Faculty Advisory Board

Kathryn Starkey is Professor of German in the Department of German Studies. Her primary research interests are medieval and early modern German literature and culture with an emphasis on visuality, material culture, language, performativity, and the history of the book. Kathryn is faculty director of the Global Medieval Sourcebook (GMS), a free, open access, and open source teaching and research tool. It offers a flexible online display for the parallel viewing of medieval texts in their original language, in new English translations, and in their digitized manuscript form.


Erik Steiner

Erik Steiner, Co-Director, Spatial History Project

Erik Steiner is the Co-Director of the Spatial History Project and came to Stanford as a founding member of the Lab in 2007. A geographer by training and a designer by practice, for over 15 years he has led the development of creative mapping projects for academic research in the fields of geography, architecture, ecology and the spatial humanities. At CESTA he has participated in dozens of projects with a focus on visual, data-driven, aesthetic, empirical and critical methods. His design work has work multiple awards and he is a former president of the North American Cartographic Information Society (NACIS). At CESTA and in everyday life, Erik is passionate about building deep creative partnerships that bring together people of diverse disciplines and expertise.

Amanda Wilson Bergado, Center Manager

Amanda Wilson Bergado, Center Manager

Amanda Wilson Bergado is CESTA’s Center Manager, working closely with the Faculty Director to develop programs and coordinate support for projects, researchers, and students. Amanda received her MA in U.S. History from UC Santa Cruz, where her research focused on Chinese migration, gender and family, criminality and policing, and social identity and organization. Amanda has more 10 years of experience in administration and project management at Stanford; previously she worked in the Undergraduate Advising and Research where she coordinated new student transition and advising programs. Amanda cherishes Stanford’s history and traditions and is thrilled to be a part of CESTA’s highly collaborative and cutting-edge work.


Portrait of Andrea Davies

Andrea Rees Davies, Associate Director of the Stanford Humanities Center

Andrea Rees Davies and her team at the Stanford Humanities Center are key partners in CESTA's administration. Andrea holds a PhD in history, a MA in history, and a MA in religious studies from Stanford; her research intersts and teaching areas span U.S and LGBTQ history. Andrea has worked on interdisciplinary research teams and published studies on women in Silicon Valley high-tech companies, Venture Capitalist perceptions of women entrepreneurs, the history of the “ideal worker” myth, and dual-career academic couples at top U.S. research universities.

Carol Guthrie, Workshop Program Administrator, Stanford Humanities Center