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ITALIC Faculty

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Karla Oeler (Art & Art History, ITALIC Director)

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Karla Oeler teaches in the Film and Media Studies Program in the Art & Art History Department.  Her research and teaching interests are film history, theory and criticism. Recent courses include Theories of the Moving Image, Science Fiction, and a seminar on the films of Robert Altman.  She is the author of A Grammar of Murder:  Violent Scenes and Film Form (University of Chicago Press, 2009).  Her work has appeared in numerous forums including Cinema JournalThe Journal of Visual Culture, and Slavic Review on a range of topics including works by Fyodor Dostoevsky, Jean-Luc Godard, Sergei Parajanov, and Jean Renoir.  


Kim Beil (ITALIC Associate Director / Lecturer)

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Kim Beil is an art historian who specializes in the history of photography. Her book, Good Pictures: A History of Popular Photography, looks at 50 stylistic trends in the medium since the 19th century. Recently she’s written about photography and climate change for The Atlantic, the pre-history of Zoom backgrounds for Psyche, and TikTok and trick photography for Lapham’s Quarterly. She also writes frequently about modern and contemporary art for Artforum, Art in America, BOMB, Photograph, and Sculpture magazines.

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Samer Al-Saber (Theater and Performance Studies)

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Samer is Assistant Professor of Theatre And Performance Studies, and a member of the faculty at the Center for the Comparative Study of Race and Ethnicity (CCSRE) and the Abbasi Program in Islamic Studies. Before coming to Stanford, he has taught at various institutions (Davidson College, Florida State University) on a wide range of topics, including Conflict and Theatre, Arab Theatre and Culture, Palestinian Theatre, Performing Arabs, Staging Islam and American Politics, and Orientalism. At Stanford, he teaches courses concerned with identity, race, and ethnicity at the intersection of Islam and the Arts His international research is focused on the cultural dimensions of the Arab World, the Middle East, and Islamicate regions. As artist/scholar, his field work intersects with theatre practice as a director and writer.


Sam Sax (ITALIC Lecturer)

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Sam Sax is a writer, performer, and educator currently serving as an ITALIC Lecturer at Stanford University. They're the author of Madness, winner of The National Poetry Series and ‘Bury It’ winner of the James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets. They're the two time Bay Area Grand Slam Champion with poems published in The New York Times, Poetry Magazine, Granta and elsewhere. Sam's received fellowships from The National Endowment for the Arts, MacDowell, The Poetry Foundation, and a Wallace Stegner Fellowship from Stanford University.


Alexander Greenhough (PWR Instructor)

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Alexander Greenhough’s research interests include film theory, postwar European and American cinema, and contemporary New Zealand cinema. His writing has appeared in Mediascape, Film Criticism, and Quarterly Review of Film and Video. He is currently writing a book about solitude in postwar Italian and French art films. In addition to his work as a scholar, Greenhough makes films and has received grants from the Arts Council of New Zealand and the New Zealand Film Commission. 


A-lan Holt (Burbank Resident Fellow)

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A-lan Holt is Director at the Institute for Diversity in the Arts at Stanford University. There she trains undergraduates in the areas of diversity and culture; arts leadership and social justice. She is a mother and practicing artist whose work includes theater, poetry and film. She is a 2018 Sundance Fellow, a 2018 SF Film Screenwriting Fellow, and a frequent contributor on-air at KQED Arts. In 2016 A-lan's artist book Moonwork was published by Candor Arts Chicago and was shortlisted for the Cornish Family Prize at the Melbourne Art Book Fair. 

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Previous ITALIC Instructors

Raul Altosaar (Music Department) 2020-21

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Raul Altosaar is an artist and researcher at Stanford’s Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA). He builds new musical instruments using custom software and hardware. Through site-specific performances, his work uses sound to create a connection between the landscape, the body, and technology.


Nicholas Jenkins (English) 2015-20

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Nick Jenkins is the Primary Investigator for Kindred Britain, described by the Economist as "an amazing digital humanities website that traces relations between 30,000 British people.” He has edited a Lincoln Kirstein Reader and co-edited and contributed to three volumes of Oxford University Press's "Auden Studies" series. He is General Editor of the Princeton University Press's "Facing Pages" translation series, and he has contributed essays and reviews to the London Review of Books, the Times Literary Supplement, the New York Times Book Review, the New Republic, the New Yorker, Raritan and the Yale Review. Jenkins is Co-Chair of the W. H. Auden Society and the Literary Executor of the poet, scholar and impresario Lincoln Kirstein, co-founder with George Balanchine of the New York City Ballet.

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Heather Hadlock (Music) 2019-20

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Heather Hadlock is an Associate Professor of the Department of Music. Her special fields are 18th- and 19th-century French and Italian opera, feminist criticism and gender studies, and French Romanticism. Her current research encompasses operatic masculinities, opera in the digital age, and divas and technology. Her publications include Mad Loves: Women and Music in Offenbach’s "Les Contes d’Hoffmann" (Princeton University Press, 2000) and has contributed to The Cambridge Companion to Rossini (Cambridge University Press, 2003); Women’s Voices Across Musical Worlds (Northeastern University Press, 2003); Berlioz: Past Present, Future (U of Rochester Press, 2003); Siren Songs (Princeton University Press, 2000). She contributed the annotated bibliography on "Women and Music" for the Oxford Bibliographies Online: Music (Oxford University Press, 2011). Articles and reviews in Cambridge Opera Journal, Journal of the American Musicological Society, Journal of Musicological Research, repercussions, Opera Quarterly.


Ryan Tacata (ITALIC Lecturer) 2017-20

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Ryan Tacata is a performance maker and scholar, with a focus on histories of Bay Area conceptual art, queer aesthetics, and social practice. As an extension of his archival research on La Mamelle/Art Com, he is currently working on a series of performative letters that activate the address books of leading conceptual artists Tom Marioni and Willoughby Sharp. His recent creative projects include For You, (2015-) performances made for specific audiences of twelve, and Lolas (2017) a live art installation in honor of Filipino grandmothers at the Asian Art Museum. His artistic work has been presented by Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Museum of Performance + Design, Performance Art Institute, and Stanford University. 


Jonathan Berger (Music) 2013-15, 2018-19

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Jonathan Berger is the Denning Family Provostial Professor in Music. His work (at Stanford's Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics) elides music composition and research on the perception and cognition of music.

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Jean Ma (Art & Art History) 2016-17

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Jean Ma teaches in Film and Media Studies program and is Director of Graduate Studies for Art History.

She has recently taught courses on Chinese cinema, film sound, histories and theories of technological media, world cinema, and horror films.

She is the author of Melancholy Drift: Marking Time in Chinese Cinema (Hong Kong University Press, 2010), and coeditor of Still Moving: Between Cinema and Photography (Duke University Press, 2008) and “Sound and Music,” a special issue of the Journal of Chinese Cinemas. Her work has appeared in Grey RoomPost ScriptJournal of Chinese CinemasCamera Obscura, Criticism. Her newest book is Sounding the Modern Woman: The Songstress in Chinese Cinema, published in 2015.


Ge Wang (Music) 2016-17

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Ge Wang is an Assistant Professor at Stanford University's Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA). He specializes in computer music design — researching programming language and software design for music, interaction design, mobile music, laptop orchestras, aesthetics of music technology design, and education at the intersection of engineering, art, and design. Ge is the author of the ChucK music programming language, the founding director of the Stanford Laptop Orchestra (SLOrk), the Co-founder of Smule (reaching over 125 million users), the designer of the iPhone's Ocarina and Magic Piano, and a 2016 Guggenheim Fellow.

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Stephen M. Sano (Music) 2015-17

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Stephen M. Sano is Professor and Chair of the Department of Music, and the Harold C. Schmidt Director of Choral Studies at Stanford University, where he directs the Stanford Chamber Chorale and Symphonic Chorus. He holds master's and doctoral degrees in both orchestral and choral conducting from Stanford, and a bachelor's degree in piano performance and theory from San Jose State University.

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Janice Ross (Theater & Performance Studies, ITALIC Director) 2013-17

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Janice Ross works in Dance Studies, with a particular interest in the social and cultural importance of dance historically and in the contemporary moment. Her research interests include Dance in Prison and Ballet in Soviet Russia, subjects that have more in common than one might think.


Scott Bukatman (Art & Art History) 2013-15

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Professor Bukatman teaches in the Film and Media Studies Program, and his research highlights the ways in which popular media (film, comics) and genres (science fiction, musicals, superhero narratives) mediate between new technologies and human perceptual and bodily experience. His latest book is The Poetics of Slumberland: Animated Spirits and the Animating Spirit, and it makes a great gift.

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Richard Meyer (Art & Art History) 2015-16

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Richard Meyer is the Robert and Ruth Halperin Professor in Art History at Stanford University, where he teaches courses on American art, the history of photography, censorship and the first amendment, and feminist and queer studies. He is the author, most recently, of What Was Contemporary Art?, a history of the idea of contemporary art in the United States during the first half of the twentieth century and co-author, with Catherine Lord, of Art and Queer Culture, a global study of the dialog between visual art and non-normative sexualities from 1885 to the present. Meyer also wrote Outlaw Representation: Censorship and Homosexuality in Twentieth-Century American Art which was awarded the Charles C. Eldredge Prize for Outstanding Scholarship from the Smithsonian American Art Museum.  As a guest curator, he organized Warhol's Jews: Ten Portraits Reconsidered at the Jewish Museum in New York and the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco (2008) and Naked Hollywood: Weegee in Los Angeles at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles (2011-2012).

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