Stanford Humanities Center hosts annual Publication Celebration

Jesse Rodin, assistant professor of music, had two publications on display at Monday's Publication Celebration. They were "Josquin's Rome: Hearing and Composing in the Sistine Chapel" and an audio CD of 15th-century choral music. He is photographed with his wife, Daphna Davidson, Credit: Steve Castillo

Guests from across campus gathered at the Stanford Humanities Center  March 11 to join the 20th Annual Publication Celebration.

Held each spring, the event recognizes the broad scope of work produced by Stanford humanities scholars in the past year.

The 79 publications from 2012 ranged from a novel about life in North Korea and a history of medieval poetry to audio recordings of the Stanford Chamber Chorale and a philosopher’s guide to procrastination.

The works on display “bring meaning into the world,” said DEBRA SATZ, the senior associate dean for the humanities and arts in the School of Humanities and Sciences. The celebration is one of her favorite occasions at Stanford, she added.

Noting the array of languages represented in the titles – among them Spanish and Catalan, Korean, German and French – Satz commented that the works represented all “bring new ways of seeing ourselves in others.”

The varied publications represent a wide range of research interests. Some look to the past, presenting research about ancient Roman economics, music performance in the Sistine Chapel during the 15th century and a survey of poetry across the globe. Others focus on contemporary issues such as the experiences of evangelical Christians in the United States, reading in the digital age and a study of Russia’s criminal justice system.

Humanities Center Director ARON RODRIGUE, a professor of history, acknowledged the presence of guests who were at the very first celebration 20 years ago, when it was called the “Book Celebration.” The name was changed in recent years to reflect the wide array of media submitted by scholars.

Rodrigue, who will be stepping down this year after five years of leading the Stanford Humanities Center, said that his role “at the heart of the humanist enterprise” has been “both edifying and humbling.”

—VERONICA MARIAN, The Humanities at Stanford