15th annual book fair celebrates Stanford authors’ recent work

More than a dozen Stanford faculty members and Stanford-affiliated authors will gather to talk about their recently published work during the 15th annual “A Company of Authors” event from 1 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. on Saturday, April 21, at the Stanford Humanities Center’s Levinthal Hall.

Caroline Winterer
Caroline Winterer

The event is free and open to the public. The Stanford Bookstore will also sell featured books at a 10 percent discount during the event, and the authors will autograph their works.

The topics of some of the featured books include the origins of the two-lobed heart symbol, the history of the Russian Empire’s rise from 15th through 18th centuries, and personal reflections of former Stanford President Donald Kennedy on academia and his time at Stanford.

“It’s a really fun afternoon that brings a world of scholarship to life,” said CAROLINE WINTERER, a Stanford professor of history and director of the Stanford Humanities Center.

Co-sponsored by Stanford Continuing Studies, “A Company of Authors” was created by PETER STANSKY, a Stanford professor emeritus of history, as a way to celebrate a variety of Stanford publications.

“I find this occasion exhilarating,” said Stansky, who has been organizing the event every year since founding it. “It’s exciting to see the great diversity, depth and richness of what Stanford people are researching and writing about.”

Stansky describes the book fair as the “speed-dating version of book events,” with each author giving a brief presentation before taking questions from the audience. The fast pace allows time for as much conversation a possible and shows off “the extraordinary variety and productivity of the Stanford faculty,” Stansky said.

Panel titles, authors and their featured books include:

1:05–1:35 p.m.: The Wide Range of History

NANCY KOLLMANN, The Russian Empire 1450–1801; MIKAEL D. WOLFEWatering the Revolution: An Environmental and Technological History of Agrarian Reform in Mexico; THOMAS S. MULLANEYThe Chinese Typewriter: A History

1:40–2:10 p.m.: Killing and Controlling the Population

CAROLYN LOUGEEFacing the Revocation; PHILIPPA LEVINEEugenics

2:15–2:45 p.m.: Considering Life

PETER N. CARROLLAn Elegy for Lovers; IRVIN D. YALOMBecoming Myself: A Psychiatrist’s Memoir

Empire of Guns by Priya Satia
Empire of Guns by Priya Satia

2:50–3:20 p.m.: Life and Love

AIKO TAKEUCHI-DEMIRCIContraceptive Diplomacy; KAREN OFFENThe Woman Question in France, 1400–1870; MARILYN YALOMThe Amorous Heart: An Unconventional History of Love

3:25–3:55 p.m.: The Former British Empire

JACK RAKOVEA Politician Thinking: The Creative Mind of James Madison; PRIYA SATIA, Empire of Guns: The Violent Making of the Industrial Revolution; AIDAN FORTHBarbed-Wire Imperialism: Britain’s Empire of Camps, 1876–1903

4–4:30 p.m.: The Many Worlds of Stanford

Robin Kennedy on behalf of DONALD KENNEDYA Place in the Sun: A Memoir; PETER STANSKY et al., The Stanford Senate of the Academic Council; TOM DEMUNDWalking the Farm

4:35–5:05 p.m.: Rich Lives

CYNTHIA HAVENEvolution of Desire: A Life of René Girard; PATRICK HUNTHannibal; KEITH DEVLINFinding Fibonacci