history

Benjamin Franklin, social genius of the 18th century?

Stanford American historian Caroline Winterer examined thousands of Benjamin Franklin’s letters as part of her research on the 18th century, which she argues was the first age of extensive social networks.

Stanford Historical Society plans railroad sesquicentennial events

One hundred and fifty years ago this coming spring, Leland Stanford drove the last spike that completed the First Transcontinental Railroad, transforming the West and laying the foundation for Stanford University. The Stanford Historical Society plans to mark the event.

New Stanford project gets inside Voltaire’s mind

Stanford undergraduate Lena Zlock is developing a first-ever digital humanities study of Voltaire’s personal library, which contains over 6,700 books. She aims to make the library’s contents easily accessible and searchable online.

Resurfacing a tabloid from the Vietnam War

A new exhibition at the Hoover Institution highlights Overseas Weekly, a civilian-run, women-led newspaper for American GIs abroad that defied top military brass and defended freedom of the press during the Korean and Vietnam wars.

Diving into the medieval world

A group of Stanford humanities professors and their students have been analyzing medieval manuscripts and artifacts to better understand how current societies and cultures developed.

Stanford scholar discusses Buddhism and its origins

Stanford religious studies Professor Paul Harrison talks about the latest research on the origin of Buddhism and the rise of Mahayana Buddhism, which has influenced most of today’s Buddhist practices around the world.

Understanding people’s obsession with crystals

Stanford medievalist Marisa Galvez is examining the origins of people’s fascination with crystals. She finds that crystals inspired the writing and poetry of some medieval authors in unexpected ways.