Skip to:

David Palumbo-Liu

People

Contact:

Building 260, Room 229
Phone: 650 725 4915
palumbo-liu@stanford.edu

Office Hours:

M 9:00-10:00 (room 260-229), T 1:00-2:00 (room 360-361I), or by appointment

Focal Groups:

Research Groups:

User is not a member of any group.

Affinity links:

cultural studies
social theory
Asian Pacific American studies
criticism
literary theory

David Palumbo-Liu

Louise Hewlett Nixon Professor

Professor of Comparative Literature and, by courtesy, English

Director, Undergraduate Program in Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity

 

David Palumbo-Liu’s fields of interest include social and cultural criticism, literary theory and criticism, East Asian and Asia Pacific American studies. His most recent book, The Deliverance of Others: Reading Literature in a Global Age (Duke, 2012) addresses the role of contemporary humanistic literature with regard to the instruments and discourses of globalization, seeking to discover modes of affiliation and transnational ethical thinking; he is also co-editor with Bruce Robbins and Nirvana Tanoukhi of Immanuel Wallerstein and the Problem of the World: System, Scale, Culture (Duke, 2011).  Palumbo-Liu is most interested in issues regarding social theory, community, race and ethnicity, human rights, globalization, ecology, and the specific role that literature and the humanities play in helping us address each of these areas.

With Prof. James Cavallaro of Stanford Law School he has started an interactive website, Teaching Human Rights: An International Student-Teacher Collaboratory, which is just getting launched.

David Palumbo-Liu is the founding editor of Occasion: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Humanities (found on Arcade) and blogs for Truthout, The Nation, Salon, The Huffington Post, Al Jazeera, openDemocracy,The Boston Review,and other venues. He is also a Contributing Editor for the Los Angeles Review of Books.  He serves on the Executive Council of the Modern Language Association, the HASTAC (Humanities, Arts, Science & Technology Alliance and Collaboratory) Steering Committee, and the Academic Steering and Advocacy Committee of the Open Library of the Humanities.  He is the former Chair of the Stanford Faculty Senate.

Please visit his web site for more information, essays, blogs, events: http://www.palumbo-liu.com

Education

1988: Ph.D. (Comparative Literature), University of California, Berkeley

COURSES

COMPLIT 49 "Global Literature": Reading New Worlds

It is a given that today's world is increasingly "networked": we are connected to a wider spectrum of people and places than ever before, in multiple ways. Our economic, political, technological, financial, cultural, ecological worlds seem blended into one. And yet amidst all that we seem to have in common, we also have sometimes very different ways of understanding those connections, both as individuals and as members of different national communities. In this course, we will learn how great works of literature help us not only imagine those connections between people and between nations as they have been produced historically and as they exist today, but also to see how literature helps us imagine the future. We will read novels from various locales, explore the cultures and histories from which they emerged, and link them together in a conversation. Works include: Gabriel Garcia Marquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude; Amitav Ghosh, The Hungry Tide; Chinua Achebe, Anthills of the Savannah; Ondatjee, The English Patient; Ibrahim Al-Koni, The Bleeding of the Stone.

COMPLIT 146 Asian American Culture and Community (AMSTUD 146, ASNAMST 146S, CSRE 146S)

This course introduces students to the histories of Asians in America, specifically as these histories are part of a broader Asia-US-Pacific history that characterized the 20th century and now the 21st. We will combine readings in history, literature, sociology, with community-based learning.nnThe course takes place over two quarters. The first quarter focuses on gaining knowledge of Asian America and discussion key topics that students wish to focus on collaboratively. During this first quarter we also learn about community-based learning, set up teams and projects, and develop relationships with community organizations. The second quarter students work with student liaisons (senior students who have experience in service learning) and complete their work with the community¿there are no formal class meetings this second quarter. Service Learning Course (certified by Haas Center). Course can be repeated once.

COMPLIT 146 Asian American Culture and Community (AMSTUD 146, ASNAMST 146S, CSRE 146S)

An examination of the history, art and culture of Vietnamese Americans, and their contemporary experiences in the South Bay. The course will combine in-class learning with a major conference featuring prominent artists and scholars on the Vietnamese Diasporic community. A service learning component requires community work at a service organization in San Jose. Service Learning Course (certified by Haas Center). Course can be repeated once.

COMPLIT 51Q Comparative Fictions of Ethnicity (AMSTUD 51Q, CSRE 51Q)

We may "know" "who" we "are," but we are, after all, social creatures. How does our sense of self interact with those around us? How does literature provide a particular medium for not only self expression, but also for meditations on what goes into the construction of "the Self"? After all, don't we tell stories in response to the question, "who are you"? Besides a list of nouns and names and attributes, we give our lives flesh and blood in telling how we process the world. Our course focuses in particular on this question--Does this universal issue ("who am I") become skewed differently when we add a qualifier before it, like "ethnic"?

COMPLIT 51Q Comparative Fictions of Ethnicity (AMSTUD 51Q, CSRE 51Q)

We may "know" "who" we "are," but we are, after all, social creatures. How does our sense of self interact with those around us? How does literature provide a particular medium for not only self expression, but also for meditations on what goes into the construction of "the Self"? After all, don't we tell stories in response to the question, "who are you"? Besides a list of nouns and names and attributes, we give our lives flesh and blood in telling how we process the world. Our course focuses in particular on this question--Does this universal issue ("who am I") become skewed differently when we add a qualifier before it, like "ethnic"?

DLCL 265 Histories and Futures of Humanistic Education: Culture and Crisis, Books and MOOCs (COMPLIT 265, EDUC 217X)

Features of online education as they relate to the humanities and notions of engaged critical learning. Collaborative course, working in tandem with Professor Cathy Davidson's Duke course, The History and Future of High Education, using live chats, Google documents, and other forums to interact with students at Duke and other universities nationally. Each campus uses a syllabus linked to each instructor's angle into this general subject, but many readings and exercises in common. Seeing this as a critical moment in education, to connect this topic to its historical, cultural, political, and ethical implications. The Stanford course looks at early discussions about education and culture (Arnold's Culture and Anarchy) and then works through a key moment in the mid-20th century whose premises still have influence: the Two Cultures (humanities, sciences) debate. Radical responses to educational reform in France and the US in the late 60s, and the changing state of funding, value, and cultural critique in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. The idea of education as a personal, collective, and intellectual endeavor which is shaped by and shapes societies. Focus on the idea of the public good and the relation between education and a democratic society.

COMPLIT 265 Histories and Futures of Humanistic Education: Culture and Crisis, Books and MOOCs (DLCL 265, EDUC 217X)

Features of online education as they relate to the humanities and notions of engaged critical learning. Collaborative course, working in tandem with Professor Cathy Davidson's Duke course, The History and Future of High Education, using live chats, Google documents, and other forums to interact with students at Duke and other universities nationally. Each campus uses a syllabus linked to each instructor's angle into this general subject, but many readings and exercises in common. Seeing this as a critical moment in education, to connect this topic to its historical, cultural, political, and ethical implications. The Stanford course looks at early discussions about education and culture (Arnold's Culture and Anarchy) and then works through a key moment in the mid-20th century whose premises still have influence: the Two Cultures (humanities, sciences) debate. Radical responses to educational reform in France and the US in the late 60s, and the changing state of funding, value, and cultural critique in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. The idea of education as a personal, collective, and intellectual endeavor which is shaped by and shapes societies. Focus on the idea of the public good and the relation between education and a democratic society.

COMPLIT 237C Human Rights, Literature, Justice

This course will have three components. The first will be a set of readings on the history and ethos of modern human rights. These readings will come from philosophy, history, political theory. The second component will consist of readings from various global locations that involve human rights in various ways, predominantly as they interface with issues of environmental justice. Finally, this course will involve students in creating and populating a website that will be not only the archive of our work in class but also build a set of resources to be shared with others (we will be adding partners from different locations to speak to us online from their locations as well as to share resources and ideas). We will come away from this class with a good introduction to human rights history and philosophy; a set of insights into a variety of imaginative workings-out of human rights and environmental justice issues from different global locations, and a rich web resource.

ITALIAN 369 Introduction to Graduate Studies: Criticism as Profession (COMPLIT 369, DLCL 369, FRENCH 369, GERMAN 369)

A history of literary theory for entering graduate students in national literature departments and comparative literature.

FRENCH 369 Introduction to Graduate Studies: Criticism as Profession (COMPLIT 369, DLCL 369, GERMAN 369, ITALIAN 369)

A history of literary theory for entering graduate students in national literature departments and comparative literature.

COMPLIT 369 Introduction to Graduate Studies: Criticism as Profession (DLCL 369, FRENCH 369, GERMAN 369, ITALIAN 369)

A history of literary theory for entering graduate students in national literature departments and comparative literature.

COMPLIT 121 Poems, Poetry, Worlds

What is poetry? How does it speak in many voices to questions of history, society, and personal experience? Why does it matter? The reading and interpretation of poetry in crosscultural comparison as experience, invention, form, sound, knowledge, and part of the world. Readings include: classical Chinese poetry, English Romantic poetry, and modern Arabic, American, Brazilian, Japanese, German, Spanish poetry, with specific attention to landscape, terrain, the environment, and the role of the poet.

Advisees

 

Other Information