Ng House features a fabulous lounge and kitchen, where students can cook, socialize, and enjoy the many events that the community puts on. There are reading nooks and small work-spaces on every floor; and a reading room, a music practice room, and a creative workspace. We are privileged to have a Stanford graduate student and postdoctoral fellow living in the house as part of our staff team. In addition, we have a Visiting Scholar suite which allows us to bring faculty into the Ng community to share their interests and areas of study with the students in a residential setting.
Michael Shanks is an archaeologist and professor of Classics. His fascination with the landscapes of prehistoric Europe and city life in antiquity is the basis for his interest in all manner of archaeological topics - long term patterns in history, the workings of design and innovation, and heritage, that current fascination with the presence of the past in our senses of cultural identity.
Michael grew up in the industrial north of England and, as a FLI (first generation low-income) student, went on to secure doctorates from Cambridge University UK, Gothenburg Sweden, and an honorary degree from Roskilde in Denmark, the university that pioneered student-centered learning in European higher education. He has run studios in Stanford's d.school, and teaches in the programs in Writing and Rhetoric, Science Technology and Society, and Urban Studies, as well as Classics and Archaeology.
Michael advised the Mayor of Rotterdam on economic and cultural policy for ten years, and was a faculty director of the Revs Program at Stanford, promoting the study of the archaeology of the automobile as a key component of contemporary car design (his lab did the research for a Chrysler concept car and he continues to work with Nissan Motor Corporation). He has always cherished collaboration with artists as well as engineers, holding that archaeologists do not discover the past but work creatively with remains, caring about the past with a view to the future. A focus on such past-present connections in visual media and contemporary performing arts has involved a series of works under the heading of theatre/archaeology - site specific works deep in the forest of rural Wales, guided walks through contested landscapes in Europe, deep mappings of digital divides in California.
A lively central location for humanities activity on campus and the physical home to students who share a passion for any dimension of the human experience.