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Phone: 650-725-0061
Fax: 650-725-4248

Master of Liberal Arts Program

Margaret Jacks Hall
450 Jane Stanford Way, Building 460
Stanford, CA 94305

**The MLA office is currently closed to visitors. Please contact us by phone or email for assistance.

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Who We Are

Linda Paulson

Linda Paulson

Associate Dean and Director, MLA Program

  • Develops curriculum for the MLA program
  • Provides academic and policy advising for MLA students
  • Teaches in the program and directs the MLA thesis course

Linda Paulson has her PhD in Comparative Literature from UCLA. She has taught at Stanford since 1985. Her research focuses on the Victorian social novel, particularly on the works of Charlotte Brontë, Charles Dickens, Elizabeth Gaskell, and Anthony Trollope; and on the development of the British woman's novel from Jane Austen to Doris Lessing. She has received Stanford's Dinkelspiel Award for distinguished teaching and service to Stanford.

MIchelle Bennett

Michelle Bennett

Associate Director, MLA Program

  • Oversees MLA admissions
  • Provides policy, enrollment, and tuition advising for students
  • Provides faculty and alumni support

Michelle Bennett works closely with Linda Paulson in providing policy and administrative support to potential students, current students, alumni, and faculty. She also oversees the program’s finances and is the administrative liaison with the University. Michelle began at Stanford in 2002 with the Alumni Travel/Study program, and has been with the MLA program since 2005. She earned her degree in Business Administration from Southern Oregon University.

Maddy Elles-Hill

Maddy Elles-Hill

Marketing and Program Coordinator

  • Coordinates MLA events throughout the year
  • Develops and administers marketing and social media campaigns
  • Designs and develops the MLA advertising materials, journals and imagery

Maddy brings to the role years of experience in the film and media world, both in the US and the UK. She is currently a student in the MLA Program too.

Peter Kline

Peter Kline

Writing Instructor and Coordinator

  • Teaches the thesis-writing workshop for students in the final phase of the program
  • Works with first-year students on the fundamentals of argumentative writing
  • Coordinates student colloquia for the presentation of master’s theses

Peter Kline has served as the Writing Instructor and Coordinator for Stanford’s Master of Liberal Arts Program since 2015. He has taught writing at the university level since 2004, having also held positions at the University of Virginia, James Madison University, and the University of San Francisco, as well as with Stanford’s undergraduate and continuing studies programs. A former Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford, Kline holds a B.A. in English/Creative Writing from Northwestern University and an M.F.A. in Poetry Writing from the University of Virginia. He has published two collections of poetry, Deviants (Stephen F. Austin State University Press, 2013) and Mirrorforms (Parlor Press/Free Verse Editions, 2020).

Paul Robinson

Paul Robinson

Richard W. Lyman Professor in the Humanities

  • Chair, MLA Faculty Advisory Committee
  • Co-teaches Introduction to Interdisciplinary Graduate Study

Paul Robinson has written extensively on the history of European and American thought in the 19th and 20th centuries. His books include, Opera, Sex, and Other Vital Matters; Gay Lives: Homosexual Autobiography from John Addington Symonds to Paul Monette; Freud and His Critics; and Opera and Ideas: From Mozart to Strauss. Professor Robinson describes his writing as primarily focused on three topics. The first is the history of psychoanalysis. The second is the history of ideas about human sexuality, especially the experience of gays and lesbians. The third is the connection between intellectual history and the history of opera.