Kenneth W. Stein

Professor

Department of History

Office: Bowden 121

Phone: (404) 727-2798

Email: kenneth.stein@emory.edu

Biography

Kenneth W. Stein, Professor of Contemporary Middle Eastern History, Political Science and Israeli Studies, has taught at Emory University since 1977.  He holds a joint appointment in the History and Political Science Departments. In Spring 2006, he was a Visiting Professor of Political Science at Brown University. Stein's scholarship focuses on the origins of the modern Arab world, American foreign policy toward the Middle East, origins of modern Israel and Palestinian social history, evolution of the conflict and all aspects of the Arab-Israeli negotiating process. Stein primarily concentrates his work on undergraduate teaching and preparing students for graduate degrees and business opportunities elsewhere.  Beyond Emory, he is long-time activist in helping high school teachers, students, adults, clergy and the general public learn more about Israel and the Middle East and US interests in the region.

His scholarly publications include History Politics and Diplomacy of the Arab-Israeli Conflict, A Documentary Source Compilation e-book, 2013 (2015, second edition); Mediniut Amitza [Courageous Policy] (Tel Aviv: Ministry of Defense Publishing House, 2003); Heroic Diplomacy: Sadat, Kissinger, Carter, Begin, and the Quest for Arab-Israeli Peace (New York: Routledge, 1999); Making Peace Among Arabs and Israelis: Lessons from Fifty Years of Negotiating Experience (Washington, DC: United States Institute for Peace, 1991); and The Land Question in Palestine, 1917-1939 (Chapel Hill, University of North Carolina Press, 1984, 1985, and 2003). From 1996 through 1999, he wrote the chapter on the "Arab-Israeli Peace Process" in the Middle East Contemporary Survey (Westview Press). For the 1999 and 2002 editions of the Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia, he wrote the entries for "PLO," "1948 Israeli Independence War," "June 1967 War," "1973 October War," "Hamas," and "Intifadah." 

Author, writer, teacher, and lecturer, he was at the center of developing sustained institutions at Emory. The International Study Center (1979) evolved into the present Emory Center for International Programs Abroad (CIPA).  In the 1980s, his fundraising contributed in a small way to the evolution of Emory College’s area studies program through securing federal funds for partial salary payment for newly appointed faculty.  Under Stein’s initiative, the College established the Middle East Research Program-MERP (1992) and the Emory Institute for the Study of Modern Israel-ISMI (1998), both of which he remains the founding director. ISMI was the first such permanent Center or Institute for the Study of Modern Israel in the United States. Through his fundraising external to the university, Dr. Stein has brought 11 visiting Israeli scholars to the College who taught 20 courses in 8 disciplines and reached some 450 students, meeting a growing demand by Emory undergraduates for more quality courses on Israel. For interested undergraduates, ISMI hosts semester and summer internship programs where research skills are honed and intriguing projects studied. http://ismi.emory.edu/home/internships/index.html

His most recent contributions include “A Concise History of Israel,” with Cary Nelson and Rachel S. Harris, in Cary Nelson and Gabriel Noah Brahm (eds.) The Case Against Academic Boycotts of Israel,  Chicago: MLA Members for Scholars Rights, 2015, pp.  384-440;   “What If the Palestinian Arab Elite Had Chosen Compromise Instead of Boycott in Confronting Zionism?” (in press 2015); "Evolving A Diplomatic Legacy from the October War: the US, Egyptian, and Israeli Triangle," in Asaf Siniver (ed.), The October 1973 War: Politics, Diplomacy, and Legacy (London: Hurst and Company, 2013), pp. 209-229; “The US Role in Palestinian Self-Determination,” InFocus Jewish Policy Center Journal (Fall 2011); “US-Israeli Relations 1947–2010: The View from Washington,” in Alfred Wittstock (ed.), The World Facing Israel-Israel Facing the World: Images and Politics (Berlin: Frank & Timme, 2011), pp. 159-176; “The Egyptian Israeli Peace: Lessons for Today,” PolicyWatch 1946 (Washington Institute for Near East Policy, March 2009); “Historical Context for the Egyptian-Israeli Treaty,” Viewpoints (Middle East Institute, March 2009), pp. 13-16; “Advice to the Next President about the Middle East,” InFocus Jewish Policy Center Journal II:3 (Fall 2008); “Annapolis: Precedents and Transactions, But No Transformations,” Tel Aviv Notes (The Moshe Dayan Center, December 27, 2007); “My Problem with Jimmy Carter’s Book,” Middle East Quarterly 14:2 (Spring 2007); “Das Ende der ‘arabischen Welt,” Internationale Politik (June 2006), pp. 58-64; "Arafat ist nicht Sadat," Internationale Politik 10:58 (October 2003); “Sadat, Carter, Begin: An Unequally Sided Triangle,” in The Camp David Peace Process (Jerusalem: Menachem Begin Heritage Center, November 2002), pp. 33-42; “The Talks at Kilometer 101,” in Richard B. Parker, The October War: A Retrospective (University Press of Florida, 2001), pp. 361-373.

Author, writer, teacher, and lecturer, he was at the center of developing sustained institutions at Emory. The International Study Center (1979) evolved into the present Emory Center for International Programs Abroad (CIPA).  In the 1980s, his fundraising contributed in a small way to the evolution of Emory College’s area studies program through securing federal funds for partial salary payment for newly appointed faculty.  Under Stein’s initiative, the College established the Middle East Research Program-MERP (1992) and the Emory Institute for the Study of Modern Israel-ISMI (1998), both of which he remains the founding director. ISMI was the first such permanent Center or Institute for the Study of Modern Israel in the United States. Through his fundraising external to the university, Dr. Stein has brought 11 visiting Israeli scholars to the College who taught 20 courses in 8 disciplines and reached some 450 students, meeting a growing demand by Emory undergraduates for more quality courses on Israel. For interested undergraduates, ISMI hosts semester and summer internship programs where research skills are honed and intriguing projects studied. http://ismi.emory.edu/home/internships/index.html

In 2008, he established the Center for Israel Education, a 501c3 non-Emory entity, to enhance professional development through curriculum writing and workshops for high school teachers, clergy, students and staffs of professional organizations across the country. http://israeled.org/cie-workshop-testimonials/  In Spring 2015, the Center commenced a series of webinars for teaching of Israel. By the end of 2014, more than 2000 middle school and secondary school teachers had participated in workshops where his presentations were central to the learning process. Published by the Center for Israel Education in Atlanta, he has written or co-authored seven curriculum/teaching units on aspects of modern Israel: Sephardi Jewry and the Land of Israel History, co-authored with Yaron Ayalon and Rich Walter (February 2015); Israel @65: A Family and Community Resource Guide, E-book co-authored with Rich Walter (April 2013); Israel and the Jewish Nation: Part One (May 2012); Israel and Hebrew Language: A Nation’s Choice, co-authored with Tal Grinfas-David (2010); Israel’s National Security and Civil Liberties: Balancing the State’s Objectives, co-authored with Roni Eshel (January 2009);  A Call to Action: Volunteering and Israel’s State-Building, co-authored with Tal Grinfas-David (2008); and To Israel and Back: A Journey to Our Future, co-authored with Tal Grinfas-David. http://israeled.org/israel-education-store/

In service to the profession, he is a board member of the Israel Institute ASMEA, serves on the editorial board of Middle East Quarterly.  He underwrites the costs for the annual Amira Margalith Summer Research Internship Program at the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies at Tel Aviv University. He has served several universities in their quest to establish Israel Studies programs and make Israel Studies faculty appointments.

In 1995, he was awarded the Emory Williams Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching. In 2001, Emory honored him with the Marion V. Creekmore Award for his quarter-century commitment to the internationalization of Emory College's curriculum. In April 2008, the Atlanta Jewish community honored him for his thirty years of service as a public intellectual. In 2009, he was awarded the Cuttino Medal for Lifelong Mentorship to Emory undergraduates. In 2012, he was the recipient of the Jewish National Fund’s prestigious Etz Chaim Award for Service. Annually, his undergraduate course, "History, Politics and Diplomacy of the Arab Israeli Conflict," remains one of Emory's most popular courses. Stein is a frequent commentator for the media and civic organizations, In Spring 2011, Emory College created the Kenneth W. Stein Fund for the Study of Modern Israel to establish an Endowed Professorship in his name to preserve in perpetuity the work he has done in establishing the study of modern Israel on the Emory Campus. The professorship is being partially supported by many of his former students and their parents. http://ismi.emory.edu/home/about/stein%20endowed%20professorship.html

Dr. Stein received his undergraduate BA degree from Franklin and Marshall College (1968), a Masters in Middle Eastern History (1969) and Near Eastern Literatures and Languages (1971). From 1971-1973, he did dissertation research and language study as a visiting graduate student at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He received a Doctorate in modern Middle Eastern History from The University of Michigan in 1976. He was trained at Michigan in medieval Islamic and modern Middle Eastern history, modern Jewish history, British Empire and Commonwealth, Middle Eastern politics, and completed his doctoral work on Arabs and Jews in the British Mandatory Palestine. 

Institute for the Study of Modern Israel, www.ismi.emory.edu

Center for Israel Education, www.israeled.org

Education

  • BA, Franklin and Marshall College, 1968.
  • MA, University of Michigan, 1969.
  • MA, University of Michigan, 1971.
  • PhD, University of Michigan, 1976.

Interests

  • American Foreign Policy toward the Middle East
  • modern Arab world
  • modern Israel
  • Arab-Israeli Negotiations