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Rebecca L. Stein, Associate Professor of Cultural Anthropology and Duke Middle East Studies Center and Director of Undergraduate Studies and Bass Fellow of Cultural Anthropology

Rebecca L. Stein

My research studies linkages between cultural and political processes in Israel in relation to its military occupation and the history of Palestinian dispossession. I am the author of (with Adi Kuntsman) Digital Militarism: Israel's Occupation in the Social Media Age (Stanford University Press, 2015), which studies the interplay between new media and military occupation in the Israel/Palestine context, Itineraries in Conflict: Israelis, Palestinians, and the Political Lives of Tourism (Duke University Press, 2008) which considers the relationship between tourism, mobility politics, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and the co-editor of Palestine, Israel, and the Politics of Popular Culture (Duke University Press, 2005) with Ted Swedenburg and The Struggle for Sovereignty: Palestine and Israel, 1993-2005 with Joel Beinin (Stanford University Press, 2006). 

I am currently continuing work on a multi-book project about the ways that new communication technologies are meditating the everyday Israeli relationship to its military occupation -- including the ways such technologies are changing practices and logics of military 'counterinsurgency', altering the everyday terms of soldiering, changing the Israeli civilian relationship to Palestinians under occupation, and remaking the terrain of human rights work and anti-occupation activism within Israel. My first book on this topic --Digital Militarism: Israel's Occupation in the Social Media Age (with Adi Kuntsman) -- studied the place of social media within this equation. My current book project --Smartphone Dreams: State Violence, Cameras and the Digital Promise--- studies the role of testimonial cameras in the context of the Israeli military occupation.  Over the last two decades, all of the actors in this political theater, on both sides of the conflict, have increasingly integrated photographic technologies, and networked image-making, into their political toolbox: Palestinian and Israeli human rights workers and activists, Palestinian civilians living under occupation, the Israeli military, and the Jewish settler population.  All of these constituencies believed that the technological innovations of the digital age would deliver their images – and therein, their political message -- with greater fidelity. And all would be let down.  In an effort to counter the techno-utopianism of much new media scholarship, Smartphone Dreams focuses on episodes of breakdown and glitch where cameras were concerned, on cases where new photographic technologies, practices, and circulations failed to deliver on their supposed promise, across these ideological divides. 

This multi-book project has been supported by grants from the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS), the Wenner-Gren Foundation, the Palestinian American Research Council, and the Trent Foundation. Portions of this work have published in Current AnthropologyCritical Inquiry, Anthropological Quarterly, Middle East Report, and the London Review of Books. My work on Israeli cultural politics has appeared in such journals as Public Culture, Social TextThe International Journal of Middle East Studies,Theory and Event, Journal of Palestine Studies, GLQ: A Journal of Gay and Lesbian Studies and Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies. 



Contact Info:
Office Location:  205 Friedl Building, 1316 Campus Drive Duke Box 900, Durham, NC 27710
Office Phone:  (919) 684-4663
Email Address: send me a message
Web Page:  http://rebeccalstein.com/

Office Hours:

Thursdays, 3:00 - 4:00 and by appointment
Education:

Ph.D.Stanford University1999
M.A.Stanford University1995
B.A.Amherst College1991
Specialties:

Middle East
Mass Culture
Post Colonialism
Globalization
Sexuality
Culture Theory
Research Interests:

Current projects: Viral Occupation

My research studies linkages between cultural and political processes in Israel in relation to its military occupation and the history of Palestinian dispossession. I am the author of (with Adi Kuntsman) Digital Militarism: Israel's Occupation in the Social Media Age (Stanford University Press, 2015), which studies the interplay between new media and military occupation in the Israel/Palestine context, Itineraries in Conflict: Israelis, Palestinians, and the Political Lives of Tourism (Duke University Press, 2008) which considers the relationship between tourism, mobility politics, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and the co-editor of Palestine, Israel, and the Politics of Popular Culture (Duke University Press, 2005) with Ted Swedenburg and The Struggle for Sovereignty: Palestine and Israel, 1993-2005 with Joel Beinin (Stanford University Press, 2006). 



I am currently continuing work on a multi-book project about the ways that new communication technologies are meditating the everyday Israeli relationship to its military occupation -- including the ways such technologies are changing practices and logics of military 'counterinsurgency', altering the everyday terms of soldiering, changing the Israeli civilian relationship to Palestinians under occupation, and remaking the terrain of human rights work and anti-occupation activism within Israel. My first book on this topic --Digital Militarism: Israel's Occupation in the Social Media Age( (with Adi Kuntsman) -- studied the place of social media within this equation. My second book project -- Viral Occupation: Military Rule On Camera - considers the role of photographic technologies and viral image networks within this framework, with a focus on how the smartphone camera has altered this political landscape. This work has been supported by grants from the Wenner Gren foundation and Palestinian American Research Council. 


My work on Israeli cultural politics has appeared in such journals as Critical Inquiry, Anthropological Quarterly, The International Journal of Middle East Studies, Social Text, Public Culture, Theory and Event, Journal of Palestine Studies, GLQ: A Journal of Gay and Lesbian Studies and Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies.
Areas of Interest:

Middle East; Israel; Palestine

Keywords:

Digital media • Middle East • Orientalism • Palestine • Travel • Zionism

Current Ph.D. Students  

  • Anna Dowell  
  • Jeremy Siegman  
  • Nina Arutyunyan  
  • Guy Shalev  
  • Yakein Abdelmagid  
  • Stephanie Friede  
  • Patrick Galbraith  
  • Callie Maidhoff  
  • Cagri Yoltar  
  • Erin Parish  
  • Anne-Marie Angelo  
  • Laurel Bradley  
  • Brenna Casey  
Representative Publications   (More Publications)

  1. Stein, R; Kuntsman, A, Digital militarism : Israel's Occupation in the Social Media Age (2015), Stanford University Press [available here]
  2. R.L. Stein, Itineraries in Conflict: Israelis, Palestinians, and the Political Lives of Tourism (2008), Duke University Press
  3. Rebecca L. Stein and Ted Swedenburg (eds.), Palestine, Israel, and the Politics of Popular Culture (2005), Duke University Press
  4. Joel Beinin and Rebecca L. Stein (editors), The Struggle for Sovereignty: Palestine and Israel, 1993-2005 (2006), Stanford University Press
  5. R.L. Stein, Dispossession Reconsidered: Israel, Nakba, Things (in French), Ethnologie Francaise -- Special issue, "Israel au Quotidien" (2015)
  6. Stein, RL; Kuntsman, A, Selfie Militarism, London Review of Books (2014) [available here]
  7. Stein, RL, Viral Occupation Cameras and Networked Human Rights in the West Bank, Middle East Report (2013) [mero032013]
  8. Stein, RL, Inside Israel's Twitter War Room: History of a Social Media Arsenal, Middle East Report (2012) [mero112412]
  9. Stein, RL, An All-Consuming Occupation, Middle East Report (2012) [mero062612]
  10. Stein, RL, Impossible Witness: Israeli Visuality, Palestinian Testimony and the Gaza War, Journal for Cultural Research, vol. 16 no. 2-3 (July, 2012), pp. 135-153, Informa UK Limited [repository], [doi]  [abs]
  11. Stein, RL, StateTube: Anthropological Reflections on Social Media and the Israeli State, Anthropological Quarterly, vol. 85 no. 3 (June, 2012), pp. 893-916, GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIV INST ETHNOGRAPHIC RESEARCH, ISSN 0003-5491 [Gateway.cgi], [doi]
  12. Kuntsman, A; Stein, RL, Digital Suspicion, Politics, and the Middle East, Critical Inquiry (Online Feature on Arab Spring) (2011) [available here]
  13. Kuntsman, A; Stein, RL, Another War Zone: New Media and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Middle East Report (2010) [another-war-zone]
  14. Stein, RL, Israeli Routes Through Nakba Landscapes: An Ethnographic Meditation, Jerusalem Quarterly, vol. 43 (2010) [Israeli_Routes_Through_Nakba_Landscapes_An_Ethnographic_Meditation]
  15. Stein, RL, EXPLOSIVE: Scenes from Israel's Gay Occupation, Glq: a Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies, vol. 16 no. 4 (January, 2010), pp. 517-536, Duke University Press, ISSN 1064-2684 [repository], [doi]
  16. Stein, RL, TRAVELLING ZION, Interventions International Journal of Postcolonial Studies, vol. 11 no. 3 (Fall, 2009), pp. 334-351, Informa UK Limited, ISSN 1369-801X [Gateway.cgi], [doi]

     

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