Rebecca L. Stein

Rebecca L. Stein

Associate Professor of Cultural Anthropology

External address: 
205 Friedl Building, 1316 Campus Drive Duke Box 900, Durham, NC 27710
Internal office address: 
Box 90091, Durham, NC 27708-0091
Phone: 
(919) 684-4663
Webpages: 

Overview

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. 

Degrees & Credentials

  • Ph.D., Stanford University 1999

  • M.A., Stanford University 1995

  • B.A., Amherst College 1991

Selected Grants

ACLS Fellowship 2015-2016 awarded by American Council of Learned Societies (Principal Investigator). 2016 to 2017

New Media and the Israeli Military Occupation awarded by Josiah Charles Trent Memorial Foundation (Principal Investigator). 2010 to 2012

Repossessions: The Social Life of Palestinian Things in Jewish-Israel awarded by Josiah Charles Trent Memorial Foundation (Principal Investigator). 2006 to 2008

Stein, R., and A. Kuntsman. Digital militarism : Israel's Occupation in the Social Media Age. Stanford University Press, 2015.

Stein, R. L., and T. Swedenburg, editors. Palestine, Israel, and the Politics of Popular Culture. Duke University Press, 2005.

Stein, R. L., and J. Beinin, editors. The Struggle for Sovereignty: Palestine and Israel, 1993-2005. Stanford University Press, 2005.

Stein, R. L. “Tours that Bind: Review of Shaul Kelner.” Journal of Tourism History, 2011.

Stein, R. L. “Governing Gaza: Bureaucracy, Authority, and the Work of Rule, 1917–1967 by Ilana Feldman.” American Anthropologist, American Anthropological Association, 29 Nov. 2010.

Stein, R. L., and P. Scham. “Shared Histories.” International Journal of Middle East Studies, Cambridge University Press (CUP): HSS Journals, 2007.

Stein, R. L., and E. Shohat. “TABOO MEMORIES, DIASPORIC VOICES.” International Journal of Middle East Studies, Cambridge University Press (CUP): HSS Journals, 2007.

Stein, R. L. “Israeli Backpackers: From Tourism to Rite of Passage.” International Journal of Middle East Studies, Cambridge University Press (CUP): HSS Journals, 2006.

Stein, R. L., and D. Lefkowitz. “WORDS AND STONES.” American Anthropologist, American Anthropological Association, 2006.

Stein, R. L. “Zionism's Internal Critics.” Journal of Palestine Studies, vol. 31, no. 4, University of California Press, 2002.

Stein, R. L. “From Shmaltz to Sacrilege: Commemorating Israel After Rabin.” Middle East Report (New York, N.Y.), vol. 28, no. 207, Wiley-Blackwell, 1998, pp. 43–45.

Stein, R. L. “Our Sisters' Promised Land, Ayala Emmet.” American Anthropologist, American Anthropological Association, 1998.

Pages

Stein, Rebecca. “When Colonial Machines Break-Down: Digitality and Decolonization in Israel/Palestine.” The StateMachines Reader, 2019.

Stein, R. L. “Of possessions and dispossessions: A story of Palestinian property in jewish Israeli lives.” Struggle and Survival in Palestine/Israel, 2012, pp. 295–305.

Stein, R. L. “Of Houses and Homelands: Israel, Palestine, Things.” Struggle and Survival in Palestine and Israel, edited by G. Shafir and M. LeVine, 2012.

Stein, R. L. “On Tourism and Politics in Israel: A Response to Eric Meyers.” Archeology, Politics, and the Media, edited by Eric Meyers, Eisenbrauns, 2009.

Stein, R. L. “Balad of the Sad Cafe: Israeli Leisure, Palestinian Terror, and the Post/colonial Question.” Postcolonial Studies and Beyond, edited by Ania Loomba et al., Duke University Press, 2006.

Stein, R. L., and Joel Beinin. “Histories and Futures of a Failed Peace.” The Struggle for Sovereignty: Palestine and Israel, 1993-2005, 2006.

Stein, R. L. “The Oslo Process, Israeli Popular Culture, and the Remaking of National Space.” The Struggle for Sovereignty: Palestine and Israel, 1993-2005, 2006.

Stein, R. L., and Ted Swedenburg. “Popular Culture, Transnationality, and Radical History.” Palestine, Israel, and the Politics of Popular Culture, Duke University Press, 2005.

Stein, R. L. “"First Contact’ and Other Israeli Fictions: Tourism, Globalization, and the Middle East Peace Process".” Palestine, Israel and the Politics of Popular Culture, edited by Rebecca L. Stein and Ted Swedenburg, Duke University Press, 2005.

Stein, R. L. “GoPro occupation: Networked cameras, Israeli Military rule, and the digital promise.” Current Anthropology, vol. 58, Feb. 2017, pp. S56–64. Scopus, doi:10.1086/688869. Full Text

Stein, R. L. “#StolenHomes: Israeli tourism and/as military occupation in historical perspective.” American Quarterly, vol. 68, no. 3, Sept. 2016, pp. 545–55. Scopus, doi:10.1353/aq.2016.0050. Full Text

Stein, R. L. “Dispossession Reconsidered: Israel, Nakba, Things.” Ethnologie Francaise, vol. 45, no. 2, Jan. 2015, pp. 309–20. Scopus, doi:10.3917/ethn.152.0309. Full Text

Stein, R. “Performative zion: Butler’s parting ways.” Studies in American Jewish Literature, vol. 33, no. 2, Jan. 2014, pp. 259–63. Scopus, doi:10.1353/ajl.2014.0020. Full Text

Stein, Edward. “Performative Zion:.” Studies in American Jewish Literature (1981 ), vol. 33, no. 2, The Pennsylvania State University Press, 2014, pp. 259–259. Crossref, doi:10.5325/studamerjewilite.33.2.0259. Full Text

Stein, R. L., and A. Kuntsman. “Selfie Militarism.” London Review of Books, 2014.

Stein, R. L. “State Tube: Anthropological reflections on social media and the Israeli State.” Anthropological Quarterly, vol. 85, no. 3, Sept. 2012, pp. 893–916. Scopus, doi:10.1353/anq.2012.0045. Full Text Open Access Copy

Stein, R. L. “Impossible Witness: Israeli Visuality, Palestinian Testimony and the Gaza War.” Journal for Cultural Research, vol. 16, no. 2–3, July 2012, pp. 135–53. Scopus, doi:10.1080/14797585.2012.647749. Full Text Open Access Copy

Kuntsman, Adi, and Rebecca L. Stein. “Digital Suspicion, Politics, and the Middle East.” Critical Inquiry (Online Feature on Arab Spring), 2011. Open Access Copy

Stein, R. L. “EXPLOSIVE: Scenes from Israel's Gay Occupation.” Glq: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies, vol. 16, no. 4, Duke University Press, Jan. 2010, pp. 517–36. Crossref, doi:10.1215/10642684-2010-002. Full Text Open Access Copy

Pages

Stein, Rebecca. ““Israel Dispatch".” Middle East Report, Wiley-Blackwell, 2017.

Stein, R. L. “Viral Occupation Cameras and Networked Human Rights in the West Bank.” Middle East Report, 2013.

Stein, R. L. “Inside Israel's Twitter War Room: History of a Social Media Arsenal.” Middle East Report, 2012.

Stein, R. L. “An All-Consuming Occupation.” Middle East Report, 2012.

Stein, R. L. “The Other Wall: Facebook and Israel.” London Review of Books Blog, 19 Apr. 2011.

Stein, R. L. “Tours that Bind: Review of Shaul Kelner.” Journal of Tourism History, 2011.

Stein, R. L. “Bin Laden’s TV.” Jadaliyya, 2011.

Stein, Rebecca L. “Governing Gaza: Bureaucracy, Authority, and the Work of Rule, 1917-1967 by Ilana Feldman.” American Anthropologist, vol. 112, no. 4, Wiley, Dec. 2010, pp. 666–67. Crossref, doi:10.1111/j.1548-1433.2010.01294_7.x. Full Text

Stein, R. L. “Review of Israeli Culture Between the Two Intifadas: A Brief Romance by Yaron Peleg.” Middle East Report, vol. 254, no. Spring, 2010.

Kuntsman, Adi, and Rebecca L. Stein. “Another War Zone: New Media and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.” Middle East Report, 2010.

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