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Karen Kern


Ph.D., Columbia University

Karen M. Kern is an Associate Professor of History where she teaches courses on the political, social and cultural history of the Middle East from 600 to the present. She also focuses on nationalism and the nation state, women and gender in Islam, and imperial history. She received her B.S. from Skidmore College in May 1986. While studying legal history, with a concentration on Islamic law, at Columbia University, she received numerous grants including the Fulbright-Hays Fellowship, the Fulbright IIE Fellowship, The Institute for Turkish Studies Fellowship, and numerous Mellon and FLAS fellowships. She also interned at The Ford Foundation in Cairo and Khartoum in 1989 and subsequently returned as a consultant in Cairo in 1990. She received both her M.A. and M.Phil. from Columbia in 1990 and 1991, respectively. She graduated from Columbia University with a PhD. in May 1999. While teaching at Hunter College, she has also been recipient of The Fulbright Senior Researcher Fellowship, The J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board and the U.S. Depart of State Certificate of Recognition, The City of New York “Salute to Scholars” Certificate of Recognition, as well as numerous PSC-CUNY Research Awards, Presidential Travel Awards, the CUNY Faculty Fellowship Publications Program, and the George N Shuster Faculty Award.

Her research focuses on the social and legal history of the late Ottoman Empire; the history of Ottoman law, the courts, and legal culture; comparative citizenship and national identity in the late 19th and early 20th centuries; and borderlands and frontiers in the 19th and 20th century Middle East. She is the author of Imperial Citizenship. Marriage and Citizenship in the Ottoman Frontier Provinces of Iraq (Syracuse University Press, “Gender and Globalization” series, 2011). Her recent articles include “The Sacred and the Modern: the History, Conservation, and Science of the Madina Sitara,” Metropolitan Museum Journal 52 (2017); “Provincial-State relations: the kaymakam, the notables and ‘milk marriage’ in late Ottoman Birecik” Turkish Studies Association Journal, 29 (2013), and “‘They are unknown to us:’ the Ottomans, the Mormons and the Protestants in the late Ottoman Empire,” in American Missionaries and the Middle East: Foundational Encounters, Mehmet Ali Doğan and Heather Sharkey (eds.) (Salt Lake City, UT: University of Utah Press, 2011).

Phone:  212-772-5491

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