Department Chair
David D. Commins
Professor of History; Benjamin Rush Chair in the Liberal Arts and Sciences (1987).
Denny Hall Room 205
Department Faculty
Magda Siekert
Senior Lecturer in Middle East Studies (2009).
Denny Hall Room 10C
(717) 254-8146 |
B.A., Cairo University, 1977; M.A., The American University in Cairo, 1980; M.A. in Arabic Studies, Georgetown University, 1983.

Magda Siekert comes to Dickinson from the Department of State where she spent the past 22 years as a Foreign Service Officer serving in the Middle East, Europe, and Latin America. Her specialty is U.S. public diplomacy. She earned a Masters, and completed the coursework and comprehensive exams for a Ph.D. in Arabic Studies at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. She also holds a Masters from the American University in Cairo, Egypt. She taught at Georgetown University, the Johns Hopkins School for Advanced International Studies, and at the American University in Cairo. She is fluent in Arabic (native), French, and Spanish
Mohammad Abu Shuleh
Visiting International Scholar in Middle East Studies (2012)
Denny Hall Room 10B
(717) 254-8141 |
B.A., The University of Jordan, 2000; M.A., Al al-Bayt University, Jordan, 2005; Ph.D., Yarmouk University, Jordan, 2016.

Before coming to Dickinson as a Visiting International Scholar in Middle East Studies in 2012, Mohammad Abu Shuleh has worked as an administrator and instructor at Qasid Arabic Institute in Amman, Jordan since 2004. As the Director of Academic Development at Qasid, Abu Shuleh has played an intricate role in the development of the institute's teaching materials and training programs. He received his Ph.D. in Islamic Studies from Yarmouk University, Jordan. A certified interviewer in the ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview, Abu Shuleh has received a diploma from the University of Jordan in curriculum development and teaching methods. His research and teaching interests focus on Arabic and Islamic Studies.
Contributing Faculty
Anat Beck
Visiting Assistant Professor of International Business & Management (2015).
239 W Louther St Room 203
(717) 254-8059 |
LL.B.,Tel Aviv University, 2004; LL.M., Cornell Law School, 2006; J.S.D., 2015.

Prof. Beck's research interests include innovation, entrepreneurship & technology; sustainability; international business & management; economic empowerment; justice & the Rule of Law; leadership and politics. She received her J.S.D. (Doctorate in Corporate Law) in January 2015 from Cornell Law School. Her dissertation “The Coalition Model,” portrays entrepreneurs as agents of change, who contribute to growth at the levels of the firm, region, nation and international arenas. Entrepreneurial firms have an important role in contributing to job creation, to generating technological innovation and to stimulating the economy. The dissertation describes the many underlying challenges that the financing of young entrepreneurial firms present to prospective investors and innovators, and proposes policy suggestions.
David D. Commins
Professor of History; Benjamin Rush Chair in the Liberal Arts and Sciences (1987).
Denny Hall Room 205
B.A., University of California at Berkeley, 1976; Ph.D., University of Michigan, 1985.

His teaching interests are in modern Middle Eastern history with an emphasis on Islamic thought and political movements. His most recent book is Islam in Saudi Arabia. His other books are The Gulf States: A Modern History, The Wahhabi Mission and Saudi Arabia, Historical Dictionary of Syria, and Islamic Reform.
Neil J. Diamant
Professor of Asian Law and Society (2002).
Stern Center for Global Educ Room 005
(717) 245-1540 |
B.A., Hebrew University of Jerusalem 1988; M.A., University of Washington, 1991; Ph.D., University of California at Berkeley, 1996.

Professor Diamant's research focuses on law and society in Asia (with particular reference to China, Japan, and India), civil-military relations in China, patriotism in comparative perspective, and the history of Chinese constitutionalism. He also teaches courses on Israeli politics and Zionism. Publications: Professor Diamant is the author of two books, Embattled Glory: Veterans, Military Families and the Politics of Patriotism in China, 1949-2007 (Rowman & Littlefield, 2009) and Revolutionizing the Family: Politics, Love, and Divorce in Urban and Rural China, 1949-1968 (University of California Press, 2000). He also co-edited Engaging the Law in China: State, Society and Possibilities for Justice (Stanford, 2005). Recent articles include "Conspicuous Silence: Veterans and the Depoliticization of War Memory in China" (Modern Asian Studies, 2011), "Veterans, Organization, and the Politics of Martial Citizenship in China" (Journal of East Asian Studies, 2007), "Veterans' Political Activism in China" (Modern China, 2014), "Contentious Veterans: China's Ex-Officers Speak Out" (Armed Forces and Society, 2014). Forthcoming articles on China's 1954 Constitution will appear in The China Journal (2015) and Cold War Studies (2015). He has contributed chapters to a number of edited volumes, including "The Limitations of Martial Citizenship in the People's Republic of China," in Peled, Lewin-Epstein, Mundlak and Cohen's Democratic Citizenship and War (2010); "Why Archives?" in Carlson, Gallagher, Lieberthal, and Manion's Chinese Politics: New Sources, Methods, and Field Strategies (2010); and "Legal Syncretism and Family Change in Urban and Rural China" in Galvan and Sil's, Reconfiguring Institutions across Time and Space: Syncretic Responses to Challenges of Political and Economic Transformation (2007).
Nitsa Kann
Associate Professor of Judaic Studies (2005).
East College Room 208
(717) 254-8977 |
B.A., Hebrew University, 1982; M.A., University of California at Berkeley, 1984; Ph.D., 2005.

Her teaching interests include Hebrew language, Hebrew Literature, Kabbalah, and Middle Eastern Cinema. She is the author of two Hebrew books of poems, 'Black Soul Singer' (1989), and 'A Woman With Child' (1992), and the author of two Hebrew novels, 'Gazelle of Love' (1995), and 'Herotica' (1998).
Ebru Kongar
Associate Professor of Economics (2003).
Althouse Hall Room 212
(717) 245-1529 |
B.S., Bogazici University-Turkey, 1996; Ph.D., University of Utah, 2003.

Andrea B. Lieber
(on sabbatical Fall 2016)
Professor of Religion; Sophia Ava Asbell Chair in Judaic Studies (1998).
East College Room 106
(717) 245-1482 |
B.A., Vassar College, 1989; M.A., Columbia University, 1993; M.Phil., 1995; Ph.D., 1998.

Her courses explore the transformations of Judaism as a living religion and evolving culture from its origins in antiquity through its varied manifestations in the 20th century. Special interests include: Judaism and early Christianity, Jewish mysticism (kabbalah), women and gender in Jewish tradition.
Erik Love
(on leave of absence 2016-17)
Assistant Professor of Sociology (2009; 2012).
Denny Hall Room 105
(717) 245-1225 |
B.A., Albion College, 2001; M.A., University of California, Santa Barbara, 2006; Ph.D., 2011.

Erik Love received his Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of California at Santa Barbara, where he was a Regents Fellow. Erik’s research centers on civil rights advocacy in the United States. He has presented his research on the efforts of Arab, Muslim, Sikh, and South Asian American advocacy organizations at several academic conferences, in peer-reviewed journals, and he has contributed to a wide range of popular publications. His work has won the support of the National Science Foundation, the Richard Flacks Fund for the Study of Democracy, and the Center for New Racial Studies. Prior to joining the faculty at Dickinson, Erik lived and studied in Jerusalem, Cairo, and Kyoto. Since arriving at Dickinson, Erik has continued his research on civil rights advocacy as he prepares a book manuscript.
Theodore Pulcini
Thomas Bowman Professor of Religion and Philosophy (1995).
East College Room 203A
(717) 245-1208 |
B.A., Harvard College, 1976; M.A., University of Notre Dame, 1979; Th.M., Harvard Divinity School, 1982; Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh, 1994.
Ganoe Award for Inspirational Teaching, 1998-1999; Dickinson Award for Distinguished Teaching, 2002-03.

His teaching responsibilities focus on exploring the Biblical texts in their historical, social, and comparative contexts. He also specializes in Islam, early Christianity, and Eastern Orthodox Christianity. Research interests include relations between Islam and Christianity, both past and present.
Shalom D. Staub
Associate Provost for Academic Affairs (2004).
West College (Old West) 2nd Floor
(717) 254-8917 |
B.A., Wesleyan University, 1977; M.A., 1978; Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania, 1985.

His research and teaching interests focus on 1) various dimensions of conflict analysis, conflict resolution and peacemaking, and 2) the ethnography of religious experience, including “folk” religion, religion and conflict, and the intersection of religion with race, ethnicity, and gender. These interests play out in his courses on conflict and conflict resolution studies, religion and conflict, ethnography of Jewish experience, folk religious practices in the Middle East and North Africa, and immigration and religious diversity in the US.
Edward Webb
Associate Professor of Political Science and International Studies (2007).
Denny Hall Room 202
(717) 245-1009 |
B.A., Cambridge University, 1992; M.A., University of Pennsylvania, 2003; Ph.D., 2007.

His teaching and research activities are mainly in Middle East politics, comparative politics and international relations. He contributes to Middle East Studies and Security Studies. He has particular interests in the interaction of religions and politics and the politics of education, as well as authoritarianism and empire. His interest in pedagogical applications of new technologies, including simulations, games, and social media, has led to him being appointed to the Advisory Board of the National Institute for Technology in Liberal Education. A former diplomat, he has lived and worked in the Middle East and Europe. Recent publications: Professor Webb contributed a chapter on “Totalitarianism and Authoritarianism” to 21st Century Political Science: A Reference Handbook, edited by Ishiyama & Breuning (2011) and a chapter, “Should the Daleks Be Exterminated?” (with Mark Wardecker) to Doctor Who and Philosophy, edited by Smithka & Lewis (2010). His article “Engaging Students with Engaging Tools” was published in Educause Quarterly in 2009.
Stephen Weinberger
(on sabbatical Fall 2016)
Robert Coleman Professor of History (1969).
Denny Hall Room 217
(717) 245-1500 |
B.A., Northeastern University, 1965; M.A., University of Wisconsin, 1966; Ph.D., 1969.

His teaching interests center on medieval and Renaissance history, European intellectual history, and the history of film. His current research involves conflict in medieval society, and censorship in the American film industry.