College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities

Amit Bein named interim chair of history and geography


Amit Bein
Amit Bein is the author of two books and many articles on the Middle East, particularly on the Ottoman Empire and modern Turkey. Image Credit: Clemson University Relations

CLEMSON – Amit Bein has been appointed interim chair of the department of history and geography at Clemson University, effective June 1.

Bein, a professor of Middle Eastern studies, has served as acting chair of the department since March 1.

“Amit Bein has excellent skills as a scholar and manager, and I am confident that he provided outstanding leadership as the acting chair of the department of history,” said Timothy R. Boosinger, interim dean of the College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities.

Bein, an expert on late Ottoman history and the early Turkish Republic, teaches courses on the history of the modern Middle East. He previously served as coordinator of the department’s undergraduate program.

Bein leads a department offering courses in an ever-expanding list of subjects, ranging from ancient history to contemporary America. The program will offer an undergraduate concentration in digital history in the fall and is developing a new Ph.D. program, which would be the nation’s first doctoral program in digital history.

“The department of history and geography is well known for the innovative research and the excellent teaching of our faculty,” Bein said. “In these challenging times, my task is to assist our faculty in putting their creativity to work so that they are able to continue producing world-class scholarship and provide our students with the most stimulating and compelling learning experiences in the classroom and beyond.”

Bein came to Clemson in 2006 as an assistant professor of history and served as associate professor from 2012 until his promotion to full professor in 2018.

He earned his Ph.D. in Near Eastern studies from Princeton University in 2006 after earning master’s and bachelor’s degrees from Tel Aviv University. Born in Israel, Bein conducts research in multiple languages, including Turkish, Arabic, Hebrew, French and German.

Bein is the author of two books, including “Kemalist Turkey and the Middle East: International Relations in the Interwar Period” (Cambridge University Press, 2017). He also has written many articles and conference papers on the Middle East, focusing particularly on the Ottoman Empire and modern Turkey. His current research explores the impact of World War II on Turkey’s society, culture and politics.

Bein succeeds James Burns, who served as chair of the department of history and geography from 2015 to 2020, and who now serves as interim associate dean for academic affairs in the College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities.

About history and geography

The history and geography department at Clemson offers courses spanning ancient Mediterranean civilizations through 21st century America. Classes offer global perspectives on the cultures and histories of many nations and regions, including India, Japan, Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America.

The department currently has more than 150 undergraduate majors, who have the option of taking a public history concentration. Public history emphasizes research and scholarship focusing on oral history, museum exhibits, historic preservation, documentaries, podcasts, archives and other educational programs.

Hundreds of other undergraduates from many disciplines take history courses every semester to fulfill the general education requirements that lead to a well-rounded education at Clemson.

More than 20 students are pursuing master’s degrees in history.

Beginning in fall 2020, the department will offer an undergraduate degree in history with a digital history emphasis. Digital history is a dynamic new field that integrates computing technology and humanities scholarship for the creation and dissemination of knowledge in digital media. Historians need digital training to study census documents, emails, texts, social media communications, and archival and oral history preservation techniques, much as scholars have had to master Latin to study ancient Rome.

History and geography classes are centered in Hardin Hall, originally built in 1890 and substantially rebuilt and restored over the years, most recently in 2002.

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