Kimberly Katz is an ACOR-CAORC post-doctoral fellow for summer 2019 and Professor of Middle East History at Towson University in Maryland. Her current research interests focus on legal history in Jordan and the West Bank. She is analyzing the transition from the British Mandate-era Penal Code to the Jordanian Penal Code that followed the Unification of the East Bank and the West Bank in 1950. Her study highlights the legal challenges that the Jordanian government faced and examines the way that law affected Jordan’s newest citizens, many of whom were also refugees.
Professor Katz joined Towson’s History Department in 2003 after earning her Ph.D. in History and Middle East Studies from New York University in 2001. Her research and teaching interests focus on social, cultural, colonial, and post-colonial history of the Middle East and North Africa in the 19th and 20th centuries. She has conducted research in Jordan, Palestine, Tunisia, and Egypt with the support of various fellowships, including Fulbright, Palestinian American Research Center (PARC), American Institute for Maghrib Studies (AIMS), and the American Center of Oriental Research (ACOR).
Professor Katz’s published works demonstrate a specific interest in biographical and urban history. Her first book, Jordanian Jerusalem: Holy Places and National Spaces, was published in 2005 by the University Press of Florida. Her second book, A Young Palestinian’s Diary, 1941-1945: The Life of Sami ‘Amr, was published by the University of Texas Press in 2009. In 2017, that book was published in Arabic by the Arab Institute for Research and Publishing (AIRP) in Beirut. She has also written many articles for academic journals, including Urban History, Biography, the International Journal of Middle East Studies (IJMES), and the Journal of North African Studies (JNAS).
Professor Katz spent the 2018–2019 academic year on a Fulbright Fellowship in Jordan conducting archival research. In the summers of 2019 and 2020 she is continuing this research thanks to a CAORC (Council for American Overseas Research Centers) Fellowship at ACOR. She will present the early results of her current research at the Nordic Middle East Studies Conference in Helsinki, Finland in August 2019 and at the Middle East Studies Association (MESA) conference in New Orleans, Louisiana in November 2019.