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Kristen Urban, Ph.D.

Kristen Urban


Department of Political Science

Kristen Urban, Ph.D., joined the Mount in 1994. She is the director of the international studies program and the creator and director of the Conflict, Peace, & Social Justice major. Her doctoral fieldwork was undertaken in Israel/Palestine in the early 1990s, just ahead of the Oslo Accords, which catalyzed an interest in the further study of peace and conflict. In 2002, she began to explore religious avenues in conflict studies, especially examining what Judaism, Christianity and Islam can bring to the process of peacebuilding.

Since then, she has engaged with Professor Johan Galtung in Romania on “Global Peacebuilding & Development”; with Peter Berger at Boston University on “Religion & Globalization”; with Diane Eck at Harvard University on “Teaching Interfaith Understanding”; with faculty at Hartford Seminary, CT on “Building Abrahamic Partnerships,” and with George Lopez at the Kroc Institute of International Peace at Notre Dame University. Additionally, she has spent time in Saudi Arabia and Turkey on bridge-building delegations. In 2004 Urban was a Senior Fulbright Scholar, teaching at the University of Bahrain, and conducting research in human rights, Islam, and political change in the Gulf region.

University of Tennessee, Political Science, Ph.D. (1993)
University of Alabama, Biology/Physiology, M.S. (1975)
University of Minnesota, Biology, B.S. (1969)

  • Henry Luce Foundation Award for Harvard Seminar, 2014
  • CURA Award for Seminar at Boston University, 2007
  • Malone Fellowship for visit to Saudi Arabia and meetings with elite decision-makers, 2006
  • Senior Fulbright Scholarship for teaching & research in Bahrain, 2004
  • Lilly Fellowship for Seminar at Loyola Marymount University in LA, 2003
  • Peace Crafters Award 2007-2008 from CALM, Frederick County Community Mediation & Conflict Resolution Center, Frederick, MD
  • Sisters of St. Francis Award, Mount St. Mary's University, 2016

Areas of Study include: Conflict & Peacebuilding, Peace & Justice in the Abrahamic Traditions, Middle East Politics, Literature and Politics.

She has taught the following courses at the Mount: International Relations, Political Thought, Middle East Politics, African Politics, International Relations of the Middle East, International Law, Introduction to Conflict & Peace, Conflict Theory, Human Rights, Women & War, Peace & Security, the Israeli/Palestinian Conflict, Peace & Justice in the Abrahamic Traditions, International Studies Senior Seminar, and Freshman Symposium.

“Peace-Building – Beginning with Inner Peace: The Role of the Individual in the Abrahamic Traditions.” Journal of Peace and Justice (Spring 2020).

“More Pain for Bahrain: Politics, Culture, and Political Transformation.” Working Papers in International Studies, No. 2018-01 (September 2018). Mount St. Mary’s University, Emmitsburg, MD.

“Identity, Dialogue, and All That Jazz: Not the Final Word.” Collected Essays, Delaplaine Faculty Seminar – African Diaspora in Europe, 1920-Present. (Forthcoming, 2020). Mount St. Mary’s University, Emmitsburg, MD.

“To Have a Life,” Collected Essays, Delaplaine Faculty Seminar – African Diaspora in Europe, 1200-1920. (Forthcoming, Fall 2019). Mount St. Mary’s University. Emmitsburg, MD.

“Isaac and Ishmael: Opportunities for Peace within Religious Narrative?” Journal of Religion, Conflict, and Peace Vol. 2, No. 2 (Spring, 2009).

“A Biological Model of Competitive Exclusion: The Israeli-Palestinian Case.” Politics and Life Sciences (Fall, 2009)

“The Saudi Zig-Zag.” The World and I. June 2008.

“Sacred Space and Transformation in Mahmoud Darwish’s Poetry.” In Literature and Nation in the Middle East, edited by Yasir Suleiman and Ibrahim Muhawi. Edinburgh University Press, Ltd., 2006.

“The Patriot Act.” In Encyclopedia of American Civil Rights and Liberties, edited by Otis H. Stephens, Jr. and John M. Sheb II. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2006.

“Blurring Boundaries: Literature as a Means,” PSA Notes (July, 2000). “The Realization of Self-Determination: A Dual Paradox for Palestinians,” Peace Review (June, 1998).

“Blueprint for a Democratic Palestinian State: UNLU Communiques and the Codification of Political Values for the First Two Years of the Intifada,” Arab Studies Quarterly (Summer, 1994).

Conflict Resolution: Assumptions behind the Approach. E. Jerusalem: Palestinian Academic Society for the Study of International Affairs, 1992.

Book-length ms: Called to Be Human: Peace & Justice in the Abrahamic Traditions (in progress).

Urban is the creator and director of a new major: Conflict, Peace & Social Justice, an interdisciplinary major that builds on the rich Catholic tradition of social justice teachings and prepares students to contribute to both conflict resolution and peacebuilding in their communities and the world.