Peter N. Kirstein                                  Professor of History                         St Xavier University - Chicago

Vice President A.A.U.P. Illinois
Chair Committee A on Academic Freedom and Tenure

         Curriculum Vitae at Bottom     

SXU  Teaching Excellence Award
SXU Scholarship Excellence Award

Kirstein Blog

YouTube: Interview on Iran Television

Kirstein Quoted in InsideHigherEd
on Namita Goswami DePaul tenure case.

Kirstein Quoted in Chicago Sun-Times on Namita Goswami tenure case.

Kirstein Interview on Kevin Barrett, Truth Jihad Radio: on 9/11, acdemic freedom, American imperialism and state terrorism. Scroll down to 03/11/2011 for MP3 link

F.I.R.E. Reproduces Kirstein op-ed on Iraq War Crime and Sanctions for Antiwar E-mail


New York Times
Kirstein on Abu Ghraib

Kirstein: "Challenges to Academic Freedom since 9/11",  Matthew Morgan, ed.,  Impact of 9/11 and the New Legal Landscape,
Palgrave Macmillan, 2009. Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz, who destroyed Norman Finkelstein's tenure bid, is also a contributor.

Kirstein: "Hiroshima and Spinning the Atom: The US, Britain and Canada Proclaim the Nuclear Age, August 6, 1945," The Historian, Winter 2009, 805-27.

Kirstein: essays on  "Academic Freedom" and "J. Robert Oppenheimer," Roger Chapman, ed., Encyclopedia of  the Culture Wars, Vols 1 and 2, M.E. Sharpe, 2010

Prof. Kirstein and Rev. Jesse Jackson on Emmett Till terrorist killing

AAUP Chapter Defends Academic Freedom

FIRE on Kirstein Case

Afghan War K.I.A.

U.S.S. Liberty: Remember the Murdered

American Association of University Professors (AAUP)
Illinois Conference: State Council: AAUP

Inspirational Professors:
Howard Zinn, Boston University
Patrick T. Dougherty, Saint Louis University

Select Online Publications:
"The People's Historian and the F.B.I.  Zinn Files," History News Network, August 9, 2010
"Congress v. President During Iraq and Vietnam," History News Network, March 5, 2007.
"Teaching the Iraq War," Academe, September-October, 2006.
"Iraq: The Logic of Withrawal," History News Network, April 3, 2006.

"Shared Governance and Academic Freedom," Illinois Academe, Fall 2005.
"Why Iraq, Like Vietnam, Is Immoral and Unnecessary," History News Network, March 7, 2005.
"Should Historians Speak at David Irving Conference," History News Network , September 20, 2004.
"Academic Freedom and the New McCarthyism
,"Situation Analysis, Spring , 2004, 21-35. PDF
"How I Define Patriotism
," HNN, October 20, 2003.
"Terrorism from the Sky: The Destruction of Nagasaki," New Ground, July-August, 2003, 12-15.
"American Swagger in a Dangerous Nuclear World," HNN, January, 2003.
"False Dissenters: Manhattan Project Scientists and the Use of the Atomic Bomb," American Diplomacy, 2001
Kirstein's Teaching Philosophy and Raison D'être in being a professor. {updated 2009}
I believe teaching is a moral act. I do not construe the purpose of teaching as merely transmitting information with the purpose of ratifying the current order. Students need to appreciate not only the strengths but also the failures of the past in order to better comprehend the challenges that lie ahead. I would like students to be change agents, to be committed to a better world and I have no doubt that this objective of my teaching is moral and just. Racism, sexism, militarism, homophobia, unregulated capital formation and aggressive nationalism are examples of persistent historical phenomena that must be assessed and used to build a course of study that is progressive, caring and just.

On pedagogy per se: Different views and competing visions should be introduced when appropriate. Not every theme or action, however, requires "balance" in the classroom. Professors should not hesitate to voice and express opinions but should be careful to insure that student voices are heard and validated. P
rofessors should not indoctrinate or proselytise their students. Conversely, self-censorship by professors should be minimal and academic freedom should be well-established on a campus to allow and even encourage challenging pedagogy even if controversial. The search for the truth should have few restrictions in an academic setting..

For education to be meaningful, it should move beyond preparation for a "job." Yes that is important and students have a right to expect their education will provide them with the requisite skills to pursue and develop their occupational pursuits. Yet there are other higher purposes to education that I have and will continue to expostulate. I want my students to recognise and encounter in their studies the racism in America, the violence that it has perpetrated, the persecution of homosexuals that remains an issue of concern, the lack of gender equity and the arrogant notion of American exceptionalism. Students who can think outside the realm of narrow nationalism will be equpped to encounter globalisation and international issues. Other societies have weaknesses too and those should be examined as well.

Professors should be immune from external or internal pressure to conform. There have been numerous occasions where I have been urged to to revise my teaching pedagogy and to adopt a less-progressive ethical vision. I have been named as one of David Horowitz, The Professors: The 101 Most Dangerous Academics in America which I find curious as a military veteran, the son of an Army Captain and opponent of violence. Professors must have academic freedom or their students cannot learn as effectively. A professor who is proccupied with being fired, suspended, denied tenure, or LOSING tenure will engage in self-censorship. Students will be denied their right to be educated by professors who are not hesitant to teach honestly and openly their discipline without fear of retribution. I have and will dedicate my energies to ensure that academic freedom is indeed respected and protected on both my campus and to the extent possible, elsewhere.

Curriculum Vitae


        Ph.D., Saint Louis University, (History)

        M.A., Saint Louis University, (Political Science)

        A.B., Boston University, (Government)

        Washington University in St. Louis –attended

        Mary Institute and Saint Louis Country Day School (High School)


Honors and Grants

       Named one of the 101 most dangerous professors in David Horowitz, The

       Professors: The 101 Most Dangerous Academics in America (Washington, DC:  

       Regnery Publishing, 2006.


       Who’s Who in America, 2001, 2002


        Saint Xavier University Excellence in Scholarship Award, 2001


        Saint Xavier University--Excellence in Teaching Award, 1997.


        Lilly Foundation Teaching Incentive Grants, 1990 and 1991.


        Arms Control Association Grant, 1986.


        Exxon Educational Foundation Grant, 1985.


        Anglo Over Bracero: A History of the Mexican Worker in the United States from  

        Roosevelt to Nixon nominated for Truman Library David D. Lloyd Prize, 1978


        Harry S. Truman Library Institute Grant.


Phi Alpha Theta (History), Pi Sigma Alpha (Political Science).



        St. Xavier University, Professor of History, Present-.


        St. Xavier University Honors Program: 2003-2004. 


       Chair, Department of History and Political Science, St. Xavier University.


       Mother McAuley Liberal Arts High School c. Advancement Placement SXU                               

       course in social science.


       St. Louis Community College at Meramec, Lecturer.


       Saint Louis University, Lecturer.

       Saint Louis University, Lecturer in Honors Program.


Courses Offered in Last Three Years:

African-American History

American Foreign Relations

American Protest Music

Capitalism, Socialism and Social Justice

Hiroshima and the Nuclear Age

Senior Seminar: Academic Freedom, Wartime Dissent, and Constitutional Law

US History Survey 103 up to 1877

US History Survey 104 since 1877

Vietnam and America




        Anglo Over Bracero: A History of the Mexican Worker in the United States From

        Roosevelt to Nixon, San Francisco: R and E Research Associates,. Reviewed

        in California Historical Quarterly, and Journal of the West.   


        Book Chapter:

“Challenges to Academic Freedom Since 9/11,” Matthew Morgan, ed., The New Legal Landscape, Volume 5, The Day that Changed Everything? Looking at the Impact of 9-11 at the End of the Decade (Palgrave-McMillan Press), 2009, 57-74.


        Works in an Anthology or Encyclopedia:

        Entries on “Academic Freedom” and J. Robert Oppenheimer, Roger Chapman, ed.,   

        Encyclopaedia of the Culture Wars, M.E. Sharpe Press, 2010.


Essays on “American Imperialism and the Paranoid Style of American Politics.” and “Current Crisis of Capitalism and the Leninist Critique,” to accompany international art exhibit “Necessary Discourse on Hysteria,” Koroska Gallery of Fine Arts, Slovenj Gradec, Slovenia, November-December 2008.


         “Armageddon on Display: Chicago and Nuclear War,” in Alison M. Scott and

        Christopher D. Geist, editors, The Atomic Age Opens: American Culture Confronts      

        the Atomic Bomb, Bowling Green, Ohio: The Bowling Green Center for Popular

        Culture Studies, 1997 [microfilm].


        “The Bloody Battleground of Vietnam: Two Views of Ike and JFK.” 1994 Annual of

        Hermeneutics & Social Concern, ed. Justus George Lawler. New York: Continuum

        Publishing Group. 304-13.


        “Internationalism and World Peace: An Alternative to Nuclear Weapons." Yearbook

        of Social Scientific Studies. ed. Shingo Shibata. Tokyo. 173-76. [in Japanese]


         “Elizabeth Buffum Chace,” 151-52; “William Henry Channing,” 158-59; “James

        Mott,” 671-72; “John Greenleaf Whittier,” 1015-16, Biographical Dictionary of

        Modern Peace Leaders, Westport, Conn.: Greenwood, Press.


         Journal & Other Articles:

Hiroshima and Spinning the Atom: America, Britain, and Canada Proclaim the Nuclear Age, 6 August 1945,” The Historian (Winter, 2009), 805-27.


“Teaching the Iraq War,” Academe, September-October, 2006, 118.



“The New McCarthyism and Academic Freedom,” Situation Analysis, Spring 2004, 21-35. [published at UK University of Nottingham]


History News Network, Iraq: The Logic of Withdrawal.” April 3, 2006. Reviewed by Juan Cole on his blog Informed Consent, April 3, 2006.


“Why Iraq, Like Vietnam, Is Immoral and Unnecessary,” History News Network, March 7, 2005.


“Should Respectable Historians Attend and Participate at Conferences Hosted by David Irving?” HNN, September 20, 2004.


How I Define Patriotism,” History News Network (HNN), George Mason University, October 2003


Terrorism from the Sky: The Destruction of Nagasaki,” New Ground, July-August, 2003, 12-15.


American Swagger in a Dangerous Nuclear World,” History News Network, George Mason University, January 2003.


“False Dissenters: Manhattan Project Scientists and the Use of the Atomic Bomb,”

American Diplomacy (March 2001). American Diplomacy sponsored by the Triangle Institute for Security Studies—a consortium at Duke University, University of North Carolina, and North Carolina State. http://www.unc.edu/depts. /diplomat/archives_roll/2001_03-06/Kirstein_manhattan /kirstein_manhattan.html


“Nuclear Museums and the Power of Display,” Continuum, 1 :91-109.


         “The Atomic Museum,” Art in America 77 (June 1998): 44-57.


“The Atomic Age and Revolution: The Spirit of October,” Proceedings of 16th

International Congress of Historical Sciences, Stuttgart, Germany,, 464.


         “The Crisis of Technology: Nagasaki and the Nuclear Age," Studies of Peace 

Culture, 8 (1995): 189-201. [in Japanese, translated by Nobuko Kamata.]


         “Agribusiness, Labor, and the ‘Wetbacks’: Truman's Commission on Migratory

         Labor,” The Historian 40: 650-67.


          “American Railroads and the Bracero Program, 1943-1946," Journal of Mexican

American History V : 57-90.


         Op-eds and Letters:

Statesman Journal (Salem, Oregon), op-ed “Eisenhower's warning ignored at our peril” August 23, 2007.


Academe: ILL AAUP Newsletter, “Shared Governance and Academic Freedom.” Fall, 2005.


New York Times “The Shame of Abu Ghraib: Voices of Revulsion”

May 4, 2004.


Arab News, “Sham Election,” July 24, 2004.


Arab News, “Smoke Screen,” April 9, 2004. Saudi Arabia.


Gulf News, United Arab Emirates, “Greater Threat,” December, 2003.


Chicago Tribune, op-ed “Quagmire in Iraq reminiscent of Vietnam,” November, 2003.


Arab News, Saudi Arabia, “Withdraw US Troops,” November 4, 2003


Gulf News, “Dishonourable,” April 23, 2003, Dubai, United Arab Emirates


Chicago Sun-Times, “Celebrating death,” April 27, 2003

Arab News, “Glorification of Death,” April 22, 2003.


Arab News, “Compulsion to Kill.” October 3, 2002


Arab News, “Hegemonic War,” September 10, 2002.


Gulf News, “Protest,” August 7, 2002


Gulf News “Denuclearize,” June 13, 2002.


Gulf News “Fellowship,” May 4, 2002 


Gulf News, “Three Steps.” April 14, 2002. Dubai, United Arab Emirates                       


“Atrocities Report,” Chicago Tribune, Letter Sunday Tribune, September 24, 2000.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             


Chicago Sun-Times, Op-ed, "The Tragedy of Nagasaki," August 4, 1995.


Chicago Tribune, Op-ed, "The Spreading Nuclear Peril," 

         Chicago Tribune, Op-ed, “Toward a Farewell to Arms,” 

        <>Chicago Tribune, Op-ed, “Will Fat Man be the Last?”



         “Nuclear Museums and the Power of Display,” Continuum, 1:  

        93,95,97,98,102,106. [Eight Images]


         “The Atomic Museum,” Art in America 77: 45,47,49,51,53,55.[12         



        Book Reviews:

        American Historical Review, Guy Oakes, The Imaginary War: Civil Defense and

        American Cold War Culture, October 1996, 1311.

        Continuum, National Catholic Reporter, Continuum




Professional Papers


“The “War on Terror” as Threat to America: Academic Freedom and Suppressing Dissent.” Inter-University Seminar on Armed Forces and Society, Palmer House, Chicago, October 27, 2007.


"David Horowitz in Your Classroom: Assessing Right-wing Rage and
Proposals to Transform Pedagogy." University of St Francis Symposium on the Scholarship of Pedagogy, Joliet, Il., October 7, 2006.


“Courts to Campus: Silencing Free Speech During Wartime,” Historians Against the War Conference, University of Texas at Austin, February 18. 2006.

 “Real Teaching: Iraq Teach-ins Facilitate Excellence in Teaching,” Symposium on the Scholarship of Pedagogy, University of St. Francis, October 8, 2005.


“Pedagogy During War: Academic Freedom v. The Thunder of the Right,” Conference “Teaching in the Arts and Sciences: Theory and Practice in the Undergraduate Class,” Associated Colleges of the Chicago Area, University of St. Francis, Joliet, October 2, 2004.


         “The Atomic Bomb and the Asian-Pacific War: Manhattan Project ‘Dissent’                              

          Reconsidered,” Conference on World War II: After 60 Years, Siena College,

          Loudonville, NY, 2000.


“Unleashing the Atom: The 'Rain of Ruin' and the Holocaust Below,” Conference on World War II: A Dual Perspective, Siena College, Loudonville, NY, 1998.


“Holocaust from the Sky: Nagasaki, the Last Atomic City,” Popular Culture     

 Association, Las Vegas, 1996.


 “Armageddon on Display: Chicago and Nuclear War,” Conference on "The Atomic

 Age Opens: American Culture Confronts the Atomic Bomb," Bowling Green State 

          University, Ohio, 1995.

 Panel Discussant

“U.S.-Iran Conflicts: Confrontation or Negotiation?”  sponsored by the Center for Global Studies--Purdue University Calumet, September 25, 2008.


“Putting the Iraq War on Trial: The Lt. Watada Case.” With Carolyn Ho, mother of Army 1st Lt. Ehren Watada, who refused Iraq deployment, January 31, 2007.


Amnesty International Sponsored Event: "Forum on Iraq: The State of the Occupation" Homewood-Flossmoor High School, Illinois, April 19, 2006.


“Bush’s Decision to Go to War.” July 2003. Sponsored online by FrontPageMag. com. Panelists: Stanley Aronowitz, Distinguished Professor of Sociology at the City University of New York and Green Party candidate for New York Governor, 2000. Victor Davis Hanson, Senior Fellow at Stanford University Hoover Institution.


Lectures and Debates


Forthcoming:  "Remembering Howard Zinn: Giving Voice to the Voiceless,”  Chicago College of Complexes Community Group, Lincoln Restaurant, 4008 N. Lincoln Ave, Chicago, July 10, 2010.


Lewis University “The New McCarthyism: Academic Freedom and Shared Governance During Time of War,” at in Romeoville, Ill. Oct. 22, 2009.


New York University, “Freedoms at Risk Conference,” February 23, 2008.


DePaul University, “Academic Freedom Symposium,” February 1, 2008.


The Progressive Forum,” on “Toward a New Past: The Meaning of the  Iraq War,”  

Matteson, Illinois December 19, 2007.

“Iraq War” at Lincoln Park High School, ranked best public high school in Illinois by Newsweek. Debated Kent Griffiths, Republican committeeperson for the 32nd Ward, Chicago, March 27, 2007.

Debated author, editor David Horowitz: “Iraq War: In the Classroom and Beyond,” Chicago, March 29, 2006,


Open University of the Left, "The American Empire: A Threat to Free Speech," Acme Arts Complex, 1741 N. Western, Thursday, November 17, 2005.


"Resisting Conformity: The Threat to Academic Freedom," East-West University, Chicago, Ill., May 18, 2005.


Iraq: Mr Bush’s Vietnam.” Ohio Wesleyan University, February 18, 2005.


“Shared Governance and Academic Freedom: Resisting Marginalization and the Persecution of the Left,” McKendree University, Lebanon, Ill. April 5, 2005.


“Suspended on Veterans Day: Resisting American Imperialism.” American Democracy Project Speaker Series, Illinois State University, November 11, 2004.


“War, Academic Freedom and Suspending Acts of Conscience,” American University, Leadership Programme in School of Public Affairs, Washington, D.C., March 26, 2004.


Korean War Veterans Roundtable of Wilmette, "War, Intellectual Conformity &
Academic Freedom", March 2004.


“Academic Freedom and Antiwar Protest: Berthold, De Genova, Kirstein,” Peace and Justice Symposium, Valparaiso University, Indiana, November, 2003.


Universal Muslim High School, “Antiwar Protest is the Highest Form of Patriotism.” Bridgeview, Il. April 2, 2003.


Hiroshima and Nuclear Terrorism: The Past as Prologue” Open University of the Left, “American Empire” series. Lakeview Academy, Chicago, March 27, 2003.


Korean War Veterans Roundtable, “Free Speech and Antiwar Protest,” Wilmette, February 6, 2003.


Media Interviews:


SouthtownStar on “Lessons Learned Since September 11,” September 7, 2008.


Louisville Courier-Journal, on Democratic primary, May 8, 2008.


Jame Jan TV (Iran Television), on 2006 Israel Lebanon War and US Foreign Policy, July 23 and August 13, 2007.


“Ward Churchill Fired,” InsideHigherEd.com by Scott Jaschik on July 25, 2007.


 “Congeniality vs. Academic Freedom” on Chicago Public Radio by Shawn Allee, June 12, 2007.


DePaul Rejects Finkelstein,” InsideHigherEd.com by Scott Jaschik.

Interviewed in Washington for article, June 11, 2007.


“Furor Over Norm Finkelstein,”InsideHigherEd.com by Scott Jaschik.April 7,2007.


Tony Trupiano Radio Show, “The Tony Show” out of Detroit, March 15, 2004.


Kosovo War and Yeltsin Instability in Russia, "Chicago Tonight," Channel 11,    

        WTTW, May 17, 1999.


Kosovo War, Jack Taylor Show, Channel 23, WCIU, April 1, 1999.


India and Pakistan’s Nuclear Testing, Channel 26, WCIU, May 15, 1998.

Swiss Banking Practices During World War II, "Chicago Tonight," Channel 11, WTTW, July 29, 1997.


Le Figaro (Paris), Interviewed on relevance of 1968 Democratic Convention in

        Chicago. August 26, 1996, p.2.


Yeltsin Firing of Lebed, "Chicago Tonight," Channel 11, WTTW, October 17, 1996.

UN at 50 and Bosnia Crisis, "Chicago Tonight," Channel 11, WTTW, October     

24, 1995.


        The Manhattan Project and the Atomic Bomb, Loyola University Radio, WLUW,

        July 16, 1995.


        The Atomic Endings of World War II, Channel 60, WEHS, July 5, 1995.


        V-E Day and the Post-Cold War, "Chicago Tonight," Channel 11, WTTW, May 8,

        1995. Appeared with John Mearsheimer, professor of political science, University

        of Chicago.                                     


Foreign Policy and Public Opinion, "Chicago Tonight," Channel 11, WTTW, March 27, 1995. Appeared with John Rielly, President, Chicago Council on Foreign



<>  < style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">Professional Organization Activity:

Vice-President, American Association of University Professors, Illinois

Conference, 2007-. Chair Committee A on Academic Freedom and Tenure.


Co-President St. Xavier University chapter of A.A.U.P.


At-Large Member, Executive Committee, S.X.U., AAUP chapter, 2007-2009.


At-Large Member Executive Council, A.A.U.P., Illinois Conference, 2004-2007.


American Association of University Professors: appointed to Committee F:  

Chapters, Conferences, Members and Dues (Washington, D.C.), 2000-2003.


President, Saint Xavier University AAUP chapter, 1999-2003.


Professional Organizations:

American Association of University Professors              

American Historical Association

Historians Against the War

e-mail kirstein@sxu.edu                                  Phone: 773.298.3283                          Last Update May 6, 2011