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avatar Melvin Konner
Melvin Konner is Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor at Emory University, where he teaches Anthropology, Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology, and Jewish Studies. His MD and PhD are from Harvard University, where he taught before coming to Emory. He did two years of research on infancy among San (Bushman) hunter-gatherers of Botswana. In addition to Unsettled: An Anthropology of the Jews and The Jewish Body, he wrote The Tangled Wing: Biological Constraints on the Human Spirit, Becoming a Doctor, The Evolution of Childhood (one of The Atlantic's Five Best Books of 2010), and other books. He has written for The New York Times, Newsweek, and The Forward as well as Nature, Science and The New England Journal of Medicine. He has testified at U.S. Senate hearings on health reform and end-of-life issues. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and was a fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation and the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences. He received the American Anthropological Association's Anthropology in Media Award. He was named "Best Local Intellectual" in Creative Loafing's "Best of Atlanta" for 2004. For a more personal view, see his autobiographical essay at If you are interested in anthropology and human nature, you can also visit

ARTICLES BY: Melvin Konner

November 21, 2011 7:12 pm

Israel, The Long View

I'm sitting on the porch of the home of my friends the Selas, in Binyamina, south of Haifa, gazing out on the garden they created,...

September 10, 2011 9:56 pm

Israel’s Uncertainties

Much has happened since I left Israel in June. First, the feared Gaza flotilla redux fizzled just outside the Greek harbor. Thanks to Israeli diplomacy, Greece...

May 12, 2011 12:11 pm

Israel Realities: 1

In trying to write about Israel, from Israel, it's often difficult to know where to start. So much seems to happen in such a short...

April 28, 2011 10:05 pm

Can the Real Israel Survive Its Imagined Versions?

Israel, goes the title of a book by Rich Cohen, Is Real. This message is coming home to me as I get ready for a six-week stay...

April 10, 2011 4:25 pm

Israel Under Siege: Is It Different This Time?

I haven't written about Israel for a while, partly because I've been uncertain about what I want to say. A picture on the front page of...


10 Things That Happen During the Holidays — Only in Israel

1. Everyone wishes you a happy new year, easy fast and happy holiday -- just as they do for Christmas in...

Israel Advocate Wants to Change Views About Jewish State, One Tattoo at a Time

“Low-brow” art forms can be a powerful advocacy tool, the head of a...


Trump to GOP Jerusalem Rally: ‘I’ll Make America, Israel Safe A... - Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump told a rally in Jerusalem held by Republican supporters he will make “America and...


Shimon Peres’ Tombstone Unveiled; Netanyahu Announces Nuclear Facilit...

Israel marked 30 days since the death of former President Shimon Peres with a traditional Jewish 30 day memorial ceremony...

Middle East

UN: ISIS Using Hostages as Human Shields in Mosul

Islamic State fighters have taken “tens of thousands” of men, women and children hostage in the city of Mosul, and executed at least 232 people on Wednesday, according to the...