Stephen P. Cohen (1936-2019) became an instructor at the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana in 1965 before he became an assistant professor of Political Science and Asian Studies in 1967. In 1970, he became an associate professor; he became a full professor in 1979, and finally an emeritus professor when he retired in 1998. Cohen was instrumental in the development of South Asian studies at the university, was an emeritus professor of the Center of South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies (CSAMES), and helped found the Program in Arms Control, Disarmament and International Security (ACDIS, 1978), of which he served as director from 1994-1998. In his thirty plus years as a professor at the University of Illinois, Dr. Cohen became a prominent expert on US involvement in South Asia, nuclear disarmament, and the relations between India and Pakistan. He retired at the age of 62 in 1998 and became Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution.
His papers include his tenure file and interviews of him, class materials, correspondence, writing drafts, research, national and international foreign policy meeting notes, his testimonies to the US House and Senate from 1981-2008, outlines and full versions of speeches and talks, and publications. The collection also contains his notes on research and national and international meetings, notes on a trip to study the Indian army in the region of Ladakh, specifically Leh, which talks of a riot protesting the wool syndicate. It also includes an unfinished book draft titled "Rashomon" (1993-1995) that looks at how policy makers from South Asia and beyond perceived the region, and how policies between South Asian countries were shaped by regional context and history. During initial processing, 30 of Dr. Cohen's publications (1963-1979) were misplaced and have not yet been found.
Organized into 4 series: Series 1, Subject Files, 1964-2015, arranged alphabetically with Professor Cohen's tenure file and interviews listed first to provide context; Series 2, Notebooks, 1969-2016, arranged chronologically; Series 3, Presentations, 1973-2014, arranged chronologically; Series 4, Publications, 1964-2016, arranged chronologically.