Mellon Sawyer Seminars
Starting in Fall 2012, the Department of Near Eastern Studies will be hosting a series of workshops, seminars, and conferences on the theme Graeco-Arabic Rationalism in Islamic Transmitted Sciences: The Post-Classical Period (ca. 1200-1900). All events are open to the public and are funded generously by the Mellon Sawyer Seminars. Further details are available here: <http://nes.berkeley.edu/MellonSawyer/home.html>.
Facebook page to save ancient Egypt's El-Hibeh site
El Hibeh (UC Berkeley Excavations)
Following a year's worth of looting, Professor Carol Redmount launches a social media campaign to rescue the archaeological site of El-Hibeh next to the Egyptian city of Beni Suef
Niek Veldhuis (PI), Laurie Pearce (project director) and Patrick Schmitz (IST Data Services) were awarded an NEH Digital Humanities Start-up Grant for second-stage support for the development of Berkeley Prosopographic Services (BPS), a set of digital prosopographical and Social Network Analysis tools. With an initial deployment on the Corpus of Legal Texts from Hellenistic Uruk, BPS is providing important tools to scholars engaged in all periods of cuneiform research. Their work has also received funding from the Berkeley HART Initiative and from Project Bamboo.
Professor Asad Q. Ahmed joins the Department of Near Eastern Studies in Fall 2012:
Asad Q. Ahmed (Ph.D. Princeton University, 2007) is delighted to join the Department of Near Eastern Studies at Berkeley.
He specializes in early Islamic social and religious history and post-classical Muslim intellectual history. In the former field, he focuses on the sociopolitical networks of the elite of the Hijaz during the first two centuries of the hijra. By using prosopographical and social network analysis methods on genealogies, biographical dictionaries, and transmission chains, he investigates the significance of formal and informal groups for the development of early Muslim politics, society, and dogma. These same methods have also allowed him to speculate on the metahistorical thrust of his sources and on the nature of kinship ties in early Islam. Some of the conclusions of his work in this field are presented in *The Religious Elite of the Early Islamic Hijaz* (P&G, University of Oxford, 2011). In the field of intellectual history, Asad's long term goal is to write a responsible history of the rationalist sciences (ma'qulat) after the so-called Golden Age of Islam. Since such work first and foremost requires detailed and piecemeal studies of texts in logic, theology, philosophy, jurisprudence, etc., much of his output in this area focuses either on case studies of salient technical issues or on the rationalist tradition in pre-modern and early modern Muslim India. In this area of scholarly interest, Asad has published *Avicenna's Deliverance: Logic* (Oxford University Press, 2011), in addition to a number of articles. Asad's more general training includes classical Arabic poetry and poetics, Graeco-Arabica, and Qur'anic and Hadith studies.
Doctoral Degree Recipients (Spring 2012)
Dana DePietro (NES)
Piety, Practice and Politics: Ritual and Agency in the Late Bronze Southern Levant
Advisor: Marian Feldman
Cristina Rhiannon Graybill (NES)
Men in Travail: Masculinity and the Problems of the Body in the Hebrew Prophets
Advisor: Robert Alter
Alison Lori Joseph (NES)
The Portrait of the Kings
and the Historiographical Poetics of the Deuteronomistic Historian
Advisor: Ronald Hendel
Anaita Khudonazar (NES)
Generational Politics: Narratives of Power in Central Asia’s Visual Culture
Advisor: Margaret Larkin
Elizabeth Joanna Minor (NES)
The Use of Egyptian and Egyptianizing Material Culture in Nubian Burials
of the Classic Kerma Period
Advisor: Carol Redmount
Barbara Ann Richter (NES)
The Theology of Hathor of Dendera:
Aural and Visual Scribal Techniques in the Per-wer Sanctuary
Advisors: Jacco Dieleman and Carol Redmount
Samuel Frank Thrope (Jewish Studies)
Contradictions and Vile Utterances:
The Zoroastrian Critique of Judaism in the Škand Gumānīg Wizār
Advisor: Martin Schwartz
Outstanding GSI Awards 2011-12
Lissette Marie Jimenez, Near Eastern Art & Archaeology
& Kiersten Ashley Neumann, Near Eastern Art & Archaeology
The American Research Center in Egypt (ARCE) held its 63rd Annual Meeting in Providence, Rhode Island, April 27 - 29, 2012, co-hosted by Brown University. During three days of concurrent speaker sessions, scholars and expedition leaders presented the latest results of their research and projects, including an overview by Prof. Carol Redmount of the collateral damage at U.C. Berkeley’s excavation site at El-Hibeh in the aftermath of the 2011 Egyptian revolution.
In the annual Best Student Paper competition, sponsored by ARCE’s Chapters, entries submitted by student members were judged on the content as well as the presentation of their papers during the Annual Meeting. This year's runner-up, receiving a certificate and cash prize from the ARCE Chapter Council, was Barbara A. Richter, Ph.D. Candidate in Egyptology at UC Berkeley, for her paper entitled, “Iconography and Epithet Plays in the Temple of Hathor at Dendera.” Her paper, which forms part of her dissertation work, showed how the ancient scribes created intricate interplays between the iconographic elements in the reliefs and the epithets in the accompanying texts in order to foreground the most important scenes in the Per-wer Sanctuary.
Doctoral Degree Recipients (Spring 2011):
Laurent Dissard (NES) -- Post Doctoral Scholar; University of Pennsylvania.
Submerged Stories on the Sidelines of Science: Archaeology and Politics on the Margins of the Keban Dam Rescue Project (1966-1975) in Eastern Turkey
Advisor: Marian Feldman
Hasan Karatas (NES) -- Assistant Professor, University of St. Thomas, St. Paul and Minneapolis.
The City as a Historical Actor: The Urbanization and Ottomanization of the
Halvetiye Sufi Order by the City of Amasya in the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries
Advisor: Hamid Algar
Stephanie Marie Langin-Hooper (NES) -- Assistantt Professor of Ancient Art History; Bowling Green State University, Ohio.
Beyond Typology: Investigating Entanglements of Difference and Exploring
Object-Generated Social Interactions in the Terracotta Figurines of Hellenistic Babylonia
Advisor: Marian Feldman
Zvi Septimus (Jewish Studies) -- Stroock Post-Doctoral Fellow at Harvard University.
The Poetic Superstructure of the Babylonian Talmud and the Reader It Fashions
Advisor: Daniel Boyarin
Zehavit Stern (Jewish Studies) -- University Research Lecturer, Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies, University of Oxford.
From Jester to Gesture: Eastern European Jewish Culture and the Re-imagination of Folk Performance
Advisors: Chana Kronfeld & Naomi Seidman
Professor Chana Kronfeld: Akavyahu Lifetime Achievement Award for Research in Hebrew and Yiddish Poetry
Congratulations to Professor Chana Kronfeld (pictured on the right at the prize ceremony at Bar-Ilan University) for receiving the Akavyahu Lifetime Achievement Award for Research in Hebrew and Yiddish Poetry.
Professor Chana Kronfeld: Northern California Book Award Winner
Congratulations to Professor Chana Kronfeld (pictured on the right), who together with Chana Bloch is the winner in the translation category for the Northern California Book Awards.
Hovering at a Low Altitude: The Collected Poetry of Dahlia Ravikovitch
translated from Hebrew by Chana Bloch & Chana Kronfeld
2010 NCBA Winner
Bloch and Kronfeld won for their seven-years-in-the-making translation of major Israeli poet Dahlia Ravikovitch's lifetime works, Hovering at a Low Altitude. This difficult translation required Bloch and Kronfeld to agonize over each word, as Ravikovitch was a master of compression. Readers can hear more about this amazing translation from Bloch and Kronfeld themselves, as they discuss their work and offer an evocative reading of their translations from last week's Lit&Lunch event. Listen right now!
The American Research Center in Egypt (ARCE) held its 61st annual meeting April 23-5, 2010 at the Oakland Marriott City Center, co-hosted by the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology, UC Berkeley's Department of Near Eastern Studies, and the Northern California chapter of ARCE. In addition to three days of concurrent speaker sessions, in which scholars and expedition leaders presented the latest results of their research and projects, attendees had the opportunity to view the Hearst Museum's new exhibition, "the Conservator's Art: Preserving Egypt's Past." Dedicated to the memory of UC Berkeley Egyptology Professor Cathleen "Candy" Keller, this exhibition focuses on the important role of conservators in preserving cultural heritage, represented by the Hearst Musum's collection of Egyptian objects.
In the annual Best Student Paper competition, sponsored by ARCE'S Chapters, entries submitted by student members were judged on the content as well as the presentation of their papers during the Annual Meeting. This year's second-place winner, receiving a certificate and cash prize from the ARCE Chapter Council, was Barbara A. Richter, Ph.D. Candidate in Egyptology at UC Berkeley, for her paper entitled, "When World Play is not a Game: Paronomasia in the Ptolemaic Temple Texts." Her paper, which forms part of her dissertation work, showed how complex word plays in the texts of the Temple of Hathor at Dendera enhance and support contect and action, adding subtlety and depth of meaning to each scene.