Thursday, July 22, 2010

News: Dennis Pardee has been appointed the Henry Crown Professor in Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations

Faculty members receive named chairs, distinguished service appointments
July 22, 2010
Dennis PardeeDennis Pardee has been appointed the Henry Crown Professor in Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations.
Currently Professor in Near Eastern Languages and Civilization, Pardee studies northwest Semitic languages and is a leading scholar of Ugarit, the language spoken by the residents of the ancient Syrian city. He is the author of two–volume scholarly translation of Ugaritic rituals, many of which had been difficult for scholars to access before the publication of Pardee’s translation.
In 2008, Pardee translated the inscription on an ancient stone slab uncovered by an Oriental Institute team in southeast Turkey. The slab provided the first written evidence in the belief that the soul was separate from the body.
Pardee teaches intermediate and advanced Biblical Hebrew, and is a 2010 recipient of the University’s Graduate Teaching Award. He received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1995. In 2007 he delivered the British Academy’s prestigious Schweich Lectures on Biblical Archaeology.
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News: Pioneers to the Past on the Radio

Pioneers to the Past: The Story of James Henry Breasted [audio]
Worldview 7/13/2010

The exterior of the Nebi Shiite mosque in Mosul, Iraq with cemetary in the foreground, photo courtesy of the Oriental Institute
Pioneers to the Past: American Archaeologists in the Middle East, 1919-1920,” is on display at the University of Chicago's Oriental Institute through August 29th. The exhibit follows Illinois native and Institute Founder James Henry Breasted's daring travels through Egypt and Mesopotamia during the unstable aftermath of WWI.
Breasted's journey placed him in the Middle East at a pivotal time. The region was occupied by British and French troops who opposed the stirrings of nationalism which ultimately led to the creation of today's Middle East states.
Breasted's story is told through never-before-exhibited photos, artifacts, letters, and archival documents including his elaborate passport and even the wind-torn American flag that he carried on his trip.
Breasted's letters refer to the luminaries of the time, many of whom he met on this trip - Faysal, who became the first king of Iraq; Gertrude Bell who founded the Iraq National Museum in Baghdad; Lord Allenby, the general who recaptured Jerusalem and Damascus during the War; and T. E. Lawrence "of Arabia".
Orit Bashkin, Assistant Professor in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations and Geoff Emberling, Research Associate and Chief Curator of the Oriental Institute Museum join us to share the story of the Oriental Institute’s Founder…
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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

News: OI Integrated Database funded by IMLS

Chicago area, Illinois museum grants. Interesting projects.
By Lynn Sweeton July 13, 2010 12:20 PM
Chicago Sun Times

[WASHINGTON, DC] - U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) announced today that the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) has awarded 10 Museums for America grants totaling $1,319,185 to museums in the Chicago metropolitan area and northern Illinois. These funds will help allow recipient institutions to better serve the public by supporting high-priority activities that support their mission and strategic goals.

"Illinois is home to many of the nation's finest museums," said Durbin. "Today's funding will help our museums better engage children and adults alike."

Today's funding is part of $19.6 million in Museums for America grants awarded nationwide today by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Museums for America is the Institute's largest grant program. The IMLS is a primary source of federal support for the nation's 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums that works to enhance learning and innovation, support professional development, and to sustain heritage, culture, and knowledge...

* University of Chicago-Oriental Institute Museum: $150,000 in funding to begin a three-phase integrated database project. The project will allow the museum to move its diverse digital data into an integrated database and also allow for broad public access to their collections, almost none of which are currently available online.

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Friday, July 9, 2010

OI's Neighbors: CTS

Many will know of the controversy over the University's plans for the building which has housed the Chicago Theological Seminary for many years at 5757 S. University Avenue, and which is also the home of the incomparable Seminary Co-op Bookstore. The University plans to use it for The Milton Friedman Institute for Research in Economics.

The University announced today an Assessment of 5757 S. University Ave. building scheduled for summer.

One odd statement in the University's press release on the assessment tells us that it "was built between 1923 and 1928". What? They don't know when it was built? There are probably people in the neighborhood who can remember it being built! I suppose they mean it was completed in 1928. It is visible in the background of some of the photographs of the construction of the Oriental Institute here, while other were clearly take from its tower. There are twenty-two archival photographs of the building here.

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