Jennifer Y. Chi

Exhibitions Director and Chief Curator, ISAW; Exhibition Co-curator

Jennifer Y. Chi, who joined ISAW in 2007, established and leads the Institute’s exhibition program. Dr. Chi was curator of ISAW’s inaugural exhibition, Wine, Worship, and Sacrifice: The Golden Graves of Ancient Vani (2008); co-curator of The Lost World of Old Europe: The Danube Valley 5000–3500 BC (2009); and co-editor of the accompanying catalogues for both. A specialist in Roman imperial sculpture, she was a fellow of The Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1999–2000. She also organized nationally touring exhibitions in her previous position as curator of the White-Levy Collection. An area of special interest is ancient costume and its social and political implications as represented in art. She has recently completed chapters on Greek, Roman, and Etruscan costume for the Encyclopedia of World Costume (2008), co-authored with Larissa Bonfante. Dr. Chi is currently organizing future exhibitions for ISAW, including one devoted to the Chalcolithic period in the area of present-day Israel and Jordan. She is also a member of the sculpture publication team at the renowned classical site of Aphrodisias, in Turkey.

Jennifer Chi holds a Master of Studies from the University of Oxford and a Ph.D. from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University.

Sören Stark

Assistant Professor, Central Asian Art and Archaeology, ISAW; Exhibition Co-curator and Lead Editor of Catalogue

Sören Stark’s primary research interest is the economic, social, and political interactions between nomadic populations of Central Asia and their sedentary neighbors—one of the dominant and recurrent themes in the history of the region. Prior to joining ISAW in 2010, he taught at Freie Universität Berlin, from 2008 to 2010, and directed fieldwork in the highlands of Northern Tajikistan from 2004 to 2008. He currently directs fieldwork on the ancient and medieval oasis defense system of Bukhara, in Uzbekistan. The author of numerous articles and the book Die Alttürkenzeit in Mittel- und Zentralasien (The Early Turkic Period in Central Asia) (2008), Dr. Stark is also co-editor of a forthcoming handbook on the archaeology of Central Asia to be published by Oxford University Press and a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Inner Asian Art and Archaeology. His most recent writing deals with problems of Central Asian archaeology and history from Hungary to the Northern Chinese borderlands and from the early Iron Age to the Middle Ages.

Sören Stark holds a Ph.D. from the University Halle-Wittenburg.

Karen S. Rubinson

Research Associate, ISAW; Exhibition Co-curator

Karen S. Rubinson, who was appointed Research Associate at ISAW in 2009, is an art historian and archaeologist specializing in the steppe and Central Asia in the Iron Age and the South Caucasus in the Bronze Age, with a focus on how objects of artistic production can help understand cultural contact and exchange. Her archaeological fieldwork has been in Armenia, Iran, and Turkey. As leader of the Lost Wax/Lost Textile Working Group, she has organized international workshops that bring scholars together to investigate the use of this widespread and distinctive casting technique—examples of which are found in the Hermitage Museum’s Peter the Great gold collection—in the ancient world. The author and editor of many books and articles, Dr. Rubinson recently edited the book Are All Warriors Male? Gender Roles in the Ancient Eurasian Steppe, with Katheryn M. Linduff; she co-authored with Dr. Linduff “Gender in China and Eurasia,” to be included in the forthcoming A Companion to Gender Prehistory.

Karen S. Rubinson holds an M.A., M.Phil., and Ph.D. from Columbia University.

Peter D. De Staebler

Assistant Curator, ISAW; Exhibition Co-curator

Peter D. De Staebler, who joined ISAW as assistant curator in 2011, is a field archaeologist with 20 years of experience in Greece, Italy, and Turkey, including 14 years at the NYU excavations at Aphrodisias, in Turkey. Dr. De Staebler’s primary research interest is Roman architecture and urban development, especially changes between the High Imperial period and Late Antiquity. His dissertation investigated the City Wall at Aphrodisias, and he is the assistant director of NYU’s Aphrodisias Regional Survey Project.

Peter D. De Staebler holds an M.A. and Ph.D. from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University.

Zainolla Samashev

Director of the A. H. Margulan Institute of Archaeology branch in Astana, Kazakhstan; Exhibition Co-curator

Zainolla Samashev has been affiliated with the Margulan Institute of Archaeology since 1991, having previously worked at the Ch. Ch. Valikhanov Institute of History, Archaeology, and Ethnography, in Almaty, from 1980. Dr. Samashev spends the majority of his time in the field. In 1997, he initiated and organized the survey and excavation of the Berel kurgans (burial mounds) in the Katon-Karagay district of Eastern Kazakhstan, and has worked there since that time. His discoveries at Berel led to a program of multidisciplinary research, with geneticists, anthropologists, chemists, botanists, veterinarians, and others working on the frozen tombs. Dr. Samashev also heads the archaeological investigation of Saraychyk, known as the medieval city of the Golden Horde, in the northwest region of the Mongol Empire. Dr. Samashev lectures widely, and is the author of more than 100 research papers that have been published internationally.

Zainolla Samashev holds a Ph.D. from Kemerovo University, Russia, and a Doctor of Science from the Institute of Archaeology, Institute of History and Ethnology, Academy of Sciences, in Almaty, Kazakhstan.