Congratulations to the Class of 2018!


ISAW's second graduating cohort is our largest yet! With four PhD graduates in the Class of 2018, their topics of research and study couldn't be more representative of ISAW's mission to study the ancient world across geographical, chronological, and disciplinary boundaries.

The four grads cutting their cake at ISAW's Commencement Celebration on May 15, 2018. ©NYU Photo Bureau: Kahn

Our Graduates

Sam Mirelman received his BMus from the Royal Northern College of Music, MMus from King's College London, PhD in Musical Composition from the State University of New York at Buffalo, and Certificate in Ancient Near Eastern Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies, London. Sam also spent a year studying Assyriology at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Munich. His doctoral dissertation, which he defended at ISAW on March 29, 2018, is entitled "Text and Performance in the Mesopotamian Liturgical Tradition." Beginning in fall 2018, Sam will begin a three year British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship, hosted at the School of Oriental and African Studies (London), focusing on the research project "Sumerian-Akkadian Language Contact During the First Millennium BCE."

Irene Soto Marín received her BA in Ancient Studies and Anthropology at Barnard College. Since fall 2017, Irene has been employed as an Academic Assistant in the Ancient History Department at the University of Basel in Switzerland. She defended her doctoral dissertation, entitled "The Economic Integration of a Late Roman Province: Egypt from Diocletian to Anastasius," at ISAW on March 8, 2018.

Fan Zhang received her BA in History from Nankai University in Tianjin, China. She defended her doctoral dissertation, entitled "Cultural Encounters: Ethnic Complexity and Material Expression in Fifth-century Pingcheng, China," at ISAW on March 19, 2018. For the 2018-19 academic year, Fan has been appointed as a Postdoctoral Fellow at NYU Shanghai. Beginning fall 2019, she will be Professor of Practice in the Department of Art and the Asian Studies program at Tulane University.

Jonathan Valk received his BA in Oriental Studies from the University of Oxford and his MA in Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Chicago. His doctoral dissertation, which he defended at ISAW on April 26, 2018, is entitled "Assyrian Collective Identity in the Second Millennium BCE: A Social Categories Approach." Beginning in fall 2018, Jonathan has been appointed as a University Lecturer in Assyriology at Leiden University.