Commencement 2018

This article first appeared in ISAW Newsletter 21 (Spring 2018).

During March and April, four of our ISAW doctoral students successfully defended their dissertations. They received their degrees of PhD in the Ancient World at the NYU university-wide Commencement on May 16, and on May 18, three of them attended the Graduate School of Arts and Science Doctoral Convocation, where Leon Levy Director Alexander Jones and Leon Levy Director Emeritus Roger Bagnall congratulated them and presented them with their traditional doctoral hoods. Our graduating class of 2018 embodies ISAW's breadths along the disciplinary, cultural, and chronological dimensions. We are proud to welcome Sam, Irene, Jonathan, and Fan anew as ISAW alumni!

Our PhD Graduates

portrait of Sam MirelmanSam Mirelman: Sam Mirelman received his BMus from the Royal Northern College of Music, MMus from King’s College London, PhD in Musical Composition from the University at Buffalo, and Certificate in Ancient Near Eastern Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies. Sam also spent a year studying Assyriology at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Munich. His doctoral dissertation is entitled “Text and Performance in the Mesopotamian Liturgical Tradition.” From September 2018, Sam will be a British Academy post-doctoral fellow at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London.

portrait of Jonathan ValkJonathan Valk: 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 in April 2018, is entitled “Assyrian Collective Identity in the Second Millennium BCE: A Social Categories Approach.” Beginning fall 2018, Jonathan will be appointed as a University Lecturer in Assyriology in the Leiden Institute for Area Studies at Leiden University.

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

Portrait of Fan ZhangFan Zhang: Fan Zhang received her BA in History from Nankai University in Tianjin, China. The title of her doctoral dissertation is "Cultural Encounters: Ethnic Complexity and Material Expression in Fifthcentury Pingcheng, China." For the 2018-19 academic year, Fan has been appointed as a Global Perspectives on Society Teaching 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.

Eight people pose for the photo in a room with bookshelves and wood paneling. (L to R): Elizabeth Knott (Ancient Near East and Egyptian Studies, NYU), Jonathan Valk, Irene Soto Marín, Alexander Jones, Shelby White, Fan Zhang, Nancy Highcock (Ancient Near East and Egyptian Studies, NYU), and Sam Mirelman

Two people pose for a photo in front of a bookshelf. Roger Bagnall and Irene Soto Marín

Three people pose for photograph in front of a bookshelf. Annette Juliano, Fan Zhang, and Rod Campbell

Two people pose for a photo in front of an open doorway. Fan Zhang and Marc LeBlanc

Three people pose for a photograph in front of a corner of a room full of bookshelves. Beate Pongratz-Leisten, Sam Mirelman, and Daniel Fleming

Three people pose for photograph in a wood-paneled room lined with bookshelves. Other people can be seen behind them, conversing and part of a large window can also be seen. Shelby White, Alexander Jones, and Clare Fitzgerald