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Egyptology department looks to hire new prof

The Department of Egyptology and Ancient Western Asian Studies is looking to hire a tenure-track professor to teach Mesopotamian language and cultures.

The new professor is expected to teach Akkadian and Mesopotamian history and culture, said Professor of Egyptology James Allen, chair of the department. The position, currently filled by a visiting professor, would allow the department to expand permanently into the field of Western Asian studies.

Plans for expansion also include creating an undergraduate concentration and doctoral program in ancient Western Asian studies. Allen is currently working on proposals for these programs to the College Curriculum Council and the Graduate Council. The new professor is expected to help with this project.

The department, one of the smallest at the University, has expanded since 2005 to include ancient Western Asian studies as part of the Plan for Academic Enrichment, The Herald reported in November 2005. It currently consists of five permanent, and one visiting, professors. There are eight student concentrators in the department - up from between two and five in any given year.

The department was founded in 1948 as the Department of Egyptology and consisted of one professor, until 1991 when a second was added. It has since merged with the Department of History of Mathematics, which consisted of one faculty member specializing in Mesopotamian History, Allen said.

Allen said he hopes to expand the department to six permanent faculty members, with three specializing in Egypt and three in Western Asia.

The addition of a sixth professor will mark the end of the department's expansion, Allen said.

"This may be the last hiring," unless the Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World hires someone specializing in Egyptology or Western Asian studies, Allen said.

The deadline for candidates to submit applications is Oct. 31, but the search will remain open until the position is filled. The department plans to have a candidate selected for the position sometime in January, Allen said.


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