I am in Venice, Italy this week presenting research as part of an interdisciplinary seminar on the study of the ancient Mediterranean. Yesterday the weather was horrible but today the sun is shining and I had the pleasure of having lunch with Jack Sasson of Vanderbilt, Gebhard Selz of Vienna, and Lucio Milano of Ca’Foscari. A group of wonderful human beings as well as great scholars.
Here on awilum.com I am putting together a curated collection of open-access resources to supplement my course on Ancient Near Eastern Culture that I am teaching as part of the Master of Liberal Arts program at Houston Baptist University in the Spring of 2013. Here is a description of the course:
This course will survey the history and culture of the civilizations that inhabited the areas from Iran to Egypt from the Neolithic period (ca. 10,000 BCE) to Alexander the Great (ca. 323 BCE). Topics of study include art, literature, religion, law, politics, geo-political effects of climate change, health care, economics and commerce, war and peace, and women. Special attention will be given to exploring the significance of the study of the ancient world for contemporary society as well as for biblical interpretation.
Starting in January, each week I will post a list of resources that pertain to one of eleven selected topics: art, literature, religion, law, scribal culture, geo-political effects of climate change, health care, economics and commerce, war and peace, and women. The lists will contain links to open-access resources such as interviews, lectures, essays, pictures, and online exhibits. For instance, here is the list for the first topic, art:
- Read: “The Manufacture of Metal Statuary: ‘Seeing the Workshops of the Temple’” by Deborah Schorsch, pages 189-199, in Gifts for the Gods: Images from Egyptian Temples.
- Watch: Charlie Rose interview of Dorothea Arnold and Phillipe de Montebello of the Metropolitan Museum of Art on the art of ancient Egypt.
- Read: “Popular Art at Susa” by Agnes Spycket, pages 183-196, and “Susa in the Achaemenid Period,” pages 215-252, in The Royal City of Susa: Treasures in the Louvre.
The Knowledge and Power website is one of the most helpful ANE resources on the web. It is a treasure trove of texts, bibliographies, teaching resources, etc. on the Neo-Assyrian royal court. If you haven’t checked it out then by all means do but if you have it bookmarked their URL has changed to http://oracc.museum.upenn.edu/saao/knpp/.
The Atlantic has a brief piece that charts the default rates of student loans across the categories of public and private universities, for-profit schools, and community colleges. It is no surprise to anyone familiar with for-profit educational practices that while students at for-profit schools make up only 13% of undergrads they comprise 47% of all defaulters. I agree with the author that we need to invest more in community colleges and high school vocational training; the for-profit model is taking advantage of the most vulnerable part of the student population.