MemberJonathan Valk

…PhD Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, New York University; 2018
Ancient World
MPhil Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, New York University; 2015
Ancient World (Assyriology and Ancient Near East)
MA University of Chicago; 2009
Middle Eastern Studies
BA University of Oxford; 2007
Oriental Studies (Jewish Studies)…

2019. The Origins of the Assyrian King List. Journal of Ancient Near Eastern History 6.1: 1-17.
2016. “They Enjoy Syrup and Ghee at Tables of Silver and Gold”: Infant Loss in Ancient Mesopotamia. ­Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient 59.5: 695-749.
2015. Representations of Power: Shaping the Past and the Present (Response), with Beate Pongratz-Leisten. Pp. 643-651 in Robert Rollinger and Erik van Dongen (eds.), Mesopotamia in the Ancient World: Impact, Continuities, Parallels. Proceedings of the Seventh Symposium of the Melammu Project Held in Obergurgl, Austria, November 4-8, 2013. Münster: Ugarit-Verlag.

University Lecturer in Assyriology at Leiden University specializing in the social and economic history of the Ancient Near East and in the theory of collective identity.

MemberYael Landman

…n Lips and Tongues in Ancient Hebrew,” Vetus Testamentum 66 (2016): 66-77

Book Reviews

Review of: Jeremy D. Smoak, The Priestly Blessing in Inscription and Scripture: The Early History of Numbers 6:24-26, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016

Web-Based Articles

Dissertation Spotlight: The Biblical Law of Bailment in Its Ancient Near Eastern Contexts…

Hebrew Bible; ancient Near East; biblical, cuneiform, and early Jewish law; law and literature; Semitic linguistics My work examines the Hebrew Bible in comparison with ancient Near Eastern sources and draws on contemporary legal and literary theory and linguistics, with further recourse to ancient Jewish sources and medieval exegesis. I am currently transforming my dissertation into a book entitled Legal Practice, Legal Writing: The Biblical Bailment Law and Divine Justice.  I am Acquisitions Editor of Hebrew Bible, Ancient Near East, and Jewish Studies at Gorgias Press. If you are interested in submitting a proposal, email me at I am currently Visiting Research Fellow in Judaic Studies at CUNY Brooklyn College.

MemberJonathan Schmidt-Swartz

Ph.D., New York University, New York, NY
Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies
Hebrew Bible and the Ancient Near East
Dissertation: “Recasting Kingship: Power, Disrupted History, and Scribal Adaptation”
Committee: Daniel E. Fleming (chair); Mark S. Smith

M.Phil., New York University, New York, NY
Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies
Hebrew Bible and the Ancient Near East
Major Comprehensive Exam: Politics and Kingship in Samuel–Kings
Minor Comprehensive Exam: Scribal Culture and Critical Theory

A.B. summa cum laude, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
Majors: Religious Studies and Comparative Literature
Minors: Near Easte…

I am a doctoral candidate in the Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies at New York University focusing on Hebrew Bible and the Ancient Near East. My primary research interests and dissertation focus broadly on the intersection of ancient scribal culture, critical theory, and kingship. More specifically, my dissertation aims to trace the intellectual history and historiography of kingship found within the Hebrew Bible in more concrete terms, namely, by considering how scribes (re)interpreted sources they inherited.

MemberYitzhaq Feder

My research pursues a synthesis between traditional philological study of ancient texts and naturalistic lines of inquiry pursued by the cognitive science of religions, integrating psychological and philosophical approaches to the human mind and behavior. I have published numerous articles on purity and pollution in the ancient Near East, Hebrew Bible and the Dead Seas Scrolls, including a recent article in Cognitive Science exploring the implications of this research for psychological and evolutionary theory. My most recent research focuses on biblical notions of taboo and their implications for understanding the relationship between emotion and morality.

MemberZachary Margulies

I am a doctoral candidate at New York University, studying the Hebrew Bible and Ancient Near East under the advisement of Mark S. Smith. My dissertation is a study of the poetic laments over fallen warriors in the Homeric Epic tradition and the Hebrew Bible. Dissertation “David, Achilles, and the Women’s Laments: Lamentation over the Fallen Warrior in the Hebrew Bible and Homer” Interests Hebrew Bible, Biblical Poetry, Early/Archaic Greek Poetry, Oral Poetics, Eastern Mediterranean Cross-cultural Interaction, Levantine Archaeology

MemberJustin J. White

My research focuses on the intersection between the visual and the verbal (and eventually text). I explore how to characterize the image-text relationships between the visual culture of the ancient Near East and the eastern Mediterranean more broadly and biblical literature, including texts of the Hebrew Bible as well as other Second Temple literature, such as evidenced in the Dead Sea Scrolls. So far my work has included: considering theories of the image, the use of common visual motifs in verbal images, and how narrative production reflects interaction with the visual. More broadly I am interest in the ways in which discussion of the image-text relationships evinced in the Hebrew Bible can contribute to interdisciplinary discussions of image-text relationships in antiquity.

MemberIan Wilson

I am a scholar of religion, specializing in the Hebrew Bible and the histories and cultures of ancient Israel and the Near East. At the University of Alberta’s Augustana Campus, I teach introductory courses on the religions of the world and theories of religion, biblical studies and the ancient Near East, and related topics; I also serve as Director of the Chester Ronning Centre for the Study of Religion and Public Life. My work, in research and in the classroom, has focused mainly on how communities remember and imagine themselves, and how different social memories and imaginaries interrelate with one another. My first monograph, Kingship and Memory in Ancient Judah (Oxford University Press, 2017), explores these processes through the texts of the Hebrew Bible, revealing how ancient Judeans balanced and navigated various and even competing understandings of their monarchic past, with their literature. In 2018, the book won the R.B.Y. Scott Award from the Canadian Society of Biblical Studies. My research has also appeared in peer-reviewed publications such as Brill Research PerspectivesHarvard Theological Review, Vetus Testamentum, and Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft; and I co-edited the volume History, Memory, Hebrew Scriptures: A Festschrift for Ehud Ben Zvi (Penn State University Press / Eisenbrauns, 2015).