Kathryn Slanski

Kathryn Slanski's picture
Senior Lecturer Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations, and Humanities
53 Wall St, New Haven, CT 06511-8916


Kathryn Slanski (BA (Honors) Johns Hopkins 1987, AM Harvard 1995, PhD Harvard 1997), holds a joint appointment as Lecturer in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations and in Humanities.

Although born in Yale-New Haven Hospital, she taught at Tel Aviv University, Fairfield University, and Harvard before returning to Connecticut and joining the Yale faculty in 2004.

Kathryn Slanski studies ancient Mesopotamia at the intersections of sources and approaches. Her work on a corpus of inscribed and sculpted monuments (The Babylonian Entitlement narûs (kudurrus): A Study in Form and Function, ASOR Books, 2003) led to further research on the relationships between text and image, as well as questions about monumentality, sacred and secular authority, and the ancient transmission and reception of literary, historical, religious and visual traditions. She is also interested in cultural connections between civilizations of the ancient Near East and the ancient Mediterranean. She teaches Mesopotamian and ancient Near Eastern literature, history, religion, law and justice, visual arts, and ancient languages. Recent course offerings include “The Hero in the Ancient Near East,” an interdisciplinary investigation of the Hero through written, archaeological, and art historical evidence, and joint NELC/Humanities seminars, “Discovery and Reception of Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia,” (led together with Prof. John Darnell), “Re-imagining the Ancient Near East” on the reception and re-workings of ancient Near Eastern literature, and “Translating the Hero” (together with Prof. Corinne Pache of Classics), plus an advanced Babylonian language courses on archival and judicial inscriptions from the second millennium BCE. In the summer of 2004, she served as an instructor for a USAID sponsored program for Iraqi Assyriologists and Archaeologists at the American Center for Archaeological Research in Amman, Jordan.

Kathryn Slanski is also on the History and Politics faculty of Yale’s Directed Studies Program, for which she teaches and serves as course coordinator. Together with Prof. Corinne Pache (Classics), she co-organizer for a conference on the reception of ancient Near Eastern and Greek Heroes held in March 2008 at Yale’s Whitney Humanities Center: “Epic Heroes: Then and Now.”

In addition to her 2003 book, she has also written on Mesopotamian social and economic history as well as verbal and visual representation of the divine. She is currently preparing a second book, which will provide new text editions and photographs of the corpus of Babylonian Entitlement monuments (kudurrus), including several unpublished inscriptions in the Yale Babylonian Collection, the British Museum, and the Louvre.

Kathryn Slanski’s research has received support from the Yale Kohut Fellowship, the American Schools of Oriental Research Mesopotamian Fellowship, the Vatat Social Sciences Fellowship, a Tel Aviv University Junior Faculty Reseach grant, a Harvard Dissertation Fellowship, and a Fulbright Fellowship (Munich). She has been a Fellow of the Whitney Humanities Center since 2006 (http://www.yale.edu/whc/main.htm).