Meet some of our instructors!

Tasha Vorderstrasse is the University and Continuing Education Program Coordinator at the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago. She received her PhD in Near Eastern archaeology from the University of Chicago in 2004. Her work forcuses on understanding the identity of past communities through archaeological and textual evidence as well as the interconnections between different regions. She administers and teaches in the OI adult education program, and also does teacher workshops and tours of the OI Museum for UChicago students and other groups on a variety of topics from post-colonialism and the OI to legal history, medicine, and queens and princesses in the ancient world. Her classes for the OI have included Nubian Queens, Red Sea and Indian Ocean Trade, and Frank Lloyd Wright's unrealized plans for Baghdad. She recently curated the OI Museum special exhibition Antoin Sevruguin: Past and Present and edited the catalog. In 2015, she was the co-curator of the OI Museum special exhibition A Cosmopolitan City: Muslims, Christians, and Jews in Old Cairo. She has excavated throughout the Middle East, primarily in Turkey, but was also the co-director of the OI excavations at the site of Ambroyi in Armenia.
Foy Scalf studied Egyptology at the University of Chicago where he wrote a dissertation on a corpus of Demotic funerary papyri dating from the first to second centuries CE. His published work covers a variety of topics including Egyptian grammar, philology, Demotic and hieratic texts, magic, and religion, among others. Since 2007, he has been Head of the Research Archives of the OI and since 2013 he has been Head of the OI's Integrated Database Project. In 2017, he curated the special exhibition Book of the Dead: Becoming God in Ancient Egypt and edited the accompanying catalog. He has regularly taught classes for the OI adult education program for the last thirteen years and also lectures in the NELC at UChicago and SOIS at Dominican University. In 2021, he co-authored a study of Demotic ostraca focused on the Ptolemaic Period mortuary industry, The Archive of Thotsutmis, son of Panouphis: Early Ptolemaic Ostraca from Deir el Bahari (O. Edgerton).