The Oriental Institute yearly appoints a Postdoctoral Fellow for a twenty-four month (non-renewable) appointment. Postdoctoral Fellows are selected from an international pool of applicants, based on their proposals to organize a two-day conference at the Oriental Institute. The conferences address important theoretical or methodological issues in the field of ancient studies — archaeological, text-based, and/or art historical avenues of research. The Oriental Institute encourages cross-disciplinary proposals that deal with the ancient Near East (including Egypt) or that compare the Near East with other cultural areas. The conferences generally have 12–16 participants, and take place annually in the beginning of March during the first year of the Postdoctoral Fellow’s appointment. Following the conference, the Postdoctoral Fellow assembles and edits the proceedings for publication in the Oriental Institute Seminar series. During the second year of the appointment, the Postdoctoral Fellow will assist in organizing a series of faculty seminars at the Oriental Institute and other activities that build interaction and collaboration within the scholarly community. The Postdoctoral Fellow is expected to pursue his or her own research while in residence and to interact closely with the Oriental Institute community. The Postdoctoral Fellow may also, if he or she wishes, teach a course while in residence if approved by the OI/NELC faculty.
Potential applicants should take into consideration the research interests represented by the Oriental Institute, and are encouraged to review the descriptions and programs of previous successful proposals (see below) when preparing their applications.
Current Postdoctoral Fellows
Aleksandra Hallmann (2017-2019 Oriental Institute Postdoctoral Fellow) is an Egyptologist specializing in iconography, costume studies and construction of identities through material culture. She is especially interested in the foreign influences and regional changes visualized in Egyptian art, as well as in interweaving tradition and novelty and the different levels of archaism. Her current research project focuses on the iconography of Osirian chapels in general with a special focus on the portrayals of five women holding the title ‘God's Wife’ between 754 and 525 BC. Her field work concentrates on the Theban area where she is working with the French mission at the Osirian chapels in Karnak North and with the Polish mission at the temple of Hatshepsut at Deir el-Bahari.
Aleksandra received a PhD from the University of Warsaw, Poland in 2015, which won the Prime Minister’s Award of Poland for one of the best dissertations of the year. The dissertation "The Representation of Private Costume in Egyptian Art from the 25th to the 31st Dynasty" is being prepared for publication by the Oriental Institute.
Since 2015 Aleksandra holds a research position at the Institute of Mediterranean and Oriental Cultures at the Polish Academy of Sciences. She spent the previous academic year in Egypt as a postdoctoral scholar at the American Research Center in Egypt, financed by the National Endowment for the Humanities. There she worked on the project “Iconography of God’s Wives: The Association between Image and Idea.” The fieldwork for the project was conducted in cooperation with the Epigraphic Survey of the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago at the temple of Medinet Habu, as well as with the Franco-Egyptian Center at the temple of Karnak.
As Postdoctoral Fellow Aleksandra organizde the 2018 Oriental Institute Symposium “Outward Appearance vs. Inward Significance: Addressing Identities through Attire in the Ancient World.”
Kathryn R. Morgan (2018–2020 Oriental Institute Postdoctoral Fellow) is an archaeologist of the ancient Near East, focusing on Anatolia, Assyria, and the northern Levant in the second and first millennia BCE. In her work, Morgan seeks to reevaluate conventional narratives of sociopolitical organization and development, particularly as they intersect with themes of power and gender; combining analyses of material culture, architecture, and urbanism with anthropological theory and historical criticism, her research explores the ways non-elites experienced and contributed to the construction of group identities in the ancient world.
Morgan received her Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 2018, with a dissertation entitled “A Moveable Feast: Production, Consumption, and State Formation at Early Phrygian Gordion.” In it, she reconstructs the key role that collective action, and especially feasting practices, played in the emergence of the site of Gordion as capital of the Iron Age Anatolian polity of Phrygia in the first millennium BCE. Her 2019 Oriental Institute Symposium, “Pomp, Circumstance, and the Performance of Politics: Acting ‘Politically Correct’ in the Ancient World,” extends the scope of this research, inviting scholars working in a range of disciplines and time periods to consider the role of political audiences, broadly construed, in shaping their political realities. The goal of the symposium is to draw attention to the modes, means, and loci of public discourse in the ancient world, reframing political authority as an ongoing conversation between rulers and subjects—one in which public opinion mattered and legitimacy was up for debate, at least at certain places and times.
Morgan is Assistant Director of the Chicago-Tübingen Archaeological Project in Samal (modern Zincirli, Turkey), where she is currently overseeing excavation and publication of the citadel’s Middle Bronze Age levels. She has conducted fieldwork and collections research at numerous sites and museums across Turkey, as well as in Italy, Greece, Oman, and Azerbaijan. A Classicist by early training, she completed an M. St. in Greek and Latin Languages and Literature at the University of Oxford in 2008.