Graduate Symposium in Ancient Near Eastern Studies: Religion and Ritual

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Whitney Humanities Center, Yale University

53 Wall street

New Haven, CT 06511

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We are pleased to announce that “Religion and Ritual in the Ancient Near East” will be the topic of the first Graduate Symposium in Ancient Near Eastern Studies which will take place on February 15-16, 2019 at Yale University. This is the first of a series of symposiums organized jointly by graduate students at Yale, Brown, and Harvard universities.

From a significant number of abstracts, nine student papers have been selected for presentation. We are looking forward to a variety of perspectives and interesting conversations. Moreover, two keynote addresses will be delivered by Daniel Schwemer (Würzburg, Germany) and Paul Delnero (Johns Hopkins University). For a preliminary programme see below.

There is no conference fee, but
registration is required.


Preliminary schedule:

Friday, February 15th

12.00-3.00pm optional tours of the Yale Babylonian Collection

3.00pm check-in at the Quinnipiack club

4.00pm keynote lecture

Daniel Schwemer (University of Würzburg): The Moon, a Doll, and a Reed Tube: A Neglected Ritual Text from Late Babylonian Uruk

followed by a wine & cheese reception

7.00pm informal dinner


Saturday, February 16th

7.30-10.00am breakfast at the Q club

9.30-10.00am registration at the venue (room 208, Whitney Humanities Center, 53 Wall street, New Haven)


10.00-10.30am William (Trey) Nation: Did Religion Exist in the Ancient World? The Divine Households of Lagaš and Ancient “Religion”

10.30-11.00am Anna Glenn: Širgida Hymns in Old Babylonian Ritual

11.00-11.30am Sophus Helle: Ritual Poetics: Invocation and Structure in Enheduana's Exaltation


11.30am-12.00pm coffee break


12.00-12.30pm Zachary Rubin: Priestly Life at the Kalu Ezida

12.30-1.00pm Anastasiia Iasenovskaia: Some remarks on the ritual aspects of the Nabu cult in Assyria: New year akitu and spring akitu of Nabu in Kalhu


1.00-2.00pm lunch


2.00-2.30pm Adam Howe: Conceptions of Sin in the Mesopotamian Incantation Series Šurpu

2.30-3.00pm Shane M. Thompson: Hittite Rule in the East: Rethinking the “Hands Off” Theory

3.00-3.30pm coffee break


3.30-4.00pm Jonathan Beltz: Sumerian zi-pa Incantations in Light of Three Amulet Texts from the Yale Babylonian Collection

4.00-4.30pm Andrew Deloucas: “May I be able to raise its lock”: The Door as Metaphor: Ritual or Poetics?

4.30pm keynote lecture

Paul Delnero (Johns Hopkins): Assyriological Approaches to Ritual and Religion

5.30pm closing remarks and group photo – do not disappear yet!


6.30pm pizza and socializing at BAR, 254 Crown street, New Haven

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Whitney Humanities Center, Yale University

53 Wall street

New Haven, CT 06511

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