The University of Pennsylvania, the Ancient Near East, and the Middle East: Connected Histories

by Heather J. Sharkey, Department of Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations

In Fall 2014, I met with students in a weekly seminar to consider the historic engagement of the University of Pennsylvania and its faculty, research associates, students, and graduates in the Near and Middle East.  The Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations (NELC) offered this course as NELC 133, “Here and Over There: Penn, Philadelphia, and the Middle East”, while the Provost’s Art & Culture Initiative supported the enterprise, too.  This website offers a sampling of our investigations into the evolving and ongoing connections between the “here” of Penn in Philadelphia, and the “over there” of the Near and Middle East, a region variously understood to include western Asia from the Mediterranean coast to Iran, as well as parts of North Africa and southeastern Europe.


Heather J. Sharkey