Chicago Demotic Dictionary Featured in the 'New York Times'

The New York Times recently featured the completion of a dictionary of ancient Demotic Egyptian, a language named by the Greeks to denote its use by the demos, or common people. Janet Johnson, the Morton D. Hull Distinguished Service Professor at the Oriental Institute and editor of their Demotic dictionary, explains that the language "was used for business and legal documents, private letters and administrative inscriptions, and literary texts, such as narratives and pieces of wisdom literature" and that the 2,000-page dictionary is "an indispensable tool for reconstructing the social, political and cultural life of ancient Egypt during a fascinating period of its history."

Augusta Read Thomas to Premier Four New Compositions During 2012-13 Season

The world premiere of Resounding Earth by Augusta Read Thomas, University Professor in the Department of Music, will  be performed on September 30, 2012 by Third Coast Percussion at the University of Notre Dame’s Debartolo Performing Arts Center. This is the first of four major worldpremieres this season. Earth Echoes will premier on October 11, 2012, at Carnegie Hall featuring the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke, and baritone Nathan Gunn. Harvest Drum will be performed on December 20, 2012, featuring the National Centre for the Performing Arts Symphony Orchestra, Beijing, China. Lastly, Cello Concerto No. 3, will debut on March 14-16, 2013, featuring the Boston Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Christoph Eschenbach, featuring cellist Lynn Harrell.

For more information, please visit the webpage of the Department of Music.

Former University of Chicago Staffer Publishes New Biography of Oriental Institute Founder

Archaeologist James Henry Breasted founded the Oriental Institute at the University in 1919, and was a beloved figure around the world. Jeffrey Abt, a former Special Collections exhibits coordinator and former acting director of the Smart Museum, has written a biography of Breasted called American Egyptologist: The Life of James Henry Breasted and the Creation of His Oriental Institute, out this month from University of Chicago Press.
 
Abt discussed the book on Wednesday, December 14, at 7 p.m. at Breasted Hall in the Oriental Institute.
 
From the University News Office:
 
Originally, Abt wanted to write about teaching museums and decided to start with the Oriental Institute Museum because of its close proximity. In going through its archives, however, he quickly discovered the wealth of materials on Breasted and became fascinated with the archaeologist’s multi-faceted career.
 
Breasted, who received his Egyptology PhD in Germany, was the first formally trained American Egyptologist. While he was dashing and adventuresome, he also brought to the University the formidable intellectual gifts and ambitions that helped to fulfill William Rainey Harper’s vision of a research university.
 
Read the University News Office story here.
 

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