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Opening the
Ancient World

A Virtual Conference

Religion, History, & Culture


August 15 & 16, 2021

A FREE Virtual Conference presented by Digital Hammurabi & SASA

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Digital Hammurabi and Save Ancient Studies Alliance have partnered to create a new type of conference for ALL Ancient Studies scholars.

The goals of this conference are:


Begin building a joint community of scholars including both those not on the traditional academic path and those in the ivory tower.


Hold a conference freely available to the public.
Present and support excellent scholarship by scholars at the fringes of the academic community and researchers who have not followed the traditional tenure-track career path.


Foster discussion and action regarding public outreach and scholarly inclusiveness.

The conference will also include two round-table discussions to conclude each day:

Diversity in Ancient Studies: Problem Solving Through Outreach

Research Outside the Academy: Building an Inclusive Environment


We aim to bring together scholars who do not normally have the opportunity to present and engage with scholarship, including:
  • Completed a PhD and are now professionals in other fields

  • Left PhD programs

  • Contingent faculty

  • Academics from marginalized groups

  • Teachers, professors, and staff from all educational institutions

  • Cultural resource management professionals

  • Independent scholars

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Any scholar of the Ancient Mediterranean and Mesopotamia, broadly defined, is welcomed and encouraged to submit an academic paper proposal in the subject areas of Religion, Culture, or History. In addition, all presenters are strongly encouraged to participate in at least one of the two discussion groups, as follows.


In this inclusive context, beyond the scholarly presentations, we will also host special sessions in which we aim to discuss a range of issues pertaining to the precarious situation of Ancient Studies. These discussions will broach the issues of how to develop outreach by Ancient Studies scholars, further inclusiveness, and reimagine scholarship as a lifelong pursuit within a diverse yet inclusive scholarly community.

Keynote Speakers

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Dr. Mark Smith

Helene Professor of Old Testament Literature and Exegesis at Princeton Theological Seminary

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Dr. Moudhy al-Rashid

Assyriologist and Junior Research Fellow at Wolfson College, University of Oxford

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Heba Abd el Gawad


Postdoctoral Researcher for "Egypt's Dispersed Heritage: Views from Egypt" at the Institute of Archaeology, University College of London

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Saber A. Parian



Researcher of Elamite and the Behistun Inscription

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Conference Organizers 


David Danzig

SASA - Founder & Director

PhD Candidate, Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, New York University

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Megan Lewis

Digital Hammurabi - 

Co-Founder & Operator

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