Christopher Woods Named Avalon Professor in the Humanities
Christopher Woods, who recently joined Penn as Williams Director of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology and Professor of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, has been named Avalon Professor in the Humanities. Formerly the John A. Wilson Professor of Sumerology at the University of Chicago, Woods has published widely on Sumerian language and writing, the origin and development of writing and writing systems, and early Mesopotamian history, literature, religion, and state formation. At Chicago, he served as Director of the Oriental Institute, one of the world’s leading centers for interdisciplinary research on Near East civilizations. Woods’ research has received support from the U.S. Department of State, National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, among many others. He has served as the Editor-In-Chief of the Journal of Near Eastern Religions and the Journal of Near Eastern Studies and on the editorial boards of Languages of the Ancient Near East (Eisenbrauns) and Harvard Museum of the Ancient Near East Publications, among others.
The Avalon Foundation Chair in the Humanities was established in 1966 by the Avalon Foundation, now the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, to support the study of the humanities. The Avalon Foundation was founded in 1940 by Ailsa Mellon Bruce, daughter of Andrew W. Mellon.