- PhD in the Art & Archaeology of the Mediterranean World, University of Pennsylvania
About Karen Sonik
Karen Sonik earned her PhD in the Art & Archaeology of the Mediterranean World at the University of Pennsylvania. She specializes in the visual and literary arts of the ancient Mediterranean and Near East, with an emphasis on ancient Mesopotamia. Her recent work has addressed topics including Assyrian rock reliefs and royal memory; the materialization and visualization of emotion in the ancient Near East; the authorization and legitimation of divine images; and the relationship between pictorial and written myth in Mesopotamia. Her publications include the edited volumes Journey to the City: A Companion to the Middle East Galleries at the Penn Museum (with S. Tinney, forthcoming with University of Pennsylvania Museum Press), The Materiality of Divine Agency (with B. Pongratz-Leisten, de Gruyter 2015), A Common Cultural Heritage: Studies in the Mesopotamian & Biblical World in Honor of Barry L. Eichler (with G. Frame et al., CDL Press 2010), and numerous articles and book chapters.
Dr. Sonik’s research has been supported by organizations including the American Philosophical Society, the American Council for Learned Societies, and the Kolb Foundation. She has been a visiting scholar at the Center for the Study of World Religions at Harvard Divinity School; a visiting assistant professor in the Department of Art History at the University of California, Los Angeles; a postdoctoral fellow in Egyptology & Ancient Western Asian Studies at Brown University; and a visiting research scholar at the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, New York University.
Journey to the City: A Companion to the Middle East Galleries at the Penn Museum (co-edited with S. Tinney). Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Museum Press, in press.
“Emotion and the Ancient Arts: Visualizing, Materializing, and Producing States of Being.” In Visualizing Emotions in the Ancient Near East, ed. S. Kipfer, 219-261. Orbis Biblicus et Orientalis. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2017.
The Materiality of Divine Agency (co-edited with B. Pongratz-Leisten). Berlin and New York: de Gruyter, 2015.
“Divine (Re-)Presentation: Authoritative Images and a Pictorial Stream of Tradition in Mesopotamia.” In The Materiality of Divine Agency, ed. B. Pongratz-Leisten and K. Sonik, 142-193. Berlin and New York: de Gruyter, 2015.
With Beate Pongratz-Leisten. “Between Cognition and Culture: Theorizing the Materiality of Divine Agency in Cross-Cultural Perspective.” In The Materiality of Divine Agency, ed. B. Pongratz-Leisten and K. Sonik, 3-69. Berlin and New York: de Gruyter, 2015.
“Pictorial Mythology and Narrative in the Ancient Near East.” In Critical Approaches to Ancient Near Eastern Art, ed. M. Feldman and B. Brown, 265-293. Berlin and New York: de Gruyter, 2014.
“The Monster’s Gaze: Vision as Mediator Between Time and Space in the Art of Mesopotamia.” In Time and History in the Ancient Near East: Proceedings of the 56th Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale at Barcelona, 26-30 July 2010, ed. Lluís Feliu, Jaume Llop, Adelina Millet Albà, and Joaqín Sanmartín, 285-300. Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns, 2013.
“Mesopotamian Conceptions of the Supernatural: A Taxonomy of Zwischenwesen.” Archiv für Religionsgeschichte 14 (2013): 103-116.
“From Hesiod’s Abyss to Ovid’s rudis indigestaque moles: Chaos and Cosmos in the Babylonian Epic of Creation.” In Creation and Chaos: A Reconsideration of Gunkel’s Chaoskampf Hypothesis, ed. J. Scurlock and R. Beal, 1-25. Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2013.
“Breaching the Boundaries of Being: Metamorphoses in the Mesopotamian Literary Texts.” Journal of the American Oriental Society 132.3 (2012): 385-393.
“The Tablet of Destinies and the Transmission of Power in Mesopotamian Myth.” In Organization, Representation, and Symbols of Power: Proceedings of the 54th Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale at Würzburg, ed. G. Wilhelm, 387-395. Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns, 2012.
A Common Cultural Heritage: Studies in the Mesopotamian & the Biblical World in Honor of Barry L. Eichler (co-edited with G. Frame et al). Bethesda: CDL Press, 2011.
“Gender Matters in Enuma eliš.” In In the Wake of Tikva Frymer-Kensky, edited by R. H. Beal, S. W. Holloway, and J. Scurlock, 85–101. Gorgias Précis Portfolios 4. Piscataway: Gorgias Press, 2009.
“Bad King, False King, True King: Apsû and His Heirs.” Journal of the American Oriental Society 128.4 (2008): 737–743.
Last Updated: August 21, 2019