Karen Foster

Lecturer / Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations and History of Art
320 York St

 Karen Foster is a Lecturer in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations and History of Art. She specializes in the art and archaeology of the Bronze Age Aegean, with particular interests in interconnections with Egypt and Mesopotamia. Her book, Civilizations of Ancient Iraq (2009), co-authored with Benjamin R. Foster, received the 2010 Felicia A. Holton Book Award from the Archaeological Institute of America. Her major current project is publishing with Oxford University Press Strange and Wonderful: Exotic Flora and Fauna in Western Image and ImaginationShe has recently completed a trilogy dealing with volcanic imagery in art and literature, beginning with the Thera eruption and concluding with the Villa of the Mysteries at Pompeii. Her interest in the chronology of the Thera eruption has resulted in the publication of several collaborative scientific analyses of pumice from Egyptian graves. In something of a departure from her scholarly career, she retold for children a Sumerian folktale and illustrated it with her own cut-paper mosaics based on Sumerian art. The book, The City of Rainbows: A Tale from Ancient Sumer (1999), is regularly used in schools here and abroad, including in Iraq itself.

Select Publications

Ex Oriente Lux et Veritas: Yale, Salisbury and Early Orientalism. Yale Babylonian Collection Occasional Papers, 1. Ed. by Karen P. Foster.

Au secours des enfants du Soissonnais: Lettres americaines de Mary Breckinridge 1919-1921. Encrages Editions, 2012. Co-authored with Monique Judas-Urchel.

Civilizations of Ancient Iraq. Princeton University Press, 2009. Co-authored with Benjamin Foster.