Columbia University

Faculty of Arts and Sciences

Zainab Bahrani named 2019 Carnegie Fellow

Zainab BahraniEdith Porada Professor of Ancient Near Eastern Art and Archaeology in the Department of Art History and Archaeology, has been named to the prestigious Andrew Carnegie Fellows Program.  Bahrani is the first Columbia University faculty member to win this Fellowship.

Each year the Andrew Carnegie Fellows program awards grants to a select group of extraordinary scholars and writers whose groundbreaking work decodes some of the world’s most intractable problems. The stipends - often referred to as the "Brainy Awards" - support individual research, writing, and scholarship in the humanities and social sciences, work that can be applied to solutions that benefit us all.  The anticipated result of each fellowship is the publication of a book or major study that offers a fresh perspective on a pressing challenge of our time.

Bahrani is the author and editor of twelve books, including Rituals of War: the body and violence in Mesopotamia, which was awarded the James Henry Breasted Book Prize by the American Historical Association for the best book in any field of history prior to 1000 CE. Her 2014 book, The Infinite Image: Art, Time and the Aesthetic Dimension in Antiquity, based on her 2010-2011 Slade Lecture in the Fine Arts at Oxford, won the Lionel Trilling Book prize.

Bahrani has also focused her work in the area of monument preservation, conservation, and the politics of cultural heritage. Some of her academic publications focus on this subject from a theoretical perspective.  Since 2003, Bahrani has also written widely on the destruction of the cultural heritage of Iraq in the popular press, in publications such as The Nation, The Guardian, and The Wall Street Journal.  She can currently be seen in videos lending her expertise in the area to the Met Museum's current exhibit The World Between Empires: Art and Identity in the Ancient Middle East.

More about the Fellowship and the other 2019 Fellows is avaiable at  Read the Columbia News interview with Bahrani at