Jacob Lauinger (Ph. D. '07) was selected as the first Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Research Fellow last week, a three-year post-doctoral fellowship that will alternate between Cambridge University and the U of C. The fellowship, which is available to Ph.D. graduates from the humanities, social science and divinity schools of both universities, is funded by a $4 million grant from the Donnelley foundation.
Lauinger, currently an assistant history professor at Roanoke College, intends to use the grant to examine previously unstudied tablets documenting Adab, a town that immediately preceded the reign of Hammurabi, and to investigate a little-known empire that emerged and disappeared in modern-day Syria. "The major opportunity the fellowship gives me is the gift of time", the Near Eastern Languages and Civilization graduate said. "[It will give me] the freedom to think and write, to pursue ideas and sustain my research over a period of three years without any other responsibilities."
His work will also make available translations of 126 unpublished tablets of Adab which are part of the University of Chicago's Oriental Institute. His book, which will incorporate his graduate thesis and the results of the fellowship, will be pubilshed in 2011.