Laura F. Hawkins

Laura F. Hawkins

Lecturer on Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations
Allston Burr Resident Dean of Quincy House
Assistant Dean of Harvard College

After completing her graduate training at the University of Oxford in 2016, Laura served as the Postdoctoral Research Associate in Egyptology and Assyriology at Brown University. At Oxford and Brown, Laura participated in a number of research projects, including the Cuneiform Digital Library Initiative and the Script Encoding Initiative, and taught courses on Akkadian language, Sumerian language, and Mesopotamian history and cultural heritage. Her research primarily focuses on combining computational and more traditional methods in complementary ways to study the development and spread of early writing in Mesopotamia and Iran, with a particular focus on the periods between ca. 3200 BC and 1800 BC.

Laura has published articles on diverse topics, for example on Proto-Elamite and on the use of computational methods in humanities disciplines, and is currently preparing to publish a book on the spread and adaptation of writing across Mesopotamia and Syria as viewed through variation in cuneiform syllabic sign values. Her next research project will draw on interdisciplinary methods to examine how societal barriers, such as gender and class, affected the literacy and educational practices of Assyrian merchants in early second millennium northern Iraq and Turkey. Laura also has interests in the modern Middle East and works with the Aleph Policy Initiative to address foreign policy issues using data analysis techniques; this work has most recently taken her to Erbil and Baghdad.
In addition to her teaching and research, Laura also serves as the Allston Burr Resident Dean of Quincy House.

Contact Information

Quincy House Resident Dean’s Office
58 Plympton Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
p: 617-495-2286
Office Hours: By appointment


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