California State University, Northridge art history professor Owen Doonan has received the Hanfmann Lectureship, one of the most prestigious lectureships offered by the Archaeological Institute of America (AIA).
He will be spending the next academic year traveling to some of the nation’s leading universities to talk about his work on Sinop, a small Turkish town on the coast of the Black Sea where people have lived for more than 2,500 years, according to his research done since 1992.
The lectureship is named after the late George M.A. Hanfmann, who is considered one of the United States’ pioneers of archaeology for his work on the first American-led excavations in Sardis, Turkey, which went on from 1958-76. Doonan is expected to speak at Yale, Brown, Princeton and many more esteemed universities in the U.S.
He said he is excited to be the speaker for such a prestigious lectureship series by the AIA, which has more than 200,000 members nationwide.
“Hanfmann is a very interesting character for me. There are a couple of really interesting nuances,” Doonan said. “My first archaeology professor, [Miriam Balmuth], was one of his students. He’s in a sense my academic grandfather. He taught for decades at Harvard. I grew up in the Boston area. He founded the excavations in Western Turkey. I find it really gratifying to be speaking in the endowed lecture series for such an important pioneer of research in Turkey.”
Doonan said he will discuss his research on Sinop and hopes to highlight the decades of interdisciplinary work he and his team of researchers from fields such as oceanography, archaeology, geography, graphic design and film, have done.
“It brings a lot of recognition to CSUN,” he said. “To be able to represent the AIA through their top lectureship is exciting. My hope is to really get out the word about what I hope [will] become one of the most ambitious interdisciplinary archaeological programs in the Mediterranean. I want to turn the Sinop project into one that everybody is watching. To be able to lecture about it at these [universities], where the new leaders in the field are being trained, is really important.”