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Loyola history professor recognized for outstanding dissertation

October 2, 2009

Jonathan Tenney, visiting assistant professor of history in the College of Humanities and Natural Sciences at Loyola University New Orleans, was recently recognized with an Outstanding U.S. Dissertation Prize by The American Academic Research Institute in Iraq for his work, “Life on the Bottom of Babylonian Society.”

“The award is significant to me because I was using methodologies that made it difficult to anticipate where the data would take me,” said Tenney. “I have been told that many of the reviewers labeled the work as ‘ground-breaking’ and a ‘tour de force,’ words that any academic would love to hear.”

According to TAARII, Tenney’s dissertation received superlative reviews from the panel. The award, which carries a prize of $1,500, will be announced in an upcoming newsletter produced by The Middle East Studies Association with a longer article in the spring TAARII newsletter.

“The book made several important contributions to the field of ancient history,” said Tenney. “It argued that the institution of the family acted as a significant counter-measure against the horrendous living conditions of the ancient servile laborer. Second, the end of the Late Bronze Age in Mesopotamia had been largely unexplored by ancient historians up to this point, and this dissertation sheds a light on at least one aspect of life at that time. Third, and most important to me, the project is the first attempt at studying a Mesopotamian population with the methods of historical demography.”

For more information, contact Tenney at jtenney@loyno.edu or 504-865-2180.

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