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Susan Ashbrook Harvey

Willard Prescott and Annie McClelland Smith Professor of Religious Studies:
Religious Studies
Phone: +1 401 863 3572
Phone 2: +1 401 863 3104
Susan_Harvey@Brown.EDU

I specialize in ancient Christianity of the Syriac and Byzantine traditions. I work on religion and the senses, religious culture and social history, women and gender, monasticism, asceticism, the cult of saints, hymnography, and historiography.

Biography

Susan Ashbrook Harvey specializes in late antique and Byzantine Christianity, with Syriac studies as her particular focus. She is the author of Scenting Salvation: Ancient Christianity and the Olfactory Imagination (2006), Asceticism and Society in Crisis: John of Ephesus and the Lives of the Eastern Saints (1990), co-author, with Sebastian P. Brock, of Holy Women in the Syrian Orient (1998, 1987), and co-editor with David G. Hunter of the Oxford Handbook of Early Christian Studies (2008). She has published widely on topics relating to asceticism, hagiography, women and gender, hymnography, homiletics, and piety in late antique Christianity.

Interests

I am presently working on biblical women in Syriac hymnography and homiletics, and the Syriac women's choirs that performed these works.

Awards

Karen T. Romer Award for Excellence in Advising, May 2012

Honorary Doctorate in Theology, honoris causa, Bern University (Switzerland), Dec. 2009

Willard Prescott and Annie McClelland Smith Professor of Religious Studies, 2008

Guggenheim Fellow, Jan. – Dec. 2008, to work on Biblical Women and Women's Choirs in Ancient Syriac Christianity.

ACLS Fellow, Jan.-Dec. 2008, to work on Biblical Women and Women's Choirs in Ancient Syriac Christianity.

Fellowship, Cogut Center for the Humanities, Brown University, Fall 2007.

Honorary Doctorate (LHD), honoris causa, Grinnell College, May 2007.

Barrett Hazeltine Citation for Teaching Excellence, May 2005.

Featured guest, Rhode Island PBS series, "Rhode Island's Amazing Women," program "Women in Theology," April 2005.

Nominated Brown University Student Council Teaching Excellence Award, Nov. 2004.

Alternate for American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) Fellowship for University Professors, 2000-01

Fellow in Byzantine Studies, Dumbarton Oaks, Washington, D.C., Sept. 1987-May 1988, to work on early Syrian asceticism.

Guest Scholar, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., July- August 1987, to work on early Syrian asceticism.
Marshall Scholar, University of Birmingham, 1975-8.

B.A. With Honors; Phi Beta Kappa; Mortar Board Society. 1975.

Affiliations

American Academy of Religion
Society of Biblical Literature
American Theological Society
Byzantine Studies Association of North America
North American Patristic Society
Orthodox Theological Society of America
U.S. National Committee for Byzantine Studies

Funded Research

Guggenheim Fellow, Jan. – Dec. 2008, to work on Biblical Women and Women's Choirs in Ancient Syriac Christianity.

ACLS Fellow, Jan.-Dec. 2008, to work on Biblical Women and Women's Choirs in Ancient Syriac Christianity.

Fellowship, Cogut Center for the Humanities, Brown University, Fall 2007.

Brown University, Undergraduate Teaching and Research Award (UTRA), summer 2006, for digitizing and revising RS 9, Sacred Stories.

Brown University, UTRA award, Summer-fall 2002, for new course preparation, RS 9: Sacred Stories.

Brown University, UTRA award, summer 2000, for research on book manuscript Scenting Salvation.

Brown University, UTRA award, summer - fall 1999, for major course revisions RS 2: Introduction to Christianity.

Brown University, Faculty Development Grant, 1999,to attend XIIIth International Conference of Patristic Studies, Oxford, England; and Symposium on Mar Michael the Syrian and the Historiography of the Medieval Near East, Damascus, Syria,.

Brown University, Graduate School Small Grants Program, 1999, to attend Symposium on Mar Michael the Syrian and the Historiography of the Medieval Near East, Damascus, Syria.

Brown University, UTRA award, summer 1998, for research on book manuscript The Scent of Salvation.

Brown University, UTRA award, summer 1997, for updating computer skills and for research on book manuscript The Scent of Salvation.

Brown University, UTRA award, summer and fall 1996-97, for extensive course revisions, resulting in RS 88.01, "Women and Christianity in the Ancient World."

Fellow, George A. and Eliza Gardner Howard Foundation, 1994-95. Project: "How Fragrance Means: Sense Perception and Religious Knowledge in the Early Christian East."
National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Fellowship for University Teachers, 1993-94. Project: "The Fragrance of Sanctity: Sensuality and Spirituality in the Early Christian East."
Brown University, UTRA award, summer 1993, for research on Women in the Early Church.

Brown University, Faculty Development Fund, 1990, for research at the Institute for Christian Oriental Research, the Catholic University of America, August 1990.

Brown University UTRA award, for summer and semester I, 1990-1, to assist with preparation and teaching of new course RS 88D, "Sacrifice and Sacred Violence in Ancient Religions".

Brown University, Faculty Development Fund, 1989, for index work on SBL volume Ascetic Behavior in Greco-Roman Antiquity: A Sourcebook, ed. Vincent Wimbush (Fortress 1990).

American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) Travel Grant, August 1988. To deliver paper at the 5th International Symposium Syriacum, Belgium.
Brown University, Faculty Development Grants, 1988-9. To assist publication of Asceticism and Society in Crisis: John of Ephesus and the 'Lives of the Eastern Saints' (University of California Press, 1990).

National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Travel to Collections Grant, July 1986. To work in Oxford, England, on articles in progress.

University of Rochester, Faculty Research Grant, Summer 1986. For work in progress.

National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Summer Stipend, 1985. To work in the Middle East and England on early Syriac spirituality.

University of Rochester, Faculty Research Grant, Summer 1985. Camera and recording equipment for work in the Middle East.

University of Rochester, Faculty Research Grant, Summer 1984. To complete ms. revision, Holy Women of the Syrian Orient.
American Council of Learned Societies Grant-in-Aid, Summer 1983. Ms. revision, Asceticism and Society in the Sixth Century Byzantine East.

Visiting Research Fellow in New Testament Studies, Harvard Divinity School, Harvard University. 1982-3. (Declined to accept position at University of North Carolina at Greensboro).

American Association of University Women, Research Fellowship. University of Birmingham, 1979-80.

Curriculum Vitae

Download Susan Ashbrook Harvey's Curriculum Vitae in PDF Format