Karen Radner

Classical and Ancient Studies

Ancient Near Eastern history specialist, Karen Radner, sets her research sights on the big picture. She is one of the world’s leading experts on the history of Mesopotamia at the time of the Neo-Assyrian Empire (9th to 7th century BC), which is considered the first major empire in human history. Trained as a cuneiform philologist, she studies the written evidence from the period in order to reconstruct its cultural and social history. Radner, an Austrian, has produced numerous first editions of previously unknown cuneiform texts, delving in particular into hitherto neglected sources such as evidence of everyday life. She also chooses unusual publication paths: she is a supporter of the Digital Humanities and provides open access to part of her work and editions online. Her mission as an Alexander von Humboldt Professor at LMU Munich will be to shift the focus of classical and ancient studies more towards a universal history of antiquity.

Nominating University: Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München

Prof. Dr. Karen Radner

Born in Austria in 1972, Karen Radner is currently a professor at University College London (UCL), UK. She studied in Austria, at the University of Vienna, and in Germany, at Freie Universität Berlin, taking her doctorate in Vienna in 1997. She then moved to the University of Helsinki, Finland, and, after various positions in Germany and Austria, transferred to UCL in 2005, initially as a lecturer and, as of 2010, as a professor. Radner has also taken part in many excavations and research projects in Greece, Syria, Iraq and Turkey. She is a member of the editorial boards of numerous journals, including the Journal of Near Eastern History. In August 2015 she took up her position as a Humboldt Professor at LMU Munich.