Peter Dorman

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Peter Fitzgerald Dorman (born 1948) is an epigraphist, philologist, and egyptologist. He currently serves as the 15th President of the American University of Beirut (AUB).[1] He spent most of his career as a professor and chair in the department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations (NELC) of the University of Chicago, and was director of Chicago House and the Epigraphic Survey project of the Oriental Institute.

Life and Work[edit]

Dorman is a leader in the study of the ancient Near East, known for his work as a historiographer, epigrapher and philologist. He is the author and editor of several major books and many articles on the study of ancient Egypt and is probably best known for his historical work on the reign of Hatshepsut[2] and the Amarna period. He has debated Zahi Hawass over the interpretation and appropriation of artifacts and texts associated with this period and their relevance to modern Egyptian identity and pride. His most recent monograph, Faces in Clay: Technique, Imagery, and Allusion in a Corpus of Ceramic Sculpture from Ancient Egypt (2002), examines artisanal craftsmanship in light of material culture, iconography, and religious texts. In 2007, he and Betsy M. Bryan of The Johns Hopkins University came out with an edited volume titled Sacred Space and Sacred Function in Ancient Thebes.[1]

From 2002 to 2008, he chaired the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago.[3] Prior to that, he spent nine years (1988–1997) heading the epigraphic efforts at Chicago House in Luxor, Egypt.[1] From 1977 to 1988, he worked in curatorial positions in the Department of Egyptian Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

Peter Dorman was also an amateur lyric tenor in Chicago, performing with Golosa (The University of Chicago Russian Choir), the Gilbert and Sullivan Society of The University of Chicago, and Vestostertones Barbershop Quartet.

On March 21, 2008, the Board of Trustees selected Peter F. Dorman to be the 15th president of the American University of Beirut (effective July 1, 2008).[1] He succeeded John Waterbury who was president from 1998 to 2008. He is the grandson of Alice Bliss and the great-great grandson of the founder Reverend Daniel Bliss.


  1. ^ a b c d
  2. ^ "Oriental Institute News and Notes". 
  3. ^ "Division of the Humanities at the University of Chicago".