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Peter FitzGerald Dorman (born 1948) is an epigrapher, philologist, and Egyptologist. Recently a professor of history and archaeology at the American University of Beirut (AUB), he served as the 15th President of the university from 2008 to 2015. 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 in Luxor, the Epigraphic Survey field project of the Oriental Institute. He is presently a professor emeritus of the University of Chicago.
Life and work
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 and the Amarna period. 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. He and Betsy M. Bryan of The Johns Hopkins University have co-edited a series of volumes on the Theban area: Sacred Space and Sacred Function in Ancient Thebes (2007), Perspectives on Ptolemaic Thebes (2013), and Creativity and Innovation in the Reign of Hatshepsut (2014), this last together with José Galán of the National Spanish Research Council, Madrid. Dorman has also rejected the theory of a coregency between Akhenaten and his father, Amenhotep III in a 2009 article.
From 2002 to 2008, Dorman chaired the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago. Prior to that, he spent nine years (1988–1997) leading the epigraphic efforts at Chicago House in Luxor, Egypt. From 1977 to 1988, he worked in curatorial positions in the Department of Egyptian Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
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), succeeding John Waterbury, who was president from 1998 to 2008. Born in Beirut to a family associated with Lebanon for many generations, Dorman is the great-great grandson of the founder of AUB, Reverend Daniel Bliss. During his presidency, he led the university in a major expansion of its medical center, invigorated interdisciplinary research across the institution, initiated the university’s most ambitious fundraising campaign, championed the reinstatement of faculty tenure, greatly enhanced the level of financial assistance provided to students, and saw AUB's rankings rise from unranked status in the 500s of the QS World Rankings (2007) to 249 (2014).
- Dorman, Peter (2005). "The Early Reign of Thutmose III: An Unorthodox Mantle of Coregency". Thutmose III: A New Biography: 39–68.
- Dorman, Peter (2001). "Hatshepsut: Wicked Stepmother or Joan of Arc?". Oriental Institute News and Notes: 1–6.
- Dorman, Peter (1988). The Monuments of Senenmut: Problems in Historical Methodology. London: Kegan Paul, Ltd.
- Dorman, Peter (2009). "The Long Coregency Revisited: Architectural and Iconographic Conundra in the Tomb of Kheruef". Causing His Name to Live: Studies in Honor of William J. Murnane: 65–82.
- Dorman, Peter (2010). "Review of Michela Schiff-Giorgini, Soleb volumes III, IV, and V". Journal of Near Eastern Studies. 69: 127–32.
- Dorman, Peter (2002). Faces in Clay: Technique, Imagery, and Allusion in a Corpus of Ceramic Sculpture from Ancient Egypt. Mainz: von Zabern.
- Sacred Space and Sacred Function in Ancient Thebes: Occasional Papers of the Theban Workshop. Chicago: Oriental Institute. 2007.
- Perspectives on Ptolemaic Thebes: Occasional Papers of the Theban Workshop. Chicago: Oriental Institute. 2013.
- Creativity and Innovation in the Reign of Hatshepsut: Occasional Papers of the Theban Workshop. Chicago: Oriental Institute. 2014.
- Peter Dorman, "The Long Coregency Revisited: Architectural and Iconographic Conundra in the Tomb of Kheruef in "Causing His Name to Live: Studies in Egyptian Epigraphy and History in Memory of William J. Murnane," Brill (2009)
- "Division of the Humanities at the University of Chicago".