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Grant number like: FT-52089-04

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Steven Winford Holloway
American Theological Library Association (Chicago, IL 60606-6701)

Summer Stipends
Research Programs

$5,000 (approved)
$5,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2004 – 9/30/2004

Victorian Assyria and the Bible in America

The first images of Assyrian antiquities in the 1840s electrified America. While aesthetic appreciation of an uncharted antiquity played a role, most Americans dealt with news from Nineveh by opening their Bibles. I propose to study the initial "translation" of the Mesopotamian expedition narratives and objects into idioms familiar to the American public by tracing American publications of the works of A. H. Layard, and the rapid assimilation of Assyrian art reproductions in illustrated Bibles and other Bible-related media. This exercise in reception criticism utilizes concepts of Orientalism and exoticism, and endeavors to explore how preconceptions of the Middle East and biblical confirmation shaped reception of ancient Assyria.