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Schmandt-Besserat was interviewed by Laureano Ralon on April 15th, 2011 as part of the Figure/Ground Communication scholarly interview series: http://www.figureground.ca/interviews/ Denise Schmandt-Besserat graduated from the Ecole du Louvre, Paris. She was Professor of Art and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Texas at...
Denise Schmandt-Besserat graduated from the Ecole du Louvre, Paris. She was Professor of Art and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Texas at Austin until she retired in 2004. Her field is the art and archaeology of the ancient Near East. Denise Schmandt-Besserat has worked on the origin of writing and mathematics. Her publications include How Writing Came About, University of Texas Press 1996; Before Writing (2 vols), University of Texas Press 1992; When Writing Met Art, (University of Texas Press 2007) and numerous articles in major scholarly and popular journals (among which Science, Scientific American, Archaeology and American Journal of Archaeology). Her present interest is the Neolithic symbolism in the art of Ain Ghazal, near Amman, Jordan. She has published articles on the various art forms represented at the site. Schmandt-Besserat received a Dr. h. c. from Kenyon College, Gambier, Ohio in 2008; The Walter J. Ong Award for Career Achievement in Scholarship, from the Media Ecology Association in 2004. In 2003-4 she was a Fellow at the Stanford Humanities Center, Stanford University, and in 1995, 1997, 2000, 2009 at the American Center of Oriental Studies, Amman, Jordan. She has been cited Outstanding Woman in the Humanities by the American Association of University Women. She received the Holloway teaching award, the Eugene Kayden University Presses Book Award, twice the University of Texas Hamilton Book Award. In 1999 How Writing Came About, was listed in American Scientist, as one of the 100 books that shaped science in the 20th century.