New: Course information for summer 2022 is now available. Apply now!
Introduction to Syriac
In partnership with Dumbarton Oaks, HMML will host an intensive four-week course as an introduction to the Syriac language and paleography in the summer of 2022. This course is intended for doctoral students or recent PhDs who can demonstrate a need for Syriac in their research. Priority is given to students who lack opportunities to continue studying Syriac at their own institutions. The program welcomes international applicants but does not sponsor J visas.
The 2022 course will be taught on the beautiful campus of Saint John’s University in Collegeville, Minnesota, USA.
July 11 to August 5, 2022
Up to 10 students
Open to all individuals who have a need for Syriac in their research. Proof of full COVID-19 vaccination is also required to participate in the course.
February 4, 2022
All costs are generously funded by Dumbarton Oaks.
Participants must pay their own travel costs to and from Collegeville, Minnesota, USA
Students will be housed in dormitory apartments on the Saint John’s University campus. Each participant will have an air-conditioned, private bedroom and bathroom, with shared kitchen and laundry facilities.
A meal contract at the college Refectory will be provided
All participants must submit proof of full vaccination status to participate in the course.
Sessions are held Monday–Friday in the morning and afternoon. Total instruction time equals 110 hours. In this course:
Students should be prepared for up to three hours of independent work in addition to course hours each day.
The course offers intensive, in-depth training in Classical Syriac at the introductory level.
The course is taught from readings, published transcriptions of Syriac texts, and manuscript images.
The goal of the course is to give students an active command of the language through grammar revision and reading texts.
By the end of the course, students will be able to independently approach both vocalized and unvocalized Classical Syriac texts, translate from Syriac into English with confidence, and will have a comprehensive grasp of grammar and syntax.
Familiarity with the Syriac alphabet (Serto script).
Robinson’s Paradigms and Exercises in Syriac Grammar, 6th edition, revised by J. Coakley (Oxford University Press, 2013).
Faculty for 2021
Guest faculty: Dr. Robert Kitchen, Regina, Saskatchewan; and Fr. Armando Elkhoury, Our Lady of Lebanon Maronite Seminary, Washington, D.C.
Letter of no more than two single-spaced pages describing the applicant’s academic background, including language skills, and a description of why learning Syriac is important for the applicant’s future research and teaching. Please address the letter to Father Columba Stewart, OSB, HMML Executive Director.
Current curriculum vitae.
For those who are currently doing graduate study, please include a transcript of graduate school coursework. This is not required for those who have completed a PhD.
About Dumbarton Oaks:Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection is an institute in Washington, D.C., administered by the Trustees for Harvard University. It supports research and learning internationally in Byzantine, Garden and Landscape, and Pre-Columbian studies through fellowships and internships, meetings, and exhibitions. Located in residential Georgetown, Dumbarton Oaks welcomes researchers at all career stages who come to study its books, objects, images, and documents.