I received my BA with honors from Washington University in St. Louis, MO in 2009, where I majored in Classics and English Literature and minored in Legal Studies. From there, I moved to the East Coast to pursue a Ph.D. in Assyriology at Yale University. I completed my M.Phil. in Assyriology with a Comparative Semitic Languages minor in 2013, and spent a research year from 2013-2014 at Heidelberg University in Germany on a DAAD grant.
My doctoral research focused on the interplay between royal power and official religious cult in Assyria from c. 1000-600 BCE and I received my Ph.D. in Assyriology with distinction from Yale in May 2017.
I was also a lecturer in the Department of Religious Studies at Fairfield University, teaching several classes during Fall 2015-Fall 2016.
My professional experience also includes my roles as the Coordinator for Writing Advisors at the Graduate Writing Lab within the Yale University Center for Teaching and Learning and the Graduate Student Liaison to the Board of the American Oriental Society for the 2015-2017 cycle.
In 2018, I came to work at the University of Vienna as a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow in the Department of Near Eastern Studies.
I’m still at the University of Vienna, now as a Postdoctoral Researcher and Lecturer (Universitätsassistentin).
Previously, I was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Helsinki, where I worked within the team “Society and Religion in the Ancient Near East” as part of the Center of Excellence: Changes in Sacred Texts and Traditions. I am still an associate member of this project.
In addition, I am an affiliated member of two other Academy of Finland-funded projects at the University of Helsinki: the Center of Excellence: Ancient Near Eastern Empires and Semantic Domains in Akkadian Texts.
You can contact me at shana.zaia (at) univie.ac.at or follow me on Academia and Twitter @shana_zaia