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Associate Professor, 2003
B.A. 1986, Tufts University
Ph.D. 1993, Brown University
Owen Doonan is an archaeologist and art historian specializing in the ancient cultures of the Mediterranean and the Black Sea. He focused on early Sicilian Architecture and society in his PhD at Brown University's Center for Old World Archaeology and Art in 1993 (now the Joukowsky Institute of Archaeology. He became interested in Turkey and the Black Sea while teaching Archaeology and Art History at Bilkent University in Turkey. Since 1996 he has led the Sinop Regional Archaeological Project, the land survey and excavation component of the Black Sea Trade Project. His new book Sinop Landscapes: Exploring Connection in the Hinterland of a Black Sea Port was published by the University of Pennsylvania Museum Press in 2004.
Doonan directs the Sinop Regional Archaeological Project, an international archaeology project that is investigating the cultural effects of trade and interaction in the Black Sea over the past 6000 years. Since 2005 Doonan has been working with the German team from Ruhr-Universitat Bochum to coordinate studies of the landscapes of the colonies of the ancient city of Miletus.
Doonan is also active in the Archaeological Institute of America. He recently served (2007-2010) as the President of the Los Angeles County Society and is currently the Chair of the East Europe and Eurasian Interest Group.
He has recently become more involved in the contemporary art of the Middle East, especially North Africa and Turkey. He is Curator of Exhibitions and co-founder of the New Sahara Gallery in Northridge.
His research has been supported by the National Geographic Society, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, the Joukowsky Family Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, IREX and the Samuel S. Freeman Charitable Trusts. In 2008-09 he received a University Fellowship from CSUN to pursue research on archaeology in Turkey.
Doonan uses technology to bring students “into the field” using digital imagery including video and chat from sites and museums in Europe and the Middle East. He has also brought a number of current and former CSUN students to work with him in Turkey. He also encourages an interdisciplinary approach to art history working with the CSUN committee on Classical Civilizations and department of Anthropology.