John Wee

Assistant Professor
Oriental Institute, Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, and the College

John Wee is a historian of medicine, astronomy, and mathematics in the ancient world. His interests include the nature of observation claims; conceptual metaphors underlying scientific and mathematical language and theory; the creation, systematization, and interpretation of knowledge; professional hierarchies and self-fashioning; and the rhetoric and pragmatics of intellectual consensus or dissension.

Besides his forthcoming book, Knowledge and Rhetoric in Medical Commentary, Wee’s writings appear in the Journal of Near Eastern Studies, Journal of Cuneiform Studies, and the series Studies in Ancient Medicine (Brill) and Science, Technology, and Medicine in Ancient Cultures (de Gruyter). Recently, he made the first discovery in cuneiform of the “Zodiac Man” (Homo signorum), a well-known classical and medieval figure, in what may be its earliest occurrence in the history of ideas. He is editing a volume of essays, The Comparable Body: Imagination and Analogy in Ancient Anatomy and Physiology.

He received an MA in (classical) history and a PhD in Near Eastern languages and civilizations from Yale University, where he was also designated the Samuel K. Bushnell Fellow and was awarded the William J. Horwitz Prize. Thereafter, he was a 2012 Provost’s Postdoctoral Scholar at the University of Chicago.

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