Aaron Tugendhaft's work investigates the interplay of religion, politics, and the arts, particularly in the ancient Middle East. He received his Ph.D. from the Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies at New York University in 2012 and also holds degrees in Art History and Social Thought from the University of Chicago. Before joining the Society of Fellows at Chicago, Aaron was a postdoctoral fellow in the Graduate School for Ancient Studies at the Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich and at the W. F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research in Jerusalem. He has also been a research fellow at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin and the Center for Arab and Middle Eastern Studies at the American University of Beirut.
He is the editor, with Josh Ellenbogen, of the volume Idol Anxiety (Stanford 2011) and has published widely on idolatry, mythological poetry, and the scholarly study of ancient religion. In 2013, he received the Jonas Greenfield Prize for Younger Semitists from the American Oriental Society for his work on the politics of Ugaritic myth. Also a vocal advocate for liberal education, Aaron co-organized the international conference Does Liberal Education Need Saving? at the University of Chicago in May 2016. He is currently working on a book about the Islamic State video of antiquities destruction in the Mosul Museum.