John G. Younger

Professor Emeritus, Classics, Jewish Studies, Women Gender & Sexuality Studies
Primary office:


John G. Younger joined the University of Kansas in 2002 as Professor of Classics; he came from Duke University where he taught for 27 years. He has also taught in the KU departments of Humanities, Museum Studies, and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, has been chair of Classics (2004-5) and of Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies (2008-12), and now is the Director of Jewish Studies (2013-presemt). He has a BA in History (with majors in Music and Classics also fulfilled) from Stanford University, and an MA and PhD in Classics from the University of Cincinnati. Professor Younger's research focuses on the Bronze Age Aegean; he is currently involved with the Gournia Excavation Project and will be publishing the Minoan pottery workshop he excavated there. He also publishes on Classical Greek art (especially architecture and sculpture). He has written books on Minoan-Mycenaean engraved gemstones and on Music in the Aegean Bronze Age, as well as numerous articles on various Bronze Age and Classical topics (e.g., the book chapter "Minoan Women" in Women in Antiquity [2016], the book-encyclopedia Sex in the Ancient World, A-Z [2004], the architecture and sculpture of early synagogues in the upper Galilee region of Israel, an edited volume on the emperor Augustus's building program (Imperium and Cosmos by Paul Rehak, 2006), a monograph-length study, "Technical Observations on the Sculptures from the Temple of Zeus at Olympia" [Hesperia 78, 2009, 41-105], and "A View from the Sea" in The Seascape in Aegean Prehistory [2011]. He has dogs, cats, and chickens to keep him sane. As well as a husband, Cody Haynes. And most recently a 67 acre farm.


Ph.D., Classics, University of Cincinnati

M.A., Classics, University of Cincinnati

B.A., History with Honors, Stanford University


From archaeological and art artifacts I derive information about ancient Greek society and individuals and I teach the process of deriving social and personal information from material culture in my courses.

Teaching Interests

  • Minoan
  • Mycenaean
  • Aegean
  • Greek
  • Classical
  • Archaeology
  • Sculpture
  • Architecture
  • Ancient gender
  • Women
  • Sex. The cultures and history of ancient Palestine
  • Early synagogues.

Research Interests

  • The art and archaeology of pre-classical and classical Greece
  • Aegean seals and fingerrings
  • Classical sculpture and architecture
  • Gender and sexuality in the ancient world
  • LGBT/Queer issues in academe
  • Internet technology and humanities computing
  • Anci

Selected Publications

Younger, John. "Identifying Myth in Minoan Art." METAPHYSIS. Ritual, Myth and Symbolism in the Aegean Bronze Age 15th International Aegean Conference. Aegaeum 37. Ed. Eva Alram-Stern, Ed. Fritz Blakolmer, Ed. Sigrid Deger-Jalkotzy, Ed. Jörg Weilhartner. Liège and Austin: Université de Liège and the Program in Aegean Prehistory and Scripts, University of Texas, December 2016. 433-438.

Jewish Studies Program statement in solidarity with protests against police brutality

Beloved community,

As an academic program in the University of Kansas, we stand in solidarity with Black Americans -- including Black Jewish people -- and everyone hurting after the senseless, brutal murder of George Floyd and all people targeted by systemic racism and injustice in our country. We continue to be committed to our core values of diversity, equity, and inclusion. This morning, the Association for Jewish Studies sent out an email reminding us that as scholars of Jewish Studies, we are keenly aware of the devastating impact of discrimination and violence against minority groups. Dr. Cécile Accilien, the Chair of the KU Department of African and African-American studies, shared with us the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”

The Jewish Studies academic community is rich and diverse – it includes scholars and students who are Jewish and non-Jewish, scholars and students of all ethnic and racial backgrounds and from multiple denominations and creeds, people who are immigrants (like myself) and those who are American-born. The Bible commands: צֶ֥דֶק צֶ֖דֶק תִּרְדֹּ֑ף tzedek tzedek tirdof, which translates into English as “Only justice shall you pursue” (Deuteronomy 16:20). In this well-cited verse, the Hebrew word tzedek, or justice, repeats twice. There can be many explanations of the repetition – textual interpretation in all its many forms is a beloved pursuit for many of us. Today, I am going to give you my own interpretation -- though I am sure that it already exists somewhere in the treasury of Jewish exegesis. One tzedek, or justice, you must pursue for yourself and for people like you; that is, perhaps, the justice that is easiest to understand, because we keenly feel injustices committed against ourselves and people like us. The other tzedek is the justice you must pursue for the sake of people who are not like you. It is often a harder lesson, but a necessary one. The justice, or tzedek, which we pursue thus also becomes a gift of chesed, of lovingkindness that enriches all of us.


In solidarity,

Dr. Renee Perelmutter,

Director of the Jewish Studies Program

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