Egyptology in Modern Egyptian History

William Carruthers, Margaret Geoga, Wendy Doyon
Oct 27, 2022 at -

This event has passed. A recording of the panel and subsequent Q&A can be found here: Egyptology in Modern Egyptian History.

On Thursday, October 27, 2022, by Zoom, at 11am EST, the Modern Egyptian Studies Forum will launch the new academic year with a panel discussion around the history and politics of Egyptology.

In 1822, the French philologist Jean-François Champollion published a treatise explaining his breakthroughs in deciphering the Rosetta Stone and hieroglyphics. In 1922, the British archaeologist Howard Carter discovered King Tutankhamun’s tomb. Both events fired popular imaginations, stimulated further scholarship on the study of ancient Egypt, and in the long run contributed to the growth of Egypt’s tourist economy. To recognize the importance of this bicentennial and centennial, we will dedicate our next panel discussion to Egyptology and modern Egypt. We hope to foster discussion about how the pursuit of ancient Egyptian studies through archaeology as well as the analysis of texts, images, and other material artifacts has contributed to heritage studies, museum practices, and the politics of public commemoration while broadly affecting political, cultural, and economic affairs within Egypt in colonial and postcolonial contexts.

Our panelists include William Carruthers, a historian of science whose book entitled Flooded Pasts: UNESCO, Nubia, and the Recolonization of Archaeology, will appear from Cornell University Press in Fall 2022; Margaret Geoga, an Egyptologist grounded in comparative literature whose research focuses on the reception of ancient Egyptian literature and culture in ancient Egypt itself and in more modern periods (with particular focus on the eighteenth century); and Wendy Doyon, a historian specializing in the political economy and labor dynamics of archaeology in modern Egypt.

The Modern Egyptian Studies Forum is an online event series and scholarly community dedicated to the study of modern Egypt. Events organized by the Forum have included book talks, thematic conversations, and discussions on archival access, pedagogy, and publishing. It welcomes scholars at various career stages, from graduate students to emeritus professors. For recordings of recent events see Events. Its sponsor is the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations (NELC) at the University of Pennsylvania.

As always, if there is someone that you think should join us in this event, please write to Weston Bland (wbland@sas.upenn.edu). We will be happy to invite them, if we have not done so already.