Connecting with colleagues and sharing research and discoveries are at the heart of the Annual Meeting each year for ARCE members. The 66th Annual Meeting was held April 24-26, 2015 in Houston, Texas. Surrounded by the ubiquitous glass skyscrapers that characterize the "Bayou City," the Doubletree Downtown Houston Hotel provided a spacious venue for the 348 members who attended the conference.
Attendees browse the offerings of the booksellers
Attendees chose from 120 scholarly papers delivered by American and international specialists in all aspects of Egyptian studies. Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities colleagues who presented include Dr. Tarek Sayed Tawfik, director of the Grand Egyptian Museum; Dr. Mohamed Abdellatif, head of the Islamic and Coptic Sector; and Mr. Mustafa Abdelfatah, director of conservation at Saqqara. Dr. Tawfik’s talk can be viewed on ARCE’s YouTube Channel.
L to R: Dr. Manal Affara, wife of the Consul General; the Honorable Mr. Khaled Rady, Consul General; Dr. Melinda Hartwig, ARCE President; Dr. Gerry Scott, ARCE Director; and Mr. Mohamed Abdellatif, Ministry of Antiquities
The President's Reception on Thursday night honored ARCE's very generous donors and special guests from the Egyptian Consulate in Houston including Consul General Khaled Rady, and Deputy Consul General, Alaa Elsheikh. The Houston Museum of Natural Science graciously provided an array of activities on Saturday night including a cocktail reception and a special private viewing of their newly installed and expansive Egyptian galleries. The evening also included the spectacular premier of the PBS Visionaries documentary on ARCE in the museum's IMAX theater. The Visionaries documentary will begin airing on PBS stations later this year. Check back on the ARCE website and Facebook page for schedule information as it becomes available.
Katherine Davis, first place winner of Best Student Paper contest with ARCE President, Melinda Hartwig
Best Student Paper winners were also announced at the museum just prior to the Visionaries screening. The winners were Katherine Davis of Johns Hopkins University in 1st place; Agnieszka Szymanska of Temple University, a 2013-2014 ARCE fellow, in 2nd place; and Julia Troche of Brown University in 3rd place. Congratulations to the winners and thank you to the ARCE Chapter Council for underwriting the Best Student Paper contest.
The Chapter Council raised funds for the Best Student Paper Award at their annual fundraising event on Saturday. This year Dr. Clair Ossian of the North Texas Chapter presented "Egypt As It Was: A Photographic History."
Students attending also had the opportunity to visit with each other and with professionals in an informal setting at the Student Networking Lunch on Friday afternoon. This year some 25 students joined organizer Pearce Paul Creasman, University of Arizona; Denise Doxey, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Aidan Dodson, University of Bristol; Eugene Cruz-Uribe, Indiana University; and Rita Lucarelli, University of California, Berkeley for an informal hour tête-à-tête over lunch. Themes were selected to launch conversations that mirrored student interests: language, literature, museums, religion, and publishing. Students were also interested in how professors sought their positions and how they could portray themselves as attractive candidates. Dr. Lucarelli shared her knowledge about the differences in the job search between the US and jobs in Europe, while Dr. Dodson spoke about the possibility of taking a job outside the field while still actively conducting research and staying involved with the community.
Student poster presenter Katlyn Greiner (L), University of Memphis, talks with Catharine Roehrig from the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Displayed adjacent to a lecture room, student posters generated a great deal of interest throughout the conference.
During the Fellowship Information Session, recent ARCE fellow Agnes Szymanska shared her rich, productive and varied fellowship experience with a group of 15 interested students. The benefits of associating with ARCE were discussed as questions arose about the logistics of carrying out research in Egypt.
At the Members' Meeting on Friday evening, director Gerry Scott gave an overview of ARCE activities that have taken place over the past year, including the important discoveries of two undocumented 18th Dynasty tombs by ARCE's Luxor team of archaeologists in March, 2015.
A selection of papers delivered at the 2015 Annual Meeting are available on ARCE’s YouTube channel.