New Chapters in the History of Egyptology

Lecture by Dr. Vanessa Davies, Bryn Mawr College

  • 5:00 p.m.Illinois
  • The Oriental Institute of the University of ChicagoLaSalle Banks Room
    Oriental Institute, Lower Level
    1155 E 58th St
    Chicago, IL
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Previously undiscovered conversations shed new light on the history of Egyptology. Vanessa Davies’s work has uncovered a dynamic set of interactions that will change how we understand Egyptology. Scholars of African descent, far from being outsiders to the field in its infancy, engaged with prominent white university Egyptologists. These interesting and important episodes have been overlooked by traditional histories. Rediscovering them is critical in helping us understand the formation of the university discipline. This talk will explore two conversations.
W. E. B. Du Bois engaged with a prominent archaeologist on matters related to public education. Pauline Hopkins placed the reality of the racial discrimination of her day against the backdrop of ancient Sudan.
Understanding these authors’ treatments of ancient Egypt and ancient Sudan gives us a richer perspective on the history of the discipline of Egyptology.



Vanessa Davies is the author of Peace in Ancient Egypt. She is the co-editor of the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of Egyptian Epigraphy and Palaeography. She currently leads a project that will publish two cemeteries at Naga ed-Deir. This talk derives from her book project on the contributions of scholars of African descent to the discipline of Egyptology, 1900–1925. She works at Bryn Mawr College.