Northern California: Contexts and Circumstances in Designing the Divine in Ancient Egypt

Presented by: Dr. Jennifer Miyuki Babcock; Pratt Institute

The lecture will be recorded

  • 3:00 PM PTNorthern California
  • Room 20 Social Sciences Building (Formerly Barrows Hall)University of California, Berkeley
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Lecture Information

How do we decide what a god looks like? Some ancient Egyptian texts describe the gods generally, and others are more precise. Yet a divinity’s true, underlying form is unknown. Nonetheless, depictions of deities on monumental and small-scale artworks are seen throughout ancient Egyptian history.

In this talk, we will look at some basic, common forms that ancient Egyptian gods adopt, and uncover the reasons behind these design choices. We will not only consider how the images illustrate a god’s specific divine power, but also how their representation may be determined by the context and placement of the god’s image.

Speaker Bio

Dr. Jennifer Miyuki Babcock is Assistant Professor and Coordinator for the History of Art and Design at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. She is also an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, and at the Fashion Institute of Technology, SUNY. Before teaching, Dr. Babcock was a Postdoctoral Curatorial Associate at The Institute for the Study of the Ancient World at NYU, and has held research and fellowship positions at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Museum of Fine Arts Boston, and the Brooklyn Museum. She earned her Ph.D. at the Institute of Fine Arts, NYU.

Among Dr. Babcock’s extensive list of publications is the book Animal Fables in Ancient Egypt: Tree Climbing Hippos and Ennobled Mice (Brill 2022), which examines how drawings of anthropomorphized animals are linked to oral folklore and the religious environment of New Kingdom Thebes. Among her interests are the cross-cultural and temporal transmission of artistic iconography in the ancient world and studying cultural parallels between ancient and modern and contemporary lives.

Parking is available in UC lots all day on weekends, for a fee. Ticket dispensing machines accept debit or credit cards. Parking is available in lots around the Social Sciences Building, and in lots along Bancroft. A map of the campus is available online at http://www.berkeley.edu/map/