2017 Conference

Tea with the Sphinx:
Defining the Field of Ancient Egypt Reception Studies

1st & 2nd September*
University of Birmingham

Howard Carter examines the sarcophagus of Tutankhamun

With the suggestion that there may be secret chambers still unexplored in the tomb of Tutankhamun, and the wealth of artefacts that further excavations are bringing to light, comes the possibility that we are on the brink of a twenty-first-century wave of Egyptomania. This new interest will not only bring with it new opportunities for academic research to intersect with the popular imagination, but also brings about pertinent philosophical, theoretical and methodological questions relating to the ways in which we, as scholars, engage with the history of the reception of ancient Egypt. In recent years a number of studies have examined the reception of ancient Egypt in the modern world, but a cohesive discipline of Ancient Egyptian Reception Studies has not yet emerged. This conference invites scholars from a range of established disciplines to come together to define the field of Ancient Egypt Reception Studies.

The organisers welcome proposals from a range of disciplines. Potential topics include but are not limited to the following:

  • Theories and methods of Ancient Egypt Reception Studies
  • The relationship between Classical Reception and Reception of the Ancient Near East more broadly
  • The usefulness (or unhelpfulness) of Classical Reception Theory as a model
  • The place of ‘Orientalism’ and postcolonialism in this field
  • Issues of gender, race and class
  • Histories of archaeology (in particular social histories)
  • Ancient Egypt as represented in a variety of media
  • Receptions of ancient Egypt across temporal and geographical boundaries, from the ancient world to the present-day, and in Egypt itself
  • Receptions of ancient Egypt in the ancient and early modern worlds
  • Popular culture vs elite culture
  • The importance of public engagement to Ancient Egypt Reception Studies

Abstracts of up to 300 words for 20 minute papers along with a short biographical note (in the same Word document) should be sent to teawiththesphinx@gmail.com by 5 June 2017. Ideas for poster presentations are also welcome, particularly from postgraduate students.


* There will be an informal film screening the evening prior to the conference, 31 August 2017. This will be free for all to attend.