Department of History College of Arts and Sciences
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Emeriti faculty
Teaching assistants and graduate assistants
Part-time instructors

Onstine biographical page

Suzanne L. Onstine

Associate Professor

[Suzanne L. Onstine]

Office: 101 Mitchell
Telephone: 901.678.3383
Fax: 901.678.2720
Education: Ph.D., Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations, University of Toronto, 2001

Fields of interest


(Visit the Web site of the Department of History graduate program in Egyptology)

Within Egyptology, my main areas of interest are women’s history and religion. My book The Role of the Chantress in Ancient Egypt explores the intersection of these two subjects and reveals new insights into the political and social nature of women’s activities. My approach to history is interdisciplinary, drawing on texts, art historical material, archaeology, and anthropological theory. This often leads me to research the material culture and social history of Egypt, focusing on the lives and pursuits of non-elite Egyptians. I am also very interested in the Nubian cultures that were contemporary with Ancient Egypt.

In the summer of 2007 I began a new epigraphic field work project in Luxor, Egypt, in the tomb of Pa-nehsy and Ta-renut (TT16). TT16 is a painted Ramesside tomb that has many unique scenes of temple activity and scenes relating to the worship of the deified Amenhotep I and Ahmose-Nefertari. The project will be ongoing until all the texts and painted scenes have been documented photographically and through digital epigraphy. I will be away doing fieldwork during November and December 2009. If you need to schedule exams, thesis defenses, etc., please take that into consideration.

I am the faculty advisor for the Alpha Nu chapter of Phi Alpha Theta as well as for the Egyptology Graduate Student Association. Sarah Potter will be acting as the co-advisor for Phi Alpha Theta for the period I am away doing fieldwork.

I am also an affiliate with the Women’s and Gender Studies program and the Center for Research on Women. Students wishing to do directed readings or projects on women in the ancient world are encouraged to contact me.

Courses taught

Fall 2009 schedule:

  • 1110 World Civ. I (first session class ending Oct. 16, 2009)
  • 7070/8070 research seminar on Ancient Egyptian Religion (open only to Egyptology graduate students)

In development [I welcome suggestions from students]

  • Women in the Ancient Mediterranean World
  • Nubian Cultures
  • Predynastic and Early Egypt
  • Late Period Egypt

Representative publications

  • “Singing,” entry in UCLA Encyclopedia of Egyptology [in press]
  • “Gender and Religion in Ancient Egypt,” Religion Compass [in press]
  • “Mesaid Miscellanea,” Journal of the Society for the Study of Egyptian Antiquities 32 (2005)
  • The Role of the Chantress in Ancient Egypt (London: British Archaeological Reports, 2005)
  • “Musician Priestesses in Ancient Egypt,” The Ostracon 13, no. 2 (Summer 2002)
  • “Women in Ancient Egypt,” Egypt Revealed (June 2001)
  • “The Relationship between Re and Osiris in the Book of Caverns,” Journal of the Society for the Study of Egyptian Antiquities 25 (1995) [published 1998]
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