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Focus Area on Egyptology

The Department of History at the University of Memphis offers both an MA and PhD in History with a concentration in Egyptology. While other Egyptology programs at major institutions across North America concentrate in Egyptian language, art history, and archaeology, the University of Memphis is unique in offering a graduate program in Ancient Egyptian history and historiography at both the Master’s and Doctoral level. At the same time, we provide our students with advanced training in Egyptological philology, art history, and archaeology through the History and Art History Departments. As a public university, we offer all this at a highly competitive price at the only Egyptology program in the southern United States.

Within the Department of History, we approach the advanced study of the language, culture, and history of ancient Egypt from an interdisciplinary perspective centered on historical practices and methodology. Our students learn not just the basics of Egyptian history, but become firmly grounded in the historiography and practices of Egyptological research and writing within the field. Gaining other necessary skills in the disciplines of philology, archaeology, and art history, our students research wide-ranging topics within Egyptian history under the direction of Drs. Peter Brand and Suzanne Onstine. Students also have opportunities to travel to Egypt and participate in field projects there.

Dr. Brand specializes in the political history and foreign relations of Pharaonic Egypt, especially during the New Kingdom, as well as the study of Egyptian historical texts. As an expert in monumental epigraphy, he also directs the Karnak Hypostyle Hall Project which gives students opportunities to study and record monumental reliefs and inscriptions from one of Egypt most iconic structures, the Great Temple of Amun-Re at Karnak. Dr. Onstine’s focus is on social history with special interests in gender, religion, and Nubian cultures. Her background in anthropology and archaeology support the program’s commitment to interdisciplinary approaches. Students are also able to take courses with Dr. Chrystal Goudsouzian, an instructor in the department, who specializes in daily life and religion, with a focus on Egyptian women, gender, sexuality, and the body. Additionally, the Department of Art’s Institute of Egyptian Art and Archaeology, or IEAA, currently employs three Egyptologists who offer graduate level courses in Middle Egyptian language, art history, and museum studies.