Tea with the Sphinx: Ancient Egypt in the Modern Imagination

Friday 23rd of September 2016 - Saturday 24th of September 2016University of Birmingham

Keynote Speaker: Dr Chris Naunton

Organisers: Eleanor Dobson and Nichola Tonks

Napoleon’s invasion of Egypt in 1798 sparked what has come to be known as ‘Egyptomania’, an intense fascination for ancient Egypt that permeated the cultural imagination in the nascent nineteenth century and beyond. Since this moment, across the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, subsequent ‘waves’ of Egyptomania have seen the history and iconography of this ancient civilisation drawn upon for all varieties of purposes. ‘Tea with the Sphinx’ hopes to encourage discussions of ancient Egypt as imagined by ‘Western civilisation’ from Napoleon’s invasion until the millennium. From the Parisian graveyards decorated with winged solar discs to tales of mummies’ curses appearing in periodicals and newspapers, pioneering female travellers of the Victorian erato the glitzy Hollywood blockbusters of the twentieth century, the conference will showcase papers on a variety of aspects of ancient Egypt in the modern cultural imagination, presented by scholars from diverse backgrounds: literature, history, art history, media studies, archaeology and Egyptology. The full programme is available on the conference website: www.teawiththesphinx.wordpress.com; developments can be followed on twitter @teawithsphinx or using the hashtag #sphinx16.

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