Bodies in Ancient Egypt: Subjects, Objects, Media

Uroš Matić (Austrian Archaeological Institute)

The conference Bodies in Ancient Egypt: Subjects, Objects, Media was organised by D. Serova (Humboldt University Berlin), A. Rickert (University of Münster) and U. Matić (Austrian Archaeological Institute) from 15th to 17th July 2022 at the University of Münster, Germany. The organisation of the conference was supported by the EAA, University of Münster, Humboldt University in Berlin, Beta Analytic, Harrassowitz Press, Sidestone Press (among others).

The goal of the conference was to bring together an international group of scholars researching bodies in ancient Egypt from the archaeological, anthropological and philological perspectives. The strong focus on contemporary body-centred social theory makes this conference stand out from other Egyptological conferences.

Figure 37. In-person conference participants on the steps of one of the campus buildings at the University of Münster, Germany with Überwasserkirche church in the background. Photo by Martin Fitzenreiter.

Organization of the conference as a hybrid event allowed for the presence of an international audience. During the three days of the conference, around 30 participants were present in the lecture room with a further 50 additional participants in attendance online (Figure 37). The papers were organized across four major themes: Bodies in Society, Bodies as Media, Bodies in (Con)text, Bodies beyond Norms, and Bodies, Sex and Gender. The conference also included three keynote lectures delivered by R. Nyord (Emory University, Atlanta), T. Pommerening and R. Brömer (University of Marburg) and A. von Lieven (University of Münster). The discussions were moderated by A. Lohwasser (University of Münster).

After the conference, two of the organizers (D. Serova and U. Matić) decided to publish a volume inspired by the conference but which will also include additional papers from scholars who lectured on appropriate themes within the online lecture series organized by the Humboldt University Berlin. This lecture series was organized during spring and summer 2022 by D. Serova and F. Kammerzell (Humboldt University Berlin) under the title Conceptualizing Bodies in Ancient Egypt.

The planned volume will be published by Sidestone Press (Leiden) in winter 2023 under the title Bodies That Mattered. Ancient Egyptian Corporealities and will include 17 chapters.

Further detailed information about the conference (program and abstracts) are available here.

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