Presentation Title

Writing Egyptology: Intertextual Development From Herodotus to Carter

Start Date

November 2016

End Date

November 2016

Location

MSE 113

Type of Presentation

Oral Talk

Abstract

Napoleon’s 1798 Egyptian expedition marked a crucial shift in the study of Ancient Egypt. We can trace Egyptology’s amateur to academic development from Herodotus’ travelogue in 446 BC, through Pre- and Post-Napoleon nonfiction accounts, to the work of today’s professional Egyptologists. The adventure travelogues of Egypt’s earlier explorers, though littered with inaccuracies and bias, provided a valuable knowledge base that later explorers continued to build on. In this way, nonfiction writing, a creative tool of the humanities, helped define Egyptology as a serious area of study. In the field’s late 19th and early 20th century Golden Age, travelogues evolved into scientific discovery accounts, exemplifying how the humanities and sciences bound themselves together to contribute to a now-thriving interdisciplinary field. The 19th century research volumes released by Napoleon’s “savants” inspired even casual travelers, whose writing became increasingly scientifically and academically flavored. The voices of well-read travelers, explorers, and amateurs refreshed and rejuvenated the field, even as the later scientific discovery accounts, alive with the same adventurous spirit, were colored by exciting prose and fascinating tales capable of captivating general audiences and Egyptologists alike.

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Nov 12th, 3:30 PM Nov 12th, 3:45 PM

Writing Egyptology: Intertextual Development From Herodotus to Carter

MSE 113

Napoleon’s 1798 Egyptian expedition marked a crucial shift in the study of Ancient Egypt. We can trace Egyptology’s amateur to academic development from Herodotus’ travelogue in 446 BC, through Pre- and Post-Napoleon nonfiction accounts, to the work of today’s professional Egyptologists. The adventure travelogues of Egypt’s earlier explorers, though littered with inaccuracies and bias, provided a valuable knowledge base that later explorers continued to build on. In this way, nonfiction writing, a creative tool of the humanities, helped define Egyptology as a serious area of study. In the field’s late 19th and early 20th century Golden Age, travelogues evolved into scientific discovery accounts, exemplifying how the humanities and sciences bound themselves together to contribute to a now-thriving interdisciplinary field. The 19th century research volumes released by Napoleon’s “savants” inspired even casual travelers, whose writing became increasingly scientifically and academically flavored. The voices of well-read travelers, explorers, and amateurs refreshed and rejuvenated the field, even as the later scientific discovery accounts, alive with the same adventurous spirit, were colored by exciting prose and fascinating tales capable of captivating general audiences and Egyptologists alike.