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Kara Cooney is available for select lectures and book signings. To inquire about a possible appearance, please please visit the Contact page.

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Events & Appearances

Oct
15
9:30 am09:30

Ancient Egypt: Drama, Spectacle, and Remarkable Characters

  • Century Center

One Day University Lecture

Why is ancient Egypt so compelling to us today? Why do we care so much about the gold, the pyramids, the hieroglyphic script, the mummies, and the extraordinary leaders like Nefertiti, Ramses, and Hatshepsut, people who flourished so many thousands of years ago? As a UCLA Professor and Egyptologist, Kara Cooney has devoted over two decades of her life to the study of this ancient place, and will unravel why we care and what this unending fascination says about us.

This remarkable new class will examine how Egypt is utterly unique on this planet, a protected realm full of riches beyond reckoning and agricultural resources that allowed an unassailable divine kingship to develop. We will examine the spectacle of monumental statuary, of pyramids, of coffins made of hundreds of pounds of solid gold, and of granite and sandstone pillared halls – the supports of a totalitarian regime with a veritable God-King at the helm. We will ask why the ancient Egyptians preserved so many bodies, carefully embalming the wealthy and elite into mummies, while preserving so little of the private information from their minds. Ancient Egypt remains for us a place of mystery, fascination, and contradictions, but if we pierce the carefully woven veil before our eyes, we can also see the humanity of these extraordinary people.


Jun
28
2:00 pm14:00

Charles K. Wilkinson Lecture Series, "Recycling the Materiality of Death: How and Why Egyptian Coffins Were Reused"

  • Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Grace Rainy Rogers Auditorium

For millennia, wealthy ancient Egyptians relied on materialist productions like coffins to encapsulate their funerary beliefs in the transformation of the dead. But how did Egyptians determined to equip themselves materially for the transformation into the afterlife respond and adapt in a brutal time of political, economic, and social collapse? This lecture will examine the evidence for coffin reuse within the context of the 20th and 21st Dynasties, revealing new insights into ancient funerary practices and challenging some long held modern assumptions about ancient Egyptian religious beliefs.

As vital components of Egyptian burials, coffins are social documents which reflect changes in trade and economic resources, religious developments, and artistic tastes, giving remarkable insight into ancient society.

Lecture free with Museum admission.

May
18
6:30 pm18:30

Archaeological Institute of America Lecture “Mysteries and Myths of Egypt’s Female Kings”

  • Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (Law Building)

Who were the women who once ruled the richest and most successful state of the ancient Mediterranean and African Bronze Age? Despite the patriarchy in which they lived, Ancient Egypt’s female kings ruled with real, unadulterated power. Yet many of these female leaders were judged harshly for taking power. Some were erased from the historical record by the men who followed them, leaving them elusive historical figures surrounded by mystery and myth. Go beyond the myths to discover these powerful female kings and their historical legacy.

Copies of Cooney’s book, The Woman Who Would Be King, are for sale at the program. A book signing follows the talk.

This program is free! Drop in to participate. Seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Apr
6
7:00 pm19:00

In Ancient Egypt: The Woman Who Would Be King

  • Institute for Science, Engineering and Public Policy

Linus Pauling Memorial Lecture

A woman’s power in the ancient world was always compromised from the outset.

Complex societies are inherently based on masculine dominance, forcing female rulers to resort to familiar methods to gain power. Some female rulers, like Cleopatra, used their sexuality to gain access to important men and bearing their children. Many, like Sobeknefru, only ruled at the end of a dynasty, after the male line had run out, or, like Britain’s Boudica, in the midst of civil war. Sometimes, a woman was the only effective leader left after drawn-out battles against imperial aggression. Some women, like Hatshepsut, gained their position as the regent and helper of a masculine king who was too young to rule.

Almost no evidence of successful, long-term female leaders exists from the ancient world – in the Mediterranean, Near East, Africa, Central Asia, or East Asia. Only the female king of Egypt, Hatshepsut, was able to take on formal power for any considerable length of time, and even she had to share power with a male ruler. Given this social reality, how then did Hatshepsut negotiate her leadership role? How did she rule “behind the throne” before her accession? Why did she ascend the throne as a king? What was her relationship with her co-regent Thutmose III? How are we to find this woman’s power when it is cloaked by traditional patriarchal systems? This lecture will work through the ample evidence for Hatshepsut’s reign in an attempt to find the woman behind the statues, monuments, stelae, and obelisks.

Mar
26
2:00 pm14:00

Gender Transformation in Ancient Egypt

  • Brooklyn Museum, Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, Forum, 4th Floor

Brooklyn Museum of Art Lecture

Learn how the ancient Egyptians viewed the afterlife and about the impact feminism has had on describing the biology of reproduction and gender transformation in ancient Egypt. With Kathlyn M. Cooney, Associate Professor of Ancient Egyptian Art and Archaeology and Chair of the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures at UCLA, and Ed Bleiberg, Senior Curator of Egyptian Art at the Brooklyn Museum.

Lecture Description

Creation and rebirth in ancient Egypt is a masculine endeavor, and in mythological and funerary texts, rebirth is highly sexualized. The female stands as a vessel or protectress during the process of sexual regeneration, but she is not the source. Given these mythological foundations, where does this leave the Egyptian female with regards to her preparation for burial and rebirth into the next life? This examination will focus on New Kingdom funerary equipment, including coffin sets, heart scarabs, and shabtis, some of which make clear gender re-assignments and others which are more ambiguous. Coffin and tomb inscriptions make it quite clear that, until very late in Egyptian history, the Egyptian woman had to undergo a gender transformation, intimately associating herself with a masculine sexualized rebirth, so that she too could enter the land of the Blessed Dead.

Mar
25
9:30 am09:30

Ancient Egypt: Drama, Spectacle and Remarkable Characters

  • Symphony Space

One Day University Lecture

Why is ancient Egypt so compelling to us today? Why do we care so much about the gold, the pyramids, the hieroglyphic script, the mummies, and the extraordinary leaders like Nefertiti, Ramses, and Hatshepsut, people who flourished so many thousands of years ago? As a UCLA Professor and Egyptologist, Kara Cooney has devoted over two decades of her life to the study of this ancient place, and will unravel why we care and what this unending fascination says about us.

This remarkable new class will examine how Egypt is utterly unique on this planet, a protected realm full of riches beyond reckoning and agricultural resources that allowed an unassailable divine kingship to develop. We will examine the spectacle of monumental statuary, of pyramids, of coffins made of hundreds of pounds of solid gold, and of granite and sandstone pillared halls – the supports of a totalitarian regime with a veritable God-King at the helm. We will ask why the ancient Egyptians preserved so many bodies, carefully embalming the wealthy and elite into mummies, while preserving so little of the private information from their minds. Ancient Egypt remains for us a place of mystery, fascination, and contradictions, but if we pierce the carefully woven veil before our eyes, we can also see the humanity of these extraordinary people.

Mar
19
9:30 am09:30

Ancient Egypt: Drama, Spectacle and Remarkable Characters

  • Cohen Auditorium at Tufts University

One Day University Lecture

Why is ancient Egypt so compelling to us today? Why do we care so much about the gold, the pyramids, the hieroglyphic script, the mummies, and the extraordinary leaders like Nefertiti, Ramses, and Hatshepsut, people who flourished so many thousands of years ago? As a UCLA Professor and Egyptologist, Kara Cooney has devoted over two decades of her life to the study of this ancient place, and will unravel why we care and what this unending fascination says about us.

This remarkable new class will examine how Egypt is utterly unique on this planet, a protected realm full of riches beyond reckoning and agricultural resources that allowed an unassailable divine kingship to develop. We will examine the spectacle of monumental statuary, of pyramids, of coffins made of hundreds of pounds of solid gold, and of granite and sandstone pillared halls – the supports of a totalitarian regime with a veritable God-King at the helm. We will ask why the ancient Egyptians preserved so many bodies, carefully embalming the wealthy and elite into mummies, while preserving so little of the private information from their minds. Ancient Egypt remains for us a place of mystery, fascination, and contradictions, but if we pierce the carefully woven veil before our eyes, we can also see the humanity of these extraordinary people.

Nov
12
11:00 am11:00

Ancient Egypt: 3,000 Years of Drama, Spectacle, and Remarkable Characters

  • The Crest Theater

Lecture

Why is ancient Egypt so compelling to us today? Why do we care so much about the gold, the pyramids, the hieroglyphic script, the mummies, and the extraordinary leaders like Nefertiti, Ramses, and Hatshepsut, people who flourished so many thousands of years ago? As a UCLA Professor and Egyptologist, Kara Cooney has devoted over two decades of her life to the study of this ancient place, and will unravel why we care and what this unending fascination says about us.

This remarkable new class will examine how Egypt is utterly unique on this planet, a protected realm full of riches beyond reckoning and agricultural resources that allowed an unassailable divine kingship to develop. We will examine the spectacle of monumental statuary, of pyramids, of coffins made of hundreds of pounds of solid gold, and of granite and sandstone pillared halls – the supports of a totalitarian regime with a veritable God-King at the helm. We will ask why the ancient Egyptians preserved so many bodies, carefully embalming the wealthy and elite into mummies, while preserving so little of the private information from their minds. Ancient Egypt remains for us a place of mystery, fascination, and contradictions, but if we pierce the carefully woven veil before our eyes, we can also see the humanity of these extraordinary people.

Event & Ticket Info

Nov
5
11:00 am11:00

Ancient Egypt: 3,000 Years of Drama, Spectacle, and Remarkable Characters

  • Overland Park Marriott

Lecture

Why is ancient Egypt so compelling to us today? Why do we care so much about the gold, the pyramids, the hieroglyphic script, the mummies, and the extraordinary leaders like Nefertiti, Ramses, and Hatshepsut, people who flourished so many thousands of years ago? As a UCLA Professor and Egyptologist, Kara Cooney has devoted over two decades of her life to the study of this ancient place, and will unravel why we care and what this unending fascination says about us.

This remarkable new class will examine how Egypt is utterly unique on this planet, a protected realm full of riches beyond reckoning and agricultural resources that allowed an unassailable divine kingship to develop. We will examine the spectacle of monumental statuary, of pyramids, of coffins made of hundreds of pounds of solid gold, and of granite and sandstone pillared halls – the supports of a totalitarian regime with a veritable God-King at the helm. We will ask why the ancient Egyptians preserved so many bodies, carefully embalming the wealthy and elite into mummies, while preserving so little of the private information from their minds. Ancient Egypt remains for us a place of mystery, fascination, and contradictions, but if we pierce the carefully woven veil before our eyes, we can also see the humanity of these extraordinary people.

Event & Ticket Info

Nov
1
8:00 pm20:00

Women in Power and the Ancient World: Hatshepsut in Context

  • Phipps Theater, Denver Museum of Nature & Science

Lecture

Follow the improbable rise of an extraordinary leader to Egypt’s throne with Kara Cooney, renowned archaeologist and professor of Egyptian art and architecture at UCLA. Cooney has traveled the globe to conduct research in craft production, coffin studies, and economies of the ancient world. She is author of The Woman Who Would Be King: Hatshepsut’s Rise to Power in Ancient Egypt, was cocurator of Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs in Los Angeles in 2005 and has produced a comparative archaeology television series, now available online. Cooney will share her research and the compelling story of the least-known female king.

Event & Ticket Info

 

Oct
30
3:00 pm15:00

Akhenaten & His Strange New Religion of Sunlight

  • Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Opera League of Los Angeles

Lecture

Who was Akhenaten--a philosopher or a power-hungry heretic? In this lecture, Egyptologist Kara Cooney will reveal the history behind this controversial ancient Egyptian pharaoh. She will discuss why he moved Egypt's capital city from Thebes to his newly built city of Akhetaten and explore why he cast off traditional ancient Egyptian religious beliefs and introduced his strange new religion of sunlight. 

Event & Ticket Info

Oct
15
1:30 pm13:30

From Egypt before the Pharaohs to the Future of Archaeology (Part 2) – Special Program in Celebration of the International Archaeology Day

Lecture

Egypt before the Pharaohs: Predynastic Palettes in their Archaeological and Historical Context

The Predynastic period in ancient Egypt was one of consolidation of power and the nascent kingship. This early history of kingship in Egypt was recorded on Predynastic stone palettes, objects which have long been discussed and debated among Egyptologists. Join Kara Cooney for a discussion of Predynastic palettes in context, from the archaeological contexts in which they were discovered to their eventual disappearance as kingship was fully formed and established.

1:30 p.m. at Bowers Museum, Norma Kershaw Auditorium, Santa Ana, California (map). Parking is $6.00 in the Museum lot.

Program Schedule

Feb
19
10:00 am10:00

Santa Barbara, CA - Lecture & Book Signing

  • Santa Barbara Museum of Art

Art Talks @ SBMA
Mary Craig Auditorium, Santa Barbara Museum of Art
1130 State Street

Single tickets available the morning of the lecture: $12 Members; $15 Non-members.
Click here for more information.
 

Jan
25
4:00 pm16:00

Atlanta, GA - Lecture & Book Signing

  • Michael C. Carlos Museum of Emory University

Nix Mann Endowed Lecture

Reception Hall, Level Three
Michael C. Carlos Museum of Emory University
571 South Kilgo Circle
Atlanta, GA 30322

Click here for more information.

Dec
2
6:00 pm18:00

Lecture and Book Signing in Florence, SC

Reception at 6:00PM, lecture begins at 7:00PM, followed by a book signing
Barnes & Noble will be handling book sales after the lecture.

Bean Market Museum
111 Henry Street, Lake City, SC 29560
(843) 374-1500

Nov
15
2:30 pm14:30

ARCE Lecture in Philadelphia, PA

  • UPenn Museum of Anthropology and Archaeology

Classroom 2, near the Kress Entrance
University of Pennsylvania Museum Anthropology and Archaeology
3260 South St.
Philadelphia, PA 19104

A book signing will take place outside of the museum's main gift shop BEFORE the lecture, starting at 2:00PM.

Entrance fees are $10 for the general public, $7 for University Museum members and UPenn Staff & Faculty, $5 for students with ID, and FREE for ARCE-PA members and children under 12 years old.

Click here for more information.

Nov
14
6:30 pm18:30

ARCE Lecture in Washington, D.C.

  • Johns Hopkins

Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS)
Rome Auditorium
1619 Massachusetts Avenue NW
Washington, DC

Pre-lecture wine & cheese reception at 6:30PM-7:00PM. Lecture at 7:00PM, followed by book signing.

Click here, or see ARCE-DC's site, for more information.