NEAREAST 295 - First Year Seminar in Near Eastern Studies
Section: 002 Mummies, Myth, and Magic: Ancient and Modern Narratives of Egypt
Term: WN 2018
Subject: Near East Studies (NEAREAST)
Department: LSA Middle East Studies
Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
Advisory Prerequisites:
Enrollment restricted to first-year students, including those with sophomore standing.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

Ancient Egypt is an enduring object of fascination in modern cultural expressions. It has inspired movies about monsters, gods, and alien cultures and provided an exotic setting for short stories and video games. But despite this ubiquity, the original Egyptian narratives are often far less recognizable than their contemporary reimaginings. Drawing from a wide range of material—Egyptian stories, myths, hymns, and love poems (all in translation), as well as TV shows, movies, novels, music videos, and video games—this course juxtaposes ancient writings and modern media in order to understand the literary legacy of ancient Egypt. We will examine the original material that underlies our modern interpretations and investigate why Egypt itself has become such a common and recognizable reference point. How did the letters of a 4000 year old farmer inspire an Agatha Christie mystery? What does the Ptolemaic Period setting for the new Assassin’s Creed say about Egyptian identity? How well do mummy movies portray myths of death and rebirth? This course explores both how the Egyptians defined themselves in the past, and how we reinterpret and reimagine the Egyptians (and through them, ourselves) in the present. No prior knowledge of Egyptian history or language is necessary.

Course Requirements:

Attendance and participation, short writing responses, a midterm, and a final paper

NEAREAST 295 - First Year Seminar in Near Eastern Studies
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
MW 11:30AM - 1:00PM
002 (SEM)
TuTh 11:30AM - 1:00PM
NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.

ISBN: 9780300099201
The literature of ancient Egypt : an anthology of stories, instructions, stelae, autobiographies, and poetry, Author: edited and with an introduction by William Kelly Simpson., Publisher: Yale University Press 3rd ed., r 2003
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