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Title: Literature and culture in the golden age of Egyptology
Author: Dobson, Eleanor
ISNI:       0000 0004 6057 5543
Awarding Body: University of Birmingham
Current Institution: University of Birmingham
Date of Award: 2017
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This thesis argues that a nuanced understanding of Egyptological writing across the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries can only be achieved through the consideration of the broader literary and artistic culture in which these texts were produced, and that an understanding of contemporary cultural artefacts requires a complementary awareness of Egyptology. It demonstrates the wealth of generic and material exchange between Egyptological and literary texts, and reveals cultures of mythmaking in which Egyptologists embellished their accounts, while those who collected Egyptian objects invented supernaturally-charged fictions in a bid to establish their own authority. It establishes the inflation in Egyptian iconography not merely in textual form, but across material culture, claiming that the growing availability of texts addressing ancient Egypt encouraged linguistic experiment among writers of fiction, and the domestication of hieroglyphs. It argues that interests in Egyptology and psychology often went hand-in-hand, shifting the understanding of hieroglyphs as something ‘other’ to a product of the ‘self’. Finally, it charts the commercialisation of Egyptian iconography, increasingly connected to products that drew upon Egypt’s glamour (and the glamour of theatre and cinema), but also obverses a counterculture that harnessed ancient Egypt’s fascination and connected it to more meaningful spiritual experiences.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) ; Bibliographical Society
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: DT Africa ; PL Languages and literatures of Eastern Asia ; Africa ; Oceania