Exalted Spirits: The Veneration of the Dead in Egypt through the Ages

27-01-2021 15:45

Exalted Spirits: The Veneration of the Dead in Egypt through the Ages


Conference and Abstract Submission


The American Research Center in Egypt (ARCE) and The American

University in Cairo (AUC) are organizing a joint conference in collaboration

with the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities (MoTA) on the veneration of

the dead, entitled Exalted Spirits: The Veneration of the Dead in Egypt

through the Ages. This three-day conference will cover the veneration

of deceased figures in Egypt from the pharaonic period up to current times,

using the diverse evidence available in terms of texts, images, and lived

traditions. We invite people to submit papers relating to the following topics:

the definition of ancestor veneration; the different types of individuals who

were the focus of cults of the dead [ranging from kings, deceased family

members, prominent individuals with saintly powers in society—such as

Imhotep in ancient Egypt, Saint Anthony in Coptic Egypt and the Ahl al-Bayt

(family of the Prophet) in Islamic Egypt—or more informally in local society,

such as Heqaib or local saints whose cults are currently celebrated in

villages and towns throughout Egypt]; and the rituals, ceremonies and

festivals that are associated with venerated deceased figures. 


The conference will feature academic papers as well as panel discussions

focusing on current practices related to the veneration of the dead and

their origins, which may be traced back to ancient Egypt, and is aimed at

both academic and non-academic participants. The former will present

academic papers, while the latter—which may include creatives from

different fields—would participate in panel discussions. Academicpapers

will be published in a peer-reviewed publication.


Conference dates: November 10-12, 2021


Venue: Ewart Hall, American University in Cairo, Egypt (depending on Covid-19)


Abstract deadline: April 19, 2021


Conference email: exaltedspirits21@arce.org <mailto:exaltedspirits21@arce.org>



Salima Ikram

Distinguished University Professor

Egyptology Unit Head

American University in Cairo

2074 Prince Alwaleed (HUSS)

Dept. of Sociology, Egyptology and Anthropology

AUC Avenue, PO Box 74

Tagammu 5, New Cairo 11835, Egypt

salima@aucegypt.edu; salimaikram@gmail.com

Ph: 02 2615-1840