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Prof Richard Bruce Parkinson

Professorial Fellow

Professor of Egyptology

Introduction

I grew up in County Durham, went to Barnard Castle School and then studied Egyptology as an undergraduate at Queen’s. I stayed on to do a doctorate, and then taught at the Oriental Institute for a few terms before spending two years as a junior research fellow at University College. Oxford. I left this to become a curator in the Egyptian department at the British Museum for 23 years (where projects included the display of the Rosetta Stone and the Nebamun wall-paintings) before coming back to Queen’s in 2013.

Teaching

Much of my teaching is done centrally in the Griffith Institute and the Ashmolean Museum, where I teach a range of undergraduate and graduate courses, including lectures and tutorials on the history and culture of dynastic Egypt, Egyptian art and architecture, as well as museum classes studying artefacts. My favourite are classes where we read texts together. I supervise graduate students on a range of topics, and especially welcome literary ones.

Research

My main interest is ancient Egyptian poetry of the classic age (1940–1640 BC), and my research is very closely linked to my teaching of texts. As well as the philological study of manuscripts, I work on material contexts, actors’ perspectives, literary theory and modern receptions in literature, art and film. I am interested in issues of performance practice, cultural power, and sexuality in Ancient Egyptian culture, and from this I’ve also published on LGBT history across world cultures. I enjoy the experience of attempting an integrated reading of ancient texts, thinking about their emotional and intellectual impact on their audiences (both ancient and modern), and am working on a new commentary on The Tale of Sinuhe.