1998-99 ANNUAL REPORT
Robert K. Ritner taught six courses on topics in Late Egyptian, Hieratic, Demotic, and Coptic Dialects in addition to an experimental undergraduate course on Egyptian religion that attracted some 50 students. During the Oriental Institute's workshop on Introducing Ancient Egypt on 14 November, he provided an illustrated lecture examining "Egyptian Religion and Kingship." On 24 November, he spoke to elementary schools in Manassas, Virginia on Egyptian history and culture. On 27 February, he served as guest speaker for the symposium Africa's Egypt: New Perspectives on an Ancient Civilization, sponsored by the Institute of Egyptian Art and Archaeology of The University of Memphis and the Pink Palace Museum. In the lecture, "Never Quiet on the Western Front: Libya and Ancient Egypt," he surveyed the complex, but little studied, evidence for interactions between Libyan pastoralists and their settled neighbors from Neolithic to Hellenistic times.
Beyond teaching and lecture duties, Ritner continued to serve as an editor for the series Writings from the Ancient World, acted as editorial consultant for the University of Oklahoma Press and the American Journal of Archaeology, and was a Fellowship Committee member for the American Research Center in Egypt (ARCE). Also for ARCE, he was responsible for the organization of all presentations on pre-Islamic Egypt during the 1999 annual meeting held in Chicago from 23 to 25 April. This ancient section, which had included only 62 papers in 1995 and 72 in 1998, has now grown to 100 lectures in an unprecedented 16 panels. Following the ARCE meetings, Ritner was interviewed as an expert witness for the Commission of Chicago Landmarks, contributing to the successful grant of landmark status to the Egyptian Revival Reebie Brothers Storage Warehouse (2325-33 North Clark Street).
Entrusted with the design of the case on "Magic and Medicine" in the new Grimshaw Egyptian Gallery, Ritner selected objects whose symbolic interrelationships are the focus of the display and labels. In contrast to the minimalist approach adopted elsewhere, this case directs the viewer to the thematic links between developing iconography and ritual function.
His publications during the year include "Egypt under Roman Rule: the Legacy of Ancient Egypt," in the Cambridge History of Egypt, edited by Carl Petry; "The Wives of Horus and the Philinna Papyrus (PGM XX)," published in Egyptian Religion: The Last Thousand Years. Studies Dedicated to the Memory of Jan Quaegebeur, edited by Willy Clarysse, Antoon Schoors, and Harco Willems (Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta 84; Leuven: Peeters, 1998); and a review of Magic in Ancient Egypt, by Geraldine Pinch, published in the Journal of Near Eastern Studies. He is now working toward the completion of his announced volume of translations comprising the primary inscriptions from Egypt's Third Intermediate Period. In addition, he is preparing new translations of Late period hieroglyphic and Demotic literary texts for a new edition of The Literature of Ancient Egypt, edited by William K. Simpson for Yale University Press.
Revised: July 30, 2007