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Home > Research > Publications > Annual Reports > 1996-97 Annual Report

Individual Scholarship


Janet H. Johnson

Janet Johnson's personal research this year focused on Egyptian social and legal history, both of Persian and Ptolemaic Egypt and of women in Egypt. She is a co-organizer of the Chicago-Stanford Seminar on Hellenistic Egypt, of which the first (of five) one-day seminars was held at the Chicago Humanities Institute in mid-February; the topic of the first seminar was "Myth in the Hymns of Hellenistic Egypt." She talked on "Red Tape and Bureaucracy: The Ptolemaic Version" in a symposium on the "Royal Ptolemies" organized by the American Research Center in Egypt and held in New York in December. Her article on ethnicity in Persian period Egypt will appear in the Festschrift for Professor Edward Wente and her chapter on the legal status of women in ancient Egypt appeared in Mistress of the House, Mistress of Heaven, Women in Ancient Egypt, the catalog which accompanied the exhibit of the same name organized for the Cincinnati Art Museum by Anne K. Capel and Glenn E. Markoe. She spoke on the same topic at the symposium on "Women in Ancient Egypt" held at the Cincinnati Art Museum in November. In April she presented the same material for members of the Brooklyn Museum, to which the Cincinnati exhibit had traveled, and as part of an Oriental Institute mini-course "A Woman's World: Being Female in the Ancient Near East." She finished a study of the use, or rather, non-use of titles in association with women, even women who own property which, when owned by men, conveys a specific title; part of her concern in the article was what this might imply about Egyptian societal norms and social constraints. She also prepared an article entitled "Speculations on Middle Kingdom Marriage," discussing social and personal implications of a Middle Kingdom document that seems to correspond, in many ways, to later documents between married couples.

She attended the Sixth International Congress of Demotists, held in Cairo in September (see separate report on the Demotic Dictionary), the annual meeting of the American Research Center in Egypt held in Ann Arbor in April (where she participated in the Board of Governors meeting and was appointed to the Long Range Planning Committee), and participated in a workshop on Egyptian writing sponsored by the University of California at Los Angeles in May (giving presentations on Hieratic, Demotic, and Coptic). She was invited to submit an application, as part of a larger University application to the Mellon Foundation, for teaching "Middle Egyptian Hieroglyphs via the Web," in the development of which she had extensive assistance from John Sanders, Head of the Oriental Institute Computer Laboratory, and Professor Gene Gragg, as well as several staff from the University's Language Laboratories and Archives, including Egyptology graduate student Michael Berger. In September she assumed chairmanship of the Committee for the Annual Egyptological Bibliography and stopped in Leiden to meet with project staff on her way to Cairo for the international Demotic congress.

Revised: July 30, 2007

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