I'm thinking of proposing a new course (probably for 2010-11 as it's too late for next year) that would be a seminar focused on Amarna. This wouldn't be exclusively art but would also deal with the archaeology and texts (in translation) of the period, and would be a 2000 level course. This means it's geared for graduate students and probably limited to 10 or 12 people, but certainly undergraduates with some background, such as having taken NK art, would be considered. My inspiration for this is really you guys - almost half of you are writing about aspects of Amarna art or the immediately preceding or following periods. So, I thought I'd stick a page up here for us to brainstorm together. What would be good topics for such a class? What particularly intrigues you, what frustrates you, what do you want to know more about? Those of you who are writing/presenting on this, obviously your topics are viable ones. But I'm looking for about 14 topics, arranged broadly chronologically, that would make for a good course. I'd rather have way too many and have to whittle it down than not have enough. I'd also be interested to hear suggestions on projects other than standard research/writing/presenting that you think might make the Amarna period accessible. (That maybe more for future iterations of this class than for an Amarna seminar, but who knows?) All input welcome, and thanks!

- Prof. B

Below are some of my initial thoughts on topics, each of which would basically be a week of class:

Solar religion and deification of the living king in the reign of Amenhotep III

Amenhotep IV at Thebes - what he built, style, etc.

Palaces at Amarna, both as individual buildings and as a system tied together with this processional way that seems to echo Thebes

The military in the Amarna period, at home and abroad (depictions, soldiers we know about, the Amarna letters)

Artists and artistic production at Amarna (huge! how to narrow down without making it take up the whole course?)

Domestic space at Amarna (those last two would seriously profit from comparison to Deir el-Medina)

Private religion during the Amarna period (including continued presence of other gods, what's going on outside of Amarna proper, etc - but help me elaborate here)

Funerary religion in the Amarna period (again ideally looking at royal and private, in and out of Amarna)

Echos of Amarna in the late 18th Dynasty (and into the Ramesside period? I think this would be fascinating but is potentially a mammoth topic)

Posted at May 06/2009 11:03AM:
Prof B: And ideas that have come from two of you though you have not posted them...

Depictions of foreigners at Amarna/during the Amarna period

Historiography of the Amarna period - this would be SO USEFUL - so much of how scholars of different periods have interpreted the Amarna period has to do with them as individuals and the time periods/cultures from which they come. Recognizing that may help us filter our own biases and get back to an evidence-based approach instead of an emotions-based approach.