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Teaching Egyptian History: Some Discipline-Specific Pedagogical Notes

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This paper was originally given at the professional workshop In Search of Egypt's Past: Problems and Perspectives of the Historiography of Ancient Egypt; A North American workshop at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, inaugurating the Journal of Egyptian History, April 23–24, 2008; most of the remaining papers of which will appear in Fascicle 2 of this journal. While many Egyptologists teach Egyptian history, we often fail to carefully conceive of just what this means. Teaching history is more than conveying facts about a time period, it is also teaching how to analyze and (re)construct history. Our classes may often teach this aspect as well, but is it explicit? And are we equipping graduate students with the ability to both do and teach history well? This training has a direct impact on their employability as well as their scholarship. A survey and study of History Department outcomes reveals areas we can improve our history teaching and our training of graduate students. Moreover, as Egyptologists, we have a significant offering to make to teaching history.


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