Submitted my First Abstract

I have just submitted my first abstract to an academic annual meeting conference. This particular academic organization is ARCE: The American Research Center in Egypt.  I got my abstract in just under the deadline, and of course I do not expect it to be accepted.  However, my goal is to get my name out as an individual interested in pursuing this career, and possibly making professional connections.  As such, I do plan on attending the actual conference in any case, which is in Portland, OR on April 4-6, 2014.  This is the abstract that I just submitted for approval:

Considering Gender and Religious Accessibility:

Gendered Stratification in Achieving Religious Absolution

In her essay “An Archaeology of Social Relations in an Egyptian Village” (1998), Lynn Meskell considers gender relations through the delineation of space in the domestic sphere.  Specifically drawing upon the excavated evidence of Bruyère at Deir el Medina, she organizes Egyptian domestic life based on the use of ritualistic iconography in combination with stereotypical machinations of gender, such as workmen’s tools and cooking supplies. By drawing on this iconography, she advances a notion of Bruyère’s lit clos (Meskell 223) as the main representation of middle-aged women at the site.

Yet, the presence of only fertility deities in this context suggests at a larger construction of society –namely, that of gender relations in a religious context. For example, Ramesside coffins depict a masculinization of the deceased woman, in order for her to become one with Osiris and thereby be resurrected in the afterlife.  Similarly, female Pharaohs generally undertook a masculinizing process to assert their own dominance.  Moreover, gendered space is illustrated through isolated represenations of the divine; namely, distinctions between fertility deities, such as Bes, and more stately gods, like Amun-Re.  Finally, gender relations are exemplified in couple burials and artistic iconography, wherein women are ordinarily depicted as subservient to their male relatives and husbands.  Therefore, religious absolution could only be accessed by women through a male interlocutor, a gendered imbalance indicative of the stratification of the society.

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