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Keynote Lecture

Le mercredi 7 avril 2021 à 17h00 (heure du Caire), IFAO géolocalisation IFAO

The Rise and Demise of “First Intermediate Period” as a term of periodization

Prof. Dr. Thomas Schneider

Langue : anglais.

In the framework of the International conference : Chronologies and Contexts of the First Intermediate Period organized by the IFAO, a public online keynote lecture will be given by Prof. Dr. Thomas Schneider (University of British Columbia, Vancouver) at 5 p.m. on Wednesday 7 April 2021.

The lecture will broadcasted live on Youtube and will be followed by a discussion with the public on Zoom application.



Since the 1920s, “First Intermediate Period” has become an established periodization term within the historiography of ancient Egypt. Far from being a mere label enabling disciplinary discourse, the term has since its inception been charged with cultural and political ideas. While the study of the period has successfully pointed to regional diversity and innovation in a time of no central authority, the continued use of the periodization term “FIP” has implicitly perpetuated a narrative of Egyptian state ideology for which the period would be sub-state and sub-standard. The more recent suggestion to label the First Intermediate Period the “time of regions” is helpful but has not been adopted widely – including this conference. It does not overcome the basic political demarcation of the time span, either, which disregards aspects of political and cultural continuity running counter to such a demarcation. This lecture will reflect on the periodization history relating to the First Intermediate Period and suggest a new approach that might be apt to reorientate the historiographical debate more fundamentally.

1319Thomas Schneider is Professor of Egyptology and Near Eastern Studies at the University of British Columbia (Vancouver). He studied at the University of Zurich and the École Pratique des Hautes Études in Paris, earning a Lizentiat (1990), a Doctorate (1996), and a Habilitation (1999) in Egyptology at the University of Basel. Before coming to the University of British Columbia in 2007, he was a Lecturer in Egyptology at the University of Zurich (2000-3), a Junior Research Professor of the Swiss National Science Foundation at the University of Basel (2001-5) and Professor and holder of the Chair in Egyptology at the University of Wales, Swansea (2005-8). He held Visiting Professorships at the University of Vienna (1999), the University of Heidelberg (2003-4) and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (2018). He was a Visiting Scholar at New York University (2006), the University of California, Berkeley (2012), as well as a Guest Lecturer at the Institute of Archaeology of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing (2016) and Shanghai University (2018). He is the founding editor of the “Journal of Egyptian History” (2008-2014) and was the editor of “Culture and History of the Ancient Near East” (Brill, 2006-2013) and “Near Eastern Archaeology” (American Schools of Oriental Research, 2012-2018). Thomas Schneider’s main research areas are Egyptian history and chronology, cultural relations between ancient Egypt and the Near East, history of Egyptology in Nazi Germany, Egyptian historical phonology, Hebrew Bible.
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