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Keynote on Mexico and Egypt at CIPEG's Museum Matter series

I will deliver a keynote entitled “Mexico: An American Egypt” at a symposium on Egyptian and Sudanese Collections in Latin America organized by the Comité international pour l’Égyptologie (CIPEG)…


Egyptian and Sudanese Collections in Latin America and the Caribbean

Saturday, 23 April 4pm to 5:30pm (Paris time)

The inaugural panel discussion of the Museum Matters series focuses on the formation of Egyptian and Sudanese collections in Latin American and Caribbean countries. What was the impetus for the creation of the collections in Mexico City, Havana, La Plata, and Rio de Janeiro? How do these collections fit within European colonialism, the ‘Age of Enlightenment’ and the building of national identity? All presentations will be in English.

Keynote: Mexico: An American Egypt (David H. Colmenares)

In 1517, an expedition led by Francisco Hernández de Córdoba landed on the coast of Yucatan. In the ancient site of Ekab, the Spanish encountered monumental architecture that triggered deep- seated cultural memory. They named the land “Great Cairo.” Since then, an Egyptian imaginary never ceased to haunt pre-scientific Mesoamerican archaeology. Whether mediated by Renaissance Egyptomania, the Napoleonic campaign, or Victorian exhibition culture, Egypt became Mesoamerica’s archaeological unconscious. This presentation charts the turning points and articulations that led to the imagined entanglement of these otherwise unrelated civilizations.