B.A., Wellesley College; M.S., Ph.D., University of California (Berkeley)
Elizabeth MinorLecturer in Anthropology
I am a Visiting Assistant Professor in Anthropology. My Ph.D. in Near Eastern Studies from UC Berkeley focused on cultural connections between ancient Egypt and Sudan.
My research reinterprets historically collected archaeological data, using the lenses of post-colonial and feminist theory to bring ancient Africa into larger discussions of world history. I focus on the ancient Sudanese Kerma Kingdom, investigating interregional and local social relationships. My previous research concentrated on why Kerman kings collected ancient Egyptian material culture, and how Kerman artists adapted these exotic motifs into their own visual vernacular. I currently focus on the social relationships negotiated through the practice of mass human sacrifice during the Classic Kerma Period. I have excavated in Egypt, Sudan, California, and am currently digging the burnt remains of an early twentieth-century women’s dormitory on Wellesley campus.
I weave Digital Humanities practices into my teaching, focusing on project-based assignments that help students move out of their comfort zones and learn from testing out new approaches to what they are learning. For example, in "From Glyphs to Bytes," students learn about ancient Egyptian history through existing online resources. After critically assessing the pros and cons of what learning material is already available, they then design and produce their own digital learning resource about Egypt. Projects have included location-based games, augmented reality interactives, and curating virtual escape rooms that take the player through puzzles about 3D modeled museum artifacts. I especially love leading my archaeological field school on Wellesley Campus, where students get to try out excavation and gain confidence as they explore and contribute to new understandings of their own community's past.
-ANTH 103: Introduction to Archaeology
-ANTH 227: The Archaeology of Material Culture
-ANTH 246: From Glyphs to Bytes - Ancient Egypt and the Future of Digital Humanities
-ANTH 262: The Archaeology of Human Sacrifice
-ANTH 319: Nationalism, Politics, and the Use of the Remote Past
My eighteen years of museum work include educational outreach, registration, development, and digital imaging projects. I have worked and/or interned at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology at UC Berkeley, and the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. My research has taken me behind the scenes at the Sudan National Museum in Khartoum, the British Museum, and the Davis Museum at Wellesley College. I first visited a museum basement as a child when my mother took me on a tour of the Hearst Museum, and I wanted to stay there forever looking through all the shelves. I got to live that dream when I was the museum photographer there twenty years later and photographed over 20,000 objects from their global collections, getting the unique opportunity to encounter amazing artifacts as up close as possible. Later, working in museum outreach and as the Development Associate at the Hearst, I found that I love sharing the fascinating stories that can be told through global collections and hearing new perspectives from museum visitors.
I'm grateful to have a career that gives me the opportunity to incorporate my love of photography and seek out new ways of documenting my travels and the people I meet along the way.
Wellesley College Daily Shot, “All Good Digs Must Come to an End (for the Summer),” July 3, 2019.
Wellesley College Daily Shot, “Wellesley Anthropology Project on the Former Site of College Hall Yields a Surprising Find,” July 24, 2018.
Wellesley College Daily Shot, “March 17 Marked the 104th Anniversary of the College Hall Fire,” March 19, 2018.
Hummer, A. 2018. “Unearthing College Hall,” in Wellesley Magazine, Winter 2018.
Stickney, L. 2017. “Student Archaeologists Excavate College Hall in Search of Insight into Early Student Life,” The Wellesley News, October 6, 2017.