Batman the Egyptologist: Egyptology, orientalism and museums in the superhero

4 panels of a comic book showing batman fighting against red background

Speaker: Dr Dan Potter, National Museum of Scotland

Abstract: Ancient Egypt has provided the inspiration for art, literature, films,  and music for hundreds of years. Its depiction directly impacts how many think about Egypt, Cleopatra, the pyramids and much more. One lesser explored area of reception studies within Egyptology is comic books, in particular those of the superhero genre. The combination of text and visual depictions within comics enable a deep engagement or sometimes disengagement with Egyptology, colouring how the audience see the subject. This talk explores the depiction of Egyptological expertise, its domains and implications within the superhero genre, taking Batman as starting point. Who gets to be an expert? Should Gotham museums display Egyptian material ever again? Are curators trustworthy and why do supervillains obsess over the Hymn to the Aten? Tune in, same bat time, same bat online conferencing program!

Watch it here