2023 Fall Ancient History Seminars
On the Cleopatra Saga
Katherine Blouin, Associate Professor, University of Toronto
Katherine Blouin is an Associate Professor of ancient History in the departments of Historical and Cultural Studies (UTSC) and Classics (UTSG), with cross-appointments in the graduate departments of History and Religion, as well as a membership in the Archaeology Center and the Center for Jewish Studies. She has PhDs in Roman History from the Université Laval (Québec City, Canada) and the Université de Nice Sophia Antipolis (Nice, France), and a Postdoctoral Diploma in Greek Papyrology from the École Pratique des Hautes Études (Paris, France).
Her work centres on socio-economic and environmental history, with a focus on ancient, and particularly Roman, Egypt, as well as on the ethics and (de)colonial entailments of Antiquity-related fields. She has written and taught about the Judaeo-Alexandrian conflict, the environmental history of the Nile Delta, multiculturalism, cultural and religious identities, as well as Lands, (non)-Human beings, and periods that are commonly considered to be ‘marginal’. She has also worked on the cataloging, restoration, and digitization of the Greek papyrus collection in the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, and has edited Greek documents from that collection, as well as from the Franco-Italian mission at Tebtunis.
Her current work focuses on the ways in which imperialism and Orientalism have impacted (and are still impacting) Antiquity fields like Classics, Papyrology, and Egyptology, and how these entanglements manifest themselves in (settler) colonial and White supremacist contexts. She is the author of Le conflit judéo-alexandrin de 38-41 : l’identité juive à l’épreuve (Paris, 2005) and Triangular Landscapes: Environment, Society and the State in the Nile Delta under Roman Rule (Oxford, 2014), as well as the editor of the volume The Nile Delta: Histories from Antiquity to the Modern Period (Cambridge, forthcoming) and co-editor (with Ben Akrigg) of the Routledge Handbook of Classics and Potscolonial Theory (London). Her upcoming monograph is entitled Inventing Alexandria (New Haven). It explores the history, historiography, and reception of pre- to early Hellenistic Alexandria in Egypt. She is also a co-founder and editor (with Usama Ali Gad and Rachel Mairs) of the platform Everyday Orientalism.