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Egyptologist Kara Cooney will speak about the famous Egyptian ruler Hatshepsut at the 2016 Colliver Lecture.

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Egyptologist Kara Cooney to deliver University of the Pacific’s Colliver Lecture

Cooney unmasks the mystery surrounding Egypt's controversial female pharaoh and her audacious rise to power.
Mar 8, 2016

Hatshepsut was one of Egypt's most prolific builders, and the civilization's second female pharaoh. Why then were many of her monuments destroyed within a few decades of her death?

Kathlyn (Kara) Cooney, professor of Egyptian Art and Architecture at UCLA, offers a remarkable interpretation of how Hatshepsut rapidly but methodically consolidated power-and why she fell from public favor in her book, "The Woman Who Would Be King: Hatshepsut's Rise to Power in Ancient Egypt."

Cooney will speak about the famous Egyptian ruler on Tuesday, March 29, at 7 p.m. at the Alex and Jeri Vereschagin Alumni House as University of the Pacific's 2016 Colliver Lecture. Copies of Cooney's book will be available afterward for purchase and signing. The lecture is free and open to the public.

The Colliver Lecture Series was established in 1957 to honor the memory of George Colliver, a religious studies professor at Pacific. Sponsored by the Department of Religious Studies, the series brings a diverse array of speakers to campus to discuss aspects of religion in society.

Kara Cooney"The Woman Who Would Be King" draws on Cooney's immense knowledge of Egypt's ancient history to provide an illuminating biography of the civilization's least-known pharoah. 

"Hatshepsut is one of the most fascinating and controversial figures in human history," said Caroline Schroeder, associate professor of religious studies. "A woman of incredible ambition and power, she ruled Ancient Egypt at a time when politics and leadership were a man's world. To do it, she changed aspects of religion, society, and even her own public identity. To rule ancient Egypt, she had to become a king, not a queen."

Cooney, who produced and hosted the television series "Out of Egypt" for the Discovery Channel, will join the ranks of former Colliver Lecture speakers including award-winning documentary filmmaker Yoruba Richen, author and early Christianity scholar Candida Moss, former National Public Radio correspondent and atheist Margot Adler, Muslim feminist and former Wall Street Journal Reporter Asra Nomani, and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Gary Wills, among others.

"Kara Cooney is one of the up-and-coming stars of Egyptology in the U.S. and a dynamic and engaging scholar," said Schroeder. "I think anyone who comes to this lecture will have a window opened for them into the complicated reality that was ancient Egypt."

For more information about Cooney and "The Woman Who Would Be King," visit

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