History and Empathy, or, What We Can Learn from Forgotten Orientalist Georg Ebers


Material Information

History and Empathy, or, What We Can Learn from Forgotten Orientalist Georg Ebers
Series Title:
Rehumanizing the University: New Perspectives on the Liberal Arts
Physical Description:
Marchand, Suzanne
Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere, University of Florida
Place of Publication:
Gainesville, FL
Publication Date:


Ebers may be forgotten, but he is definitely worth remembering. Ebers was a 19th-century Egyptologist who also wrote historicizing novels about both ancient Egyptians and the ancient Hebrews read mostly by middle-class girls and women. He also wrote the first Baedeker for Egypt and a beautiful, very expensive (but widely translated) travelogue, in which there are reproductions of the paintings of his friend, the artist, Lawrence Alma Tadema and others. Although Ebers was not an archaeologist exactly, he was a student of Richard Lepsius, who made a highly important archaeological trip to Egypt and Ethiopia, ancient monuments and landmarks held great fascination for him. In this talk, Prof. Marchand argues that casting ourselves back into the past – through history, philology, or archaeology – gives us the opportunity to experience and learn empathy, something the world badly needs at present.
Suzanne Marchand received her Ph.D. in history in 1992 at the University of Chicago, and is Professor of History at Louisiana State University. Her research has assessed the myriad ways in which ancient culture has shaped scholarship, museums, and intellectual life in nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Germany. In her first book, Down from Olympus: Archaeology and Philhellenism in Germany, 1750-1950 (1996), Prof. Marchand examines the rise of antiquarianism in Germany and the imprint left by ancient Greek art forms and archaeology on German scholarship, art collecting, and national identity. Her second book, German Orientalism in the Age of Empire (2010), which has just won the American Historical Association's prestigious George L. Mosse Prize, traces the general impact of ancient Near Eastern collections on European intellectual and cultural life. Among other fellowships, Prof. Marchand has held the American Council of Learned Society Burkhardt Fellowship (2003), the Wissenschaftskollege Fellowship in Berlin (2000-2001), and the Humboldt Fellowship in Berlin (1997).
This series of twelve lectures is co-sponsored by the UF Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere (Rothman Endowment), the Harn Eminent Scholar Chair in Art History Program, the UF Honors Program, the Alexander Grass Chair in Jewish History at UF, the UF International Center, the UF Office of Research, UF College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the UF Center for Jewish Studies, the UF Libraries, the UF College of Public Health and Health Professions, the UF France-Florida Research Institute, the Hyatt and Cici Brown Endowment for Florida Archaeology, the UF Department of History, the UF Department of Classics, the UF African American Studies Program, the UF Center for Women’s Studies and Gender Research, UF College of Design, Construction and Planning, and the Alachua County Library District.

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Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
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