Ellen Morris

Assistant Professor

(212) 854-6023
219B Milbank Hall, Barnard
Office hours:

Curriculum Vitae
academia.edu Profile

Research Interests

  • Egyptian social history

  • International relations in the Late Bronze Age

  • Imperialism in the ancient Near East

  • Sexuality and performance

  • “Intermediate” periods

Ellen Morris has published extensively on issues pertinent to ancient Egyptian imperialism. Her first book is entitled The Architecture of Imperialism: Military Bases and the Evolution of Foreign Policy in Egypt’s New Kingdom (Brill, 2005), and she is currently in the process of finishing a book entitled Egyptian Imperialism (under contract to Wiley-Blackwell Press). This second book engages the work of scholars of early empires in examining various instances of Egyptian imperialism from an explicitly cross-cultural perspective.

Morris’s ongoing research interests and other publications focus on topics such as the dynamics of political fragmentation, state formation, sexuality and sacred performance, international relations and diplomacy, retainer sacrifice, and divine kingship. She has excavated in the Nile Valley at Abydos and Mendes, and at the site of Amheida in the Dakhleh Oasis. Morris did her graduate work at the University of Pennsylvania and earned her B.A. from Barnard College in Ancient Studies. Classes that she teaches at Columbia University include The Archaeology of Egypt and Nubia, Egypt in the Classical World, and Identity and Society in Ancient Egypt.

Selected Publications

The Architecture Of Imperialism: Military Bases And The Evolution Of Foreign Policy In Egypt's New Kingdom. Leiden: Brill, 2005.

Exchange, extraction, and the politics of ideological money laundering in Egypt’s New Kingdom Empire. In Policies of Exchange: Political Systems and Modes of Interaction in the Aegean and the Near East in the 2nd Millennium B.C.E., Proceedings of the International Symposium at the University of Freiburg Institute for Archaeological Studies, 30th May-2nd June 2012, ed. B. Eder and R. Pruzsinszky. Oriental and European Archaeology v. 2. Vienna: Austrian Academy of Sciences Press, pp. 167-190.

Mitanni enslaved: prisoners of war, pride, and productivity in a new imperial regime. In Creativity and Innovation in the Reign of Hatshepsut, eds. J. Galan, B. M. Bryan, and P. F. Dorman. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, pp. 361-379.

(Un)Dying loyalty: meditations on retainer sacrifice in Ancient Egypt and elsewhere. In Violence and Civilization: Studies of Social Violence in History and Prehistory, ed. Rod Campbell. Providence: Joukowsky Institute Publications, pp. 61-93.

Propaganda and performance at the dawn of the state. In Experiencing Power, Generating Authority: Cosmos, Politics, and the Ideology of Kingship in Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, ed. J. A. Hill, et al. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Museum Press, pp. 33-64.

Paddle dolls and performance in ancient Egypt. Journal of the American Research Center in Egypt 47: 71-103.

Insularity and island identity in the oases bordering Egypt’s Great Sand Sea. In Thebes and Beyond: Studies in Honour of Kent R. Weeks, ed. Zahi Hawass and Salima Ikram. Cairo: Supreme Council of Antiquities Press, pp. 129-144.

The pharaoh and pharaonic office. In The Blackwell Companion to Ancient Egypt, ed. A.B. Lloyd. Oxford: Blackwell, pp. 201-217.

Opportunism in contested lands, B.C. and A.D. Or how Abdi-Ashirta, Aziru, and Padsha Khan Zadran got away with murder. Millions of Jubilees: Studies in Honor of David Silverman, vol. I, ed. Zahi Hawass and Jennifer Houser Wegner. Cairo: Supreme Council of Antiquities Press, pp. 413-438.