Department Graduate Students

Egyptology & Assyriology Graduate Students

Vicky Almansa-Villatoro

Mitu Choksi

Margaret Geoga        

Erica Meszaros  

Jonathan Price  

Zachary Rubin

Silvia Štubňová

Xiaofan Zhao

Christian Casey

Christopher Cox 

Allison McCoskey

Sara Mohr

Tyler Roeder

J. Rafael Saade

Federico Zangani

 

Graduate Student Profiles

Vicky Almansa-Villatoro

Vicky is a fourth year Ph.D. candidate in Egyptology. She got her B.A. in History (University of Seville, Spain, ‘13) with a thesis on the Tomb of Meryra II in Amarna, providing a new archaeological-philological approach to the monument and its texts. She obtained her M.A. cum laude in Egyptology and Near Eastern Studies (University of Pisa, Italy,’15) with a thesis on the passive voice in the Ancient Egyptian Pyramid Texts. She is working on a dissertation on the social and ideological aspects of linguistic variation in Old Kingdom private letters and royal documents, and its effects on linguistic change between Old Egyptian and Middle Egyptian. Vicky is using Psycholinguistics, Sociolinguistics, Pragmatics and Corpus Linguistics among other Social and Linguistic approaches to determine the relationship between language and self and royal-perception in the Old Kingdom. She has several publications in Egyptology and Ancient History peer-reviewed journals ranging from literary, religious, and linguistic studies, and is currently working on the publication of Old Kingdom papyri from the Brooklyn Museum. Her archaeological and epigraphical experience started in 2007 as a pre-college student. Ever since, she has participated in excavations in Egypt (the Menkaure Valley Temple in Giza), and Italy, and studied collections of Egyptian and Egyptianizing scarabs in Italy and Spain. Vicky collaborates with external archaeological and philological projects on Egyptian sources including the Giza Plateau Mapping Project, and is a member of the AERA team. She has taught Egyptology at the Egyptian Museum of Turin, Brown University and the University of Arizona. 

 https://brown.academia.edu/VickyAlmansa

Vicky Almansa-VillatoroVicky Almansa-Villatoro

Christian Casey 

Christian received his B.A. in Classics from the University of Texas in 2008. His thesis focused on the Story of the Shipwrecked Sailor as an exemplar of Middle Egyptian hieratic and on new approaches to the study of Egyptian grammar. From 2008 to 2011, he traveled abroad in order to study modern languages, esp. Egyptian Arabic. He began his Ph.D. program in 2011 in the Department of Egyptology at Brown, specializing in the study of the ancient Egyptian language. In 2013, he was accepted into the Open Graduate Education program as a Master's student in the Applied Math department. This course of study has enabled him to pursue a variety of research projects, all of which rely on novel computational methods to study the ancient Egyptian language. His dissertation work focuses on codifying the Demotic script, so that data can be collected and used for analysis of Egyptian orthography and phonology to bridge the gap separating our current understanding of Coptic from earlier stages of the Egyptian language.

Christian CaseyChristian Casey

Mitu Choksi

Mitu is a PhD student in Egyptology. Prior to coming to Brown, she earned master's degrees from Harvard University and the University of Washington, focusing on comparative religions of the ancient Near East and Mediterranean. She has excavated at the ancient port city of Dor in Israel and worked as a conservation assistant at the Harvard Semitic Museum preserving cuneiform tablets from the site of Nuzi. Her research interests center on ancient Egyptian religion (particularly death and the afterlife, conceptions of the body/self, and,  human identifications with the divine in funerary texts), and the reception of ancient Egyptian religion in Western esotericism.

Mitu ChoksiMitu Choksi

 

Christopher Cox 

Christopher is a first-year PhD student in Egyptology.  He graduated summa cum laude with honors in both History and Classics from Whitman College in 2018.  His thesis argued that anti-black racism existed in the ancient Grec0-Roman world and is connected to racism found in the West during and after the Transatlantic Slave Trade. His research interests include ethnicity and race in ancient Egypt and reframing ancient Egypt as an ancient African civilization.

Christopher CoxChristopher Cox

 

Margaret Geoga

Margaret is a Ph.D. candidate in Egyptology writing her dissertation on the reception of The Teaching of Amenemhat in the New Kingdom. As a member of the Open Graduate Education program, she received a master’s degree in Comparative Literature in 2018, with a thesis on the reception of ancient Egypt in eighteenth-century Europe through the lens of Jean Terrasson’s novel Séthos. She received her BA magna cum laude with highest departmental honors in Romance Languages and Literatures from Harvard in 2012. Outside of the university, she has worked at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts, the Field Museum in Chicago, Harvard’s Giza Project, and the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago. Her research interests include ancient Egyptian literature, reception studies, literary theory, scribal culture, and modern reception of ancient Egypt."

Maggie GeogaMaggie Geoga

Allison McCoskey

Allie is a first year Ph.D. student in Egyptology. She completed her B.A. with university and departmental honors at the Johns Hopkins University in May, 2017, majoring in Near Eastern Studies and Archaeology. Her thesis focused the introduction of iconographic elements during the mid-1st Dynasty and the socio-political changes they signaled. Her research interests lie in the archaeology, art, and history of the Early Dynastic Period and Old Kingdom. She has excavated at the Temple of Mut in Egypt and Boncuklu Höyük in Turkey where she developed an interest in human osteology. She also spent time working at the Johns Hopkins Archaeological Museum cataloging and researching parts of the Egyptian collection. 

Alison McCoskeyAlison McCoskey

Erica Meszaros

Erica is a first-year Ph.D. student in History of Science. She earned an M.A. in Social Science with a History of Science focus from the University of Chicago, an M.A. in Linguistics and Graduate Certificate in Artificial Intelligence from Eastern Michigan University, and a B.A. in Classical Languages from the College of Wooster. Her research focuses on how the language we use to describe scientific knowledge and advancements changes over time, particularly as it is expressed through metaphor. She also works with NASA Langley Research Center on linguistic analysis to evaluate human/autonomous system teaming and interface design to aid in trusted autonomy. In her spare time, she trains for the circus.

Erica MeszarosErica Meszaros

Sara Mohr

Sara is a PhD student in Assyriology.  She received her BA with Honors in Anthropology from the University of Chicago in 2015.  Sara began her doctoral studies at Brown in 2017 and was accepted to the Certificate program in Public Humanities in 2019.  She has extensive experience in museum education and outreach with the Oriental Institute, the Field Museum and the Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology, among others. Her research interests lie in secrecy and hidden objects, digital approaches to studying the cuneiform record, and the intersection between anthropology and Near Eastern studies.

 

Sara MohrSara Mohr

Tyler Roeder

Tyler is a second-year PhD studenty in Assyriology, from the northern suburbs of Philadelphia.  He did a joint BA and MA in Near Eastern Languages at the University of Chicago, focusing primarily on Akkadian and Sumerian. Tyler is interested in the science and religion of the ancient world more broadly, with a particular focus on astronomy, medicine, and other forms of divination in Mesopotamia. Otherwise, he really enjoys travelling, and hopes to get the chance to see the world as well as study it.

 

 

Tyler RoederTyler Roeder

Zachary Rubin

Zachary is a fifth year PhD candidate in Assyriology. He received a  BA with honors in Near Eastern Studies at the Johns Hopkins University and an MA in Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations at the University of Toronto.  In addition, he has interned at the Babylonian Section of the Penn Museum where he assisted with the Pennsylvania Sumerian Dictionary Project.  His Research focuses on the reception of reinterpretation of traditions in ancient Mesopotamian intellectual and religious history, particularly during the Neo-Assyrian period.  He is currently working on a dissertation concerning the scholarly innovations surrounding the Neo-Assyrian cult of the god Nabû.

Zach RubinZach Rubin

J. Rafael Saade

‘Rafa’ is a first-year Ph.D. student in Egyptology. He holds an M.Sc. in Industrial Engineering from the University of Navarra and an M.A. in Egyptology from the Autonomous University of Barcelona. His master’s thesis focused on how the Demotic tales of Setne Khaemwaset reflect the Egyptians’ perception of their own relationship with the divine world. His research interests center on the cultural exchange between Egypt and other ancient Near Eastern civilizations during the second half of the 1 st millennium BCE; more specifically, on how this cultural interaction transcended into the ideological and literary spheres. Additionally, Rafa is collaborating with Achemenet to publish a new hieroglyphic transcription and French translation of the text of the so-called Demotic Chronicle, preserved in the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris.

Rafa Saade GizaRafa Saade Giza

 


Silvia Štubňová 

Silvia Štubňová is a sixth-year Ph.D. candidate in Egyptology. She is currently completing her Ph.D. dissertation that investigates the semantics of derived verbs in Old Egyptian, under the supervision of Dr. James P. Allen. In Spring 2020, as Visiting Assistant Professor, she will be teaching a course on daily life in ancient Egypt. Silvia received her BA (1 st class with Honors) from the University of Liverpool, UK (2012) and her MA (cum laude) from Leiden University, the Netherlands (2013). She spent a semester in 2017 at the Department of Linguistics at Charles University in Prague. She gained a basic practical training in archaeology at the excavations at Eddisbury Hillfort in Wales, and since 2017 she has been a member of the Slovak-Polish team excavating at the site of Tell el-Retaba in the Egyptian Delta. As part of her MA studies, she  participated in a two-month study program in Egypt, sponsored by the Netherlands-Flemish Institute in Cairo (NVIC). Her master's research involved a prosopographic analysis of the known Kenherkhepshefs at Deir el-Medina, with a particular focus on the life and personality of the scribe Kenherkhepshef. She continued her work on Deir el-Medina in the following years, specifically on the oracular practices of the ancient inhabitants of this village. Her works connected with Deir el-Medina have been published in various journals. Her research interests primarily incorporate the ancient Egyptian language, general linguistics, daily life of the Egyptians, ancient Egyptian religion and mythology. She also collaborates with the members of Slovak Egyptological Foundation Aigyptos, is a peer reviewer for the journal Prague Egyptological Studies, and is regularly invited to give Egyptological talks in Slovakia. 

https://brown.academia.edu/SilviaŠtubňová

 

Silvia ŠtubňováSilvia Štubňová

Federico Zangani

Federico is a 6th-year PhD student in Egyptology and is completing a dissertation on the imperial policies of the 18th Dynasty in the Levant and the origin of the diplomatic system of the Amarna letters. He received a BA (first class) in Egyptology and Ancient Near Eastern Studies in 2014 from the University of Oxford, where he studied both Egyptology and Assyriology. He worked as a volunteer cataloguing and repacking cuneiform tablets in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, and he interned in the Egyptian Museum of Turin, studying the corpus of ostraca from Deir el-Medina. His main research interests include Egyptian and Semitic languages, philology, the cultural and political history of Egypt’s New Kingdom, and the interconnectedness of the Near East and the Mediterranean. In Spring 2020, he will be teaching in the History Department at Wheaton College (Massachusetts), as part of the Brown/Wheaton Faculty Fellows Program.



Federico ZanganiFederico Zangani

Xiaofan Zhao

Xiaofan earned her Bachelor’s degree in History at Capital Normal University in China and completed a Master’s degree in Egyptology at Indiana University Bloomington. Her MA thesis discusses the Emphatic Form in Middle Egyptian taking the literary text “the Story of Sinuhe” as a case study. Xiaofan’s research interests focus on studying the Egyptian philology with linguistic theories and methods. She is especially interested in the transition of different phases of the Egyptian language and the cultural exchange between language communities like Egyptian and Greek. In the Eskenazi Museum of Art at Indiana University and Brooklyn Museum, Xiaofan wrote short research reports on a part of ancient Egyptian antiquities and photographed them for 3D modeling. She worked at the Mathers Museum of World Cultures as an intern in collections care. Her first archaeological excavation experience was in the neolithic site Yangguanzhai in Shaanxi Province in China.

Xiaofan ZhouXiaofan Zhou