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Black Is Queen: The Divine Feminine in Kush

March 25, 2021 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm


March 25, 2021
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Event Category:


Harvard Museum of the Ancient Near East
6 Divinity Ave
Cambridge, MA 02138 United States

Solange Ashby, Adjunct Professor, Department of Classics and Ancient Studies, Barnard College

The prominence of powerful goddesses and queens in the Nubian Kingdom of Kush (now Northern Sudan) highlights the unusually high status of women in this ancient African society and serves as a fitting focus for the study of female power in the ancient world. Using temple inscriptions found in Egypt and Nubia, the rich funerary goods found in royal burials, and temple and tomb imagery, Solange Ashby will discuss how ancient Africans of the Nile Valley understood female power and presence. Songs from Beyoncé’s recent production “Black Is King” will be woven into this presentation on Kushite queens to emphasize the power and centrality of the African queen mother in her royal family and kingdom.

Presented with support from the Marcella Tilles Memorial Fund

Advance registration required. Please note that registration closes 30 minutes prior to the event start time.


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About the Speaker

Solange Ashby holds PhD in Egyptology with a specialization in ancient Egyptian language and Nubian religion from the University of Chicago. She has conducted researched in Egypt at the Temple of Philae and participated in an archaeological excavation in El-Kurru, Sudan (royal Kushite cemetery). Her first book, Calling Out to Isis: The Enduring Nubian Presence at Philae, is published by Gorgias PressHer current research explores the roles of women in traditional Nubian religious practices. Dr. Ashby is working on the first monograph dedicated to the history, religious symbolism, and political power of the queens of KushDr. Ashby teaches in the Department of Classics and Ancient Studies at Barnard College.