Georgia Barker is this year’s W. Benson Harer Egyptology Scholar in Residence, the sixth Egyptologist to visit and teach at Cal State San Bernardino since the start of the scholars program in 2018.

During her stay, Barker will teach a course titled “Journey to the Beyond: Funerary Art in Egypt from the Predynastic Period to the Late Period,” in the CSUSB Department of History. This unique class mixes the study of ancient Egyptian funerary art with modern museum collecting practices and ethics. Students will engage in hands-on learning with CSUSB’s prestigious artifacts from ancient Egypt housed at the university’s Robert and Frances Fullerton Museum of Art (RAFFMA). 

In addition, she will present a public lecture, “Preparing for Eternity: Funerary Models and Wall Scenes from the Egyptian Old and Middle Kingdoms,” at RAFFMA on Nov. 2. This innovative talk will compare the different artistic media that the ancient Egyptians used to provision the dead so that they could continue to live in the afterlife. 

Barker received her Ph.D. from Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia, in 2021, specializing in the study of ancient Egyptian funerary art. She then continued a significant research project that investigated the historical significance of ancient Egyptian funerary models and wall scenes, titled “Impacts of Instability,” as a postdoctoral research fellow at Macquarie University.

She has also worked in a variety of roles in national and international museums, including Sydney Living Museums and the Macquarie University History Museum in Australia and as a summer intern at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and a team member of the British Museum’s Circulating Artifacts project.

Despite her early career status, Barker has co-authored two books with world-renowned Egyptologist Naguib Kanawati, and written one sole-authored monograph and five peer-reviewed journal articles. In the future, she hopes to continue to research objects in museums and share those objects with both students and the public. CSUSB is thrilled to help her achieve her goal of continuing to teach with museum collections. 

Barker’s class, “Journey to the Beyond,” is a great asset for students in the history department who are earning museum studies or Egyptology certificates at CSUSB because of the hands-on learning that it provides. History majors who are interested in working with archives will learn about the history of collecting in the U.S., and examining the ethics, politics and lawfulness of those practices. 

Because RAFFMA has created high-definition 3D models of all of its Egyptian objects on display and incorporated them into a virtual 3D exhibition (for which they won the Presidential Team Achievement Award in 2021), Barker is also 3D printing copies of these objects. These 3D copies promote accessibility for visually impaired students and hands-on learning in the classroom.

The W. Benson Harer Egyptology Scholar in Residence program is an essential part of the growth of Egyptological study at CSUSB. 

Students are now seeking out CSUSB to learn about ancient Egypt, where they can earn a Certificate or Advanced Certificate in Egyptology through the history department. CSUSB students are able to take a variety of classes on ancient Egyptian history, art, archaeology and more. 

Most courses are taught by CSUSB’s Benson and Pamela Harer Fellow in Egyptology, Kate Liszka, and further course offerings are supplemented by the annual Egyptology Scholar in Residence and other part-time faculty. Students can take part in this unique opportunity at CSUSB because the university offers more than just book learning. In addition to the collection at RAFFMA, students can also get involved with faculty-led research analyzing archaeological material from Egypt, and students can partake in Egyptological study abroad opportunities.