Understanding Diversity in American Egyptology

Results of the 2021 Egyptology State of the Field Survey


  • Stacy Davidson
  • Emily Cole
  • Anne Austin
  • Jess Johnson
  • Clara McCafferty-Wright
  • Sara Orel
  • Kathleen Sheppard
  • Jason Silvestri
  • Jen Thum
  • Julia Troche




Climate Survey, Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion (DEAI), History of Egyptology, Employment and education trends in the U.S.


The field of Egyptology in the United States lacks the demographic, educational, and occupational data necessary to improve educational environments, identify new career opportunities, and diversify the field. The Egyptology State of the Field (ESotF) is an independent, collaborative, volunteer project developed to address this data gap with two components: an online survey of Egyptologists trained or working in the United States and a supplementary, optional semi-structured interview on career trajectories. The ESotF team adopted an inductive approach in our survey design, which allows ques- tions to be formed as data are acquired, rather than collecting data with a specific set of research questions determined at the outset. This report presents the results of the demographic ESotF data collected through the online survey, which is compared with relevant external data sets in Egyptology, academic contexts, and the United States as a whole. These data demonstrate the degree to which American Egyptology lacks diversity in comparison to the United States population. It is our intention that educators and students, as well as academic and curatorial departments, use ESotF data to understand the makeup of Egyptology in the United States, improve educational and occupational environments, develop initiatives and programs aimed at diversifying and strengthening the field, and generate new studies to track changes to the composition of our field over time.






Research Article: Theoretical Approaches