Margaret Geoga is Assistant Professor of Egyptology. Her research focuses on ancient Egyptian literature, scribal culture, textual transmission, and reception in both ancient Egypt and later periods. Her other research interests include ancient Egyptian language, translation, literary theory, and the history of Egyptology. Her work has been supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Fritz Thyssen Foundation, and the American Philosophical Society. She is also a Junior Fellow in the Society of Fellows in Critical Bibliography (2023–25).
Maggie’s current book project focuses on The Teaching of Amenemhat, an enigmatic Middle Egyptian poem depicting the murder of a pharaoh. Combining textual criticism, material philology, and reception theory, the monograph investigates how this unusual and highly popular text was passed down, edited, and reinterpreted over the course of approximately 1000 years by its many ancient readers in both Egypt and Nubia. Maggie’s work on Amenemhat has led to a broader interest in the theories and methods of reception studies as it relates to ancient Egypt. That interest also extends beyond antiquity: an ongoing project centers on Jean Terrasson’s 1731 novel Séthos, which depicts the life of a fictional ancient Egyptian prince and his initiation into a secret society of priests of Isis. Terrasson’s depiction of Egypt strongly influenced numerous eighteenth-century authors, artists, and scholars—from Warburton to Cagliostro to Mozart—and still underpins contemporary beliefs about ancient Egypt today.
Maggie earned her PhD in Egyptology from Brown University, where she also completed a concurrent MA in Comparative Literature. This interdisciplinary background is reflected in both her research and teaching. Prior to coming to the University of Chicago, Maggie was an Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the Humanities at the Wolf Humanities Center of the University of Pennsylvania. She also taught at Brown University and Providence College. Maggie’s teaching includes courses on ancient Egyptian language and texts, ancient Egyptian literature in translation, ancient history and culture, and the reception of ancient Egypt in later periods.