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(De)queering Hatshepsut: Binary Bind in Archaeology of Egypt and Kingship Beyond the Corporeal

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Abstract

The representations of Egyptian female king Hatshepsut are, as a consequence of a binary heteronormative sex/gender bind, continuously queered in scholarship. Statements on her body and identity are often made by directly equating her representations with the corporeal. This paper offers a critique of the heteronormative interpretations of Hatshepsut, which often identify her as a cross-dresser, gender-bender or “woman with a beard.” An alternative approach will be attempted with the discussion of her imagery in the context of queer and Actor Network theoretical encounters. This paper argues that the binary bind of the sex/gender system can be traversed through a complex network of actants, including bodies, ancestors, relatives, gods, and material culture.

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Acknowledgments

I would like to thank the editors for inviting me to contribute to the session “Binary bind: deconstructing sex and gender dichotomies in archaeological practice” at the 20th Annual Meeting of the European Association of Archaeologists in Istanbul (2014) and for their comments on the paper. My acknowledgments also go to my supervisor Angelika Lohwasser for reading the draft of the paper and to the anonymous reviewers whose comments provided sound criticism and useful suggestions, which enhanced the quality of the paper. I also thank Simon Dix and the editors (Lara Ghisleni, Alexis Jordan, Emily Fioccoprile) for English correction. Last but not the least, I would like to thank Delta Foundation (Serbia) for their grant (2012–2016).

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Matić, U. (De)queering Hatshepsut: Binary Bind in Archaeology of Egypt and Kingship Beyond the Corporeal. J Archaeol Method Theory 23, 810–831 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10816-016-9288-9

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