Jennifer Westerfeld

Associate Professor & Director of Graduate Studies


Dr. Westerfeld joined the faculty in 2010, having received her Ph.D. in Egyptology from the University of Chicago. She specializes in the cultural and religious history of late antique Egypt, Coptic epigraphy, and papyrology. Her research deals with the appropriation and reinterpretation of pharaonic monuments by Coptic Christian communities in Late Antiquity. Her first book, Egyptian Hieroglyphs in the Late Antique Imagination, was published in November 2019 by the University of Pennsylvania Press. Current projects include chapters on Roman and Byzantine Egypt for a new Egyptian history textbook and an in-depth study of the 18th-century French Jesuit missionary and explorer Claude Sicard. Dr. Westerfeld is currently the Director of Graduate Studies for the History Department and the Director of the Certificate Program in Medieval and Renaissance Studies.

Courses taught include:

  • Introduction to Ancient Egypt
  • Ancient Near East
  • Women in the Ancient World
  • Mediterranean World in Late Antiquity
  • Landscape and Memory in Late Antiquity
  • Egypt in the Western Imagination
  • Cleopatra: History and Myth
  • Research Methods (HIST 605)