On 31 July 2015 Professor Davidson gave the keynote lecture for the Nebraska Association for Translators and Interpreters (NATI)Annual Conference held at Bellevue University, Bellevue, NE. This lecture, entitled “Egyptology, Égyptologie, Ägyptologie: A Multilingual Discipline,” highlighted the crucial role language acquisition plays in the study of ancient Egypt. After the “rediscovery” of Egypt through Napoléon’s incursions into North Africa at the turn of the 19th century, scholars from France, Germany, and England fought for the honor of being the first to decipher Egyptian hieroglyphs. Several schools of study developed in Europe, and, even today, Egyptology students are required to learn French and German so that they can perform research. Many of the key resources Egyptologists consult have never been translated into English or even been digitized, so there are many challenges for the serious student to learn about ancient Egypt.
In addition to the main presentation, she also gave two workshops: “Ancient Egyptian Language and Literature” and “Understanding Homer’s Odyssey.” Abstracts of both the keynote address and workshops can be viewed here: https://www.academia.edu/14628774/Nebraska_Association_for_Translators_and_Interpreters_NATI_Annual_Conference_2015. The conference also included many other workshops including issues in medical and legal interpretation, small business resources, technology for translators and interpreters, and a bonus tutorial in the Arabic language. She received a warm welcome from NATI members and was humbled by their hospitality and friendship. She can’t wait until next year’s conference!