The ancient Egyptians produced a rich assemblage of hieroglyphic texts over 3,000 years of pharaonic civilization. These have become accessible to the modern reader only over the last two hundred years. This course surveys a range of texts from the Pyramid Age through the Ptolemaic Period (ca. 2500 – 30 BCE) to assess definitions of literature, genre, authorship, audience, style, form, content, and voice in ancient Egypt. We will examine literary works for lovers, kings, philosophers, enemies, and the gods, in addition to genres of lamentation, nostalgia, satire, moral instruction, legal dispute, adventure, and spectacle. Special emphasis will highlight the classical tales of the Middle Kingdom (“The Shipwrecked Sailor;” “The Story of Sinuhe,” etc.) and the fantastical stories of the later periods. Some texts will seem modern and familiar, but others inscrutably strange. Short lectures will augment the in-class readings and discussions to provide historical and cultural context. Weekly reflection prompts are due every week on Friday at 11:59pm. No prerequisites.