Events Calendar

CANCELED - ARCE: The Good Kings with Kara Cooney + Book Signing

This program will be rescheduled for a later date TBA. We apologize for any inconveniences this may cause.


In an era when democracies around the world are threatened or crumbling, Egyptologist and best-selling author Kara Cooney turns to ancient Egyptian pharaohs – Khufu, Senwosret III, Akhenaten, Ramses II, and Taharqa – to understand why many so often give up power to the few, and what it can mean for our future. The pharaohs and their process of divine kingship can tell us a lot about the world's politics, past and present. Every monumental temple, pyramid, and tomb offers extraordinary insight into a culture that combined deeply held religious beliefs with uniquely human schemes to justify a system in which one ruled over many. From Khufu, the man who built the Great Pyramid at Giza as testament to his authoritarian reign, and Taharqa, the last true pharaoh who worked to make Egypt great again, Cooney shows how power was earned, controlled, and manipulated in ancient times, so we can better understand why societies have so willingly chosen a dictator over democracy, time and time again.

Book signing to follow. Purchase The Good Kings: Absolute Power in Ancient Egypt and the Modern World in the Bowers Gallery Store!

Presented by ARCE-OC: American Research Center in Egypt: Orange County Chapter. Sponsored by Clinton and Carol Owen. 

Ticketed Onsite Event: Free for Bowers and ARCE Members | General $13 | Advanced reservations are strongly encouraged.


Recorded online screening: Free for Bowers and ARCE Members | General $10 | Online version will be emailed to ticketholders one week after the onsite event.

TICKETS: Online or onsite. Questions? E-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 714.567.3677. Proceeds benefit Bowers Museum Education Programs. Tickets are non-refundable.

Kathlyn (Kara) Cooney is a professor of Egyptian Art and Architecture and Chair of the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures at UCLA. Cooney’s research in coffin reuse, primarily focusing on the 21st Dynasty, is ongoing. Her book Recycling for Death will appear in the coming year with American University Press in Cairo. This research investigates the socioeconomic and political turmoil that plagued the period, ultimately affecting funerary and burial practices in ancient Egypt. This project has taken her around the world over ten years to study and document more than 300 coffins in multiple collections, including Cairo, London, Paris, Berlin, and Vatican City. Her latest book, The Good Kings: Absolute Power in Ancient Egypt and the Modern World was published in 2021 by National Geographic Books. Her prior book, When Women Ruled the World: Six Queens of Egypt, was published in 2018, also by National Geographic Press.

Event details

June 11, 2022 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm


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