At the 2019 Annual Meeting of the American Schools of Oriental Research, NELC Chair Dr. Kara Cooney was awarded the Nancy Lapp Popular Book Award for When Women Ruled the World: Six Queens of Egypt (2018). This award is presented to the author/editor of a book published in the last two years that offers a new synthesis of archaeological or textual evidence intended to reach an audience of scholars as well as students and the broader public, and only one award is given annually.
In When Women Ruled the World: Six Queens of Egypt, Dr. Cooney injects an important and timely topic into popular discourse. Not only is When Women Ruled the World a fascinating book on its own—a tour de force of the highlights of Egyptian history from Dynasty 0 through the Ptolemies—but Dr. Cooney’s specific focus then invites us to reflect on broader questions about the historic role of female leadership and its implications in the modern world. Dr. Cooney’s book serves as a great example of how studies of ancient societies can be made relevant and interesting to a general audience and in doing so can raise provocative questions that very much still matter today.