Jonathan Winnerman is an Egyptology lecturer at UCLA. He recently graduated with honors from the University of Chicago, where he received his MA and PhD. A specialist in ancient Egyptian language and visual culture, his research focuses on the interpretation of ancient Egyptian religion. His dissertation, titled “Rethinking the Royal Ka,” examined divine kingship in the New Kingdom and argued against a single, paradigmatic approach to the divinity of the pharaoh. Instead, he advocated for a multifaceted examination of the divine nature of the king as well as an analysis of the social dynamics that created and maintained divine kingship.
Jonathan is currently working on an expansion of his dissertation project, which will further develop this study of divine kingship as a social phenomenon during the 18th and 19th dynasties. His other research interests include Political Theology and its application to ancient Egypt, ancient Egyptian cryptographic texts, and the definition and ontology of the divine in ancient Egypt. He has worked in Egypt for many years, most notably with the Tell Edfu Project and as an epigrapher with the Epigraphic Survey in Luxor. Back in Chicago, Jonathan also contributed to the Chicago Demotic Dictionary Project and worked for the Writing Program as a specialist in writing pedagogy.