Dr. Marissa Stevens
Marissa Stevens is the Assistant Director of the Pourdavoud Center for the Study of the Iranian World. Trained as an Egyptologist who studies the materiality, social history, and texts of the Third Intermediate Period and Late Period, she first earned an Honors B.A. in History and Sociology from Washington & Jefferson College and an M.A. from the University of Chicago, before completing her Ph.D. at the University of California, Los Angeles in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures. Her dissertation focused on 21st Dynasty funerary papyri to determine funerary iconography’s role in defining an individual’s social identity, specifically with respect to titles, social position, family lineage, and gender of the Theban elite. Combining art historical and linguistic approaches, her research interests focus on how objects can solidify, maintain, and perpetuate social identity, especially in times of crisis when more traditional means of self-identification are absent.