When Women Ruled
Raised in Houston, Kara Cooney obtained her bachelor of arts in German and Humanities from the University of Texas in Austin in 1994. She was awarded a PhD in 2002 by Johns Hopkins University for Near Eastern Studies. Dr. Cooney was part of an archaeological team excavating at the artisans' village of Deir el Medina in Egypt, as well as Dahshur and various tombs at Thebes. In 2002 she was Kress Fellow at the National Gallery of Art and worked on the preparation of the Cairo Museum exhibition Quest for Immortality: Treasures of Ancient Egypt.
After a temporary one-year position at UCLA, she took a three-year postdoctoral teaching position at Stanford University during which she acted as fellow curator for Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. She also worked for two years at the Getty Center before landing a tenure-track position at UCLA in 2009.
Cooney's current research in coffin reuse, primarily focusing on the 20th Dynasty, is ongoing. Her research investigates the socioeconomic and political turmoil that have plagued the period, ultimately affecting funerary and burial practices in ancient Egypt. Dr. Cooney's book, The Woman Who Would Be King, the story of Hatshepsut, the woman who ruled Egypt as Pharaoh, was widely praised. Her most recent book When Women Ruled the World: Six Queens of Egypt was published in 2018. Dr. Cooney currently resides in Los Angeles.