Egypt is about to experience one of the biggest transformations in recent history, and the road ahead is far from clear. Join the San Diego Museum of Man and our special guest panel for a discussion that will attempt to unravel the complexities of history in the making. This event is free and open to the public.

Perspectives on Egypt will present a speakers panel featuring local scholars who will shed light on the sociopolitical and economic issues affecting Egypt. This informative discussion will offer San Diegans an opportunity to better understand the volatile situation in the Arab world’s most populous nation. How it began, the implications for the region, and its affect on the rest of the world will all be addressed. We welcome you to attend, ask questions, and contribute to the discussion.

FREE to the public. For more information, contact Cynthia Dillon at (619) 239-2001 ext. 25. RSVP and show your support on our Facebook event page!


Willeke Wendrich, Ph.D., Professor of Egyptian Archaeology, UCLA

Willeke Wendrich (PhD Leiden University, the Netherlands, 1999) is a Professor of Egyptian Archaeology at UCLA, affiliated with the Department of Near Eastern Studies and the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology. She has extensive field work experience, working for thirty years in Egypt (at Amarna and Qasr Ibrim, among several other sites), and lived in Egypt from 1995 to 2000. She also participated in the Catal Hoyuk excavations in Turkey, and directed a field survey in the Yemeni highlands. The Berenike Excavations, co-directed with Steven Sidebotham ran from 1994 to 2002. She developed an information center on the present day culture of the Ababda nomads. From 2003 onwards she co-directed, with René Cappers from the Rijksuniversiteit Groningen (the Netherlands) and Simon Holdaway (University of Auckland, New Zealand), a large survey, excavation and site management project in the Fayum. Part of the Fayum project is the creation of a Virtual Reality model of the Greco Roman town of Karanis, which is used for research, teaching and as a site monitoring and management tool. As part of this project she taught several field schools for inspectors of the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities. She has published extensively on subjects ranging from ethno-archaeology, archaeological basketry, and ancient apprenticeship, to the archeology of nomadism (edited volume with Hans Barnard). In addition she is the Editor-in-chief of the online UCLA Encyclopedia of Egyptology (, co-PI on the Digital Karnak project, one of the directors of the W.M. Keck Digital Cultural Mapping Program for undergraduate students, and Editorial Director of the Cotsen Archaeological Press.


Avi Spiegel, Ph.D., 
Assistant Professor of Political Science and International Relations in the College of Arts and Sciences, USD

Dr. Spiegel trained in religious studies at Harvard University and in Middle East politics at Oxford University, where he earned his doctorate from St Antony’s College.  A magna cum laude graduate of Georgetown University, he also holds a JD from NYU School of Law.  A former Fulbright Scholar and Peace Corps volunteer in Morocco, Dr. Spiegel has traveled and lectured extensively throughout the Middle East and North Africa. He is completing a book on the next generation of political Islam, based on his fieldwork among young political activists in the Arab world. 

Ida Rigby, Ph.D., Emeritus Professor, History of Art, SDSU

Former SDMoM Board of Trustees Member
Dr. Rigby will provide insight as a recent traveler to Egypt, discuss issues of looting and Egyptian repatriation requests.


Necla Tschirgi, Ph.D., Professor of Practice in Human Security and Peacebuilding in the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, University of San Diego.

A native of Turkey, Dr. Tschirgi received her BA and MA in political science at the American University of Beirut and her Ph.D. in political economy at the University of Toronto.  From 1985-1991, she was adjunct professor of Political Science at the American University in Cairo. Concurrently, Dr. Tschirgi served as Coordinator of the Middle East Research Competition (MERC) program at the Ford Foundation’s regional office in Cairo.  Since 1991, Dr. Tschirgi has been a frequent visitor to Egypt and has followed political developments in that country from her various positions in Ottawa, New York, and now San Diego, where she arrived last September from New York.  From 2001-2006, Dr. Tschirgi was Vice President of the International Peace Academy in New York.  Subsequently, from 2007-2009, she was a Senior Policy Advisor in the United Nations Peacebuilding Support Office.