ABSTRACT

At the outset of this research my primary interest was the way these movements interacted with and/or challenged the discipline of Egyptology, and what contests existed over shared resources, if any. Ganiel and Mitchell’s (2006: 4) proposition, that boundaries and positionality might be subjective, ambiguous and permeable forced me to consider that many of the perceived boundaries at the heart of my study were a result of the mores of cultural trends, rather than absolute, fixed confines. I established myself as an Egyptological ‘outsider’ to my participants, acting in a fixed external role, which eschewed participation in favour of dialogue, and highlighted description over experience. This was a position I felt was necessary in an ethical representation of myself to my respondents. However, it did entail inherent obstructions when garnering a representation of the community, which I attempted to mitigate by rigorous investigation of the contexts surrounding Kemetic beliefs and practices – by interaction with their communities and correspondence with Kemeticism’s leading figures. However, I felt it imperative that I only garnered information by explicit, informed consent, which entailed a lengthy process of permission-seeking, reputation establishment and rapport-building. In hindsight, I must acknowledge the difficulties I felt when attempting to view my participants’ worlds ‘horizontally’ (Salomonsen 2004) while maintaining the critical criteria necessary for an acceptably ‘academic’ interpretation.