Publications

2017
Celluloid Esther: The Literary Carnivalesque as Transformed Through the Lens of the Cinematic Epic. Journal of the Bible and its Reception [Internet]. 2017;4(1):91-123. Publisher's VersionAbstract
The reception of Esther has often been fraught with attempts to make the book more palatable to the audience receiving it and to interpret the book in a manner more consistent with the values of that community. This is evidence in cinematic adaptations of the book, where the story is transformed to better suit the genre expectations of the Biblical epic and the perspectives of the intended viewers. By examining two films based on Esther – Esther and the King (1960) and One Night with the King (2006) – some of the interpretive issues surrounding the tone and content of the Biblical source become apparent. If Esther is best understood as a carnivalesque work, as many scholars have suggested, then the expectations of this kind of work have not been met in the cinematic adaptations. Given the importance of film in contemporary Biblical reception, these new readings of Esther are perhaps particularly influential, at least within the restricted communities who view these movies. Likewise, analysis of these changes highlights the values of the makers of these films and the audiences who consume them.
2016
“Will Womankind Now Be Hunting?”: The Work and Economic Lives of Women at Late Bronze Age Ugarit. In: Women in Antiquity. New York: Routledge; 2016. Publisher's Version
Victorian Archaeologies, Anthropologies, and Adventures in the Final Frontier: Modes of Nineteenth-Century Scientific Exploration and Display in Star Trek. Science Fiction Film & Television [Internet]. 2016;9(2):229-252. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Sf television programmes such as Star Trek, which play with real-world scientific practices and knowledge, condition public expectations about the ways in which those sciences are enacted. Yet this can be problematic given that the representation of science in these programmes is often rooted in outmoded understandings. This article, using archaeology and its cognate disciplines of anthropology and religious studies as examples, will illustrate some of the ways in which Star Trek’s exploratory science is based on nineteenth-century modes of exhibitionary culture (especially the museum and the world’s fair), and how sf television builds on the legacies of the Barthesian myths entangled with those modes of representation. Drawing on both the colonial implications of nineteenth-century literary sf and the object-based teleological lessons of the museum and the world’s fair, this investigation of Star Trek demonstrates the relationship between sf television and Victorian scientific thought.
The Roles Of Violence In Recent Biblical Cinema: The Passion, Noah, and Exodus: Gods and Kings. Journal of Religion and Film [Internet]. 2016;20(2):Article 35. Publisher's Version
2015
McGeough KM, MacKay BD. All Chinese Are Obsessed With Dragons: A Conversation About Team Teaching, Authority, and Liberal Education. Light on Teaching . 2015;2014-2015:17-20. mackay-mcgeough-lightonteaching_2014-2015-pdf.pdf
Pyramid Codes, Playacting, and Veiled Israelite Histories: Pre-Critical Biblical Interpretation and Victorian Archaeology. Relegere: Studies in Religion and Reception [Internet]. 2015;5(1):7-30. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Biblical archaeology is often thought to have emerged as a positivist hybrid of Victorian Near Eastern studies and the new critical approach to biblical studies. When the results of this emerging field were applied to biblical studies, rather than solely helping focus critical approaches along historical lines, the newly discovered Near Eastern materials opened up interpretation beyond the academy. The enterprise gave pre-critical biblical studies a new life for now there were different and charismatic sources. This paper examines some of the new pre-critical readings of the Bible inspired by archaeology offered by artists, playwrights, showmen, and new religious leaders.
Cosmology, Near East. In: Oxford Bibliographies in Biblical Studies. Oxford: Oxford University Press; 2015. Website
The Ancient Near East in the Nineteenth Century: Appreciations and Appropriations. III. Fantasy and Alternative Histories.
The Ancient Near East in the Nineteenth Century: Appreciations and Appropriations. III. Fantasy and Alternative Histories. Sheffield: Sheffield Phoenix Press; 2015. WebsiteAbstract
At the beginning of the nineteenth century, little was known of the ancient Near East except for what was preserved in the Bible and classical literature. By the end of the nineteenth century, an amazing transformation had occurred: the basic outline of ancient Near Eastern history was understood and the material culture of the region was recognizable to the general public. This three-volume study explores the various ways that non-specialists would have encountered ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, and the Holy Land and how they derived and constructed meaning from those discoveries. McGeough challenges the simplistic view that the experience of the ancient Near East was solely a matter of ‘othering’ and shows how different people claimed the Near East as their own space and how connections were drawn between the ancient and contemporary worlds.</p><p>Volume III argues that fiction and fantasy play an important role in establishing expectations about the past. Changing sensitivities towards realism in art meant that imaginary visions were charged with an archaeological aesthetic. Orientalist painting offered seemingly realistic glimpses of ancient life. Stage plays and opera used the ancient Near East for performances that explored contemporary issues. Mummy stories evolved from humorous time-travel tales into horror fiction rooted in fears of materialism, and adventure novels ruminated on the obligations and dangers of empire. </p><p>Alongside these explicitly fictional modes of thinking about the past, the nineteenth century saw a rise in popularity of esoteric thinking. People offered alternative versions of ancient history, imagining that ancient religious practices continued into the present, through secret societies like the Freemasons and the Rosicrucians or in the new movements of Mormonism and Theosophy. Volume III ends by examining the interpretations of the Near East offered by Sigmund Freud and H.P. Lovecraft, showing how these two figures influenced later popular experiences of the ancient Near East.
The Ancient Near East in the Nineteenth Century: Appreciations and Appropriations. II. Collecting, Constructing, Curating.
The Ancient Near East in the Nineteenth Century: Appreciations and Appropriations. II. Collecting, Constructing, Curating. Sheffield: Sheffield Phoenix Press; 2015. WebsiteAbstract
At the beginning of the nineteenth century, little was known of the ancient Near East except for what was preserved in the Bible and classical literature. By the end of the nineteenth century, an amazing transformation had occurred: the basic outline of ancient Near Eastern history was understood and the material culture of the region was recognizable to the general public. This three-volume study explores the various ways that non-specialists would have encountered ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, and the Holy Land and how they derived and constructed meaning from those discoveries. McGeough challenges the simplistic view that the experience of the ancient Near East was solely a matter of ‘othering’ and shows how different people claimed the Near East as their own space and how connections were drawn between the ancient and contemporary worlds. </p><p>Volume II examines the different ways that non-specialists encountered the materiality of the ancient Near East over the course of the nineteenth century. During this time, people collected artifacts while traveling in the region or paid to see the collections that others brought back. The public experienced the ancient world in museum exhibits that privileged ‘real’ artifacts in a new context or in hyper-real displays (like the Crystal Palace) where whole buildings from the ancient Near East were reconstructed. Men and women dressed as biblical characters in travelling fairs or spent an evening unwrapping a mummy. Individuals bought Assyriological souvenirs and employed Egyptian styles in their design, first in higher quality designer products and later in novelty items. Egyptian temples provided the architectural inspiration for buildings in London and the ancient use of colour was a strong argument for reimagining Victorian style. The adoption of Egypt, especially, in the world’s-fair phenomenon linked the ancient Near East with a global future in which change was naturalized and consumers were taught not to be afraid of the transformations brought by the industrial age.
The Ancient Near East in the Nineteenth Century: Appreciations and Appropriations. I. Claiming and Conquering
The Ancient Near East in the Nineteenth Century: Appreciations and Appropriations. I. Claiming and Conquering. Sheffield: Sheffield Phoenix Press; 2015. WebsiteAbstract
At the beginning of the nineteenth century, little was known of the ancient Near East except for what was preserved in the Bible and Classical literature. By the end of that century, an amazing transformation had occurred: the basic outline of ancient Near Eastern history was now understood and the material culture of the region was recognizable to the general public. This three-volume study explores the various ways by which non-specialists would have encountered ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, and the Holy Land and how they derived and constructed meaning from those discoveries. McGeough challenges the simplistic view that the experience of the ancient Near East was solely a matter of ‘othering’ and shows how different people claimed the Near East as their own space and how connections were drawn between the ancient and contemporary worlds. </p><p>Volume I traces how the study of the ancient Near East developed into a professional discipline and how interpretative frameworks were gradually standardized throughout the nineteenth century. Some of the best-sellers of the period were accounts of the early explorers of the region and, beginning with the Napoleonic expedition, the book examines how ancient Near Eastern discoveries were communicated to the public. It looks at how archaeological reporting was shaped in this period and how the study of the ancient Near East was employed to understand issues of progress and decline and was referenced in the political and social satire of the period. It also documents the growth of middle-class tourism to the region and considers how the changing experiences of travel impacted Near Eastern studies. Throughout, the book observes how the ancient Near East mirrored and subverted British society and played a role in European and North American thinking about their places in a larger global and historical perspective.
‘What is Not in My House You Must Give Me’: Agents of Exchange According to the Textual Evidence from Ugarit
‘What is Not in My House You Must Give Me’: Agents of Exchange According to the Textual Evidence from Ugarit. In: Policies of Exchange: Political Systems and Modes of Interaction in the Aegean and the Near East in the 2nd Millennium BC. Vienna: Oriental and European Archaeology (OREA) 2, Institute for Oriental and European Archaeology of the Austrian Academy of Sciences; 2015. Website
2014
Cyprus and the Balance of Empires: From Justinian I to Coeur de Lion
Stewart CA, et al. Cyprus and the Balance of Empires: From Justinian I to Coeur de Lion. Bristol, CT: ISD Publishing; 2014. Website
Pyla-Koutsopetria I: Archaeological Survey of an Ancient Coastal Town
Caraher W, Moore SR, Pettegrew DK. Pyla-Koutsopetria I: Archaeological Survey of an Ancient Coastal Town. Bristol, CT: ISD Publishing; 2014. Website
Biblical Archaeology through a Victorian Lens. Biblical Archaeology Review. 2014;40(1):26, 67.
2013
Humayma Excavation Project, II: Nabataean Campground and Necopolis, Byzantine Churches, and Early Islamic Domestic Structures,
Oleson JP, Schick R. Humayma Excavation Project, II: Nabataean Campground and Necopolis, Byzantine Churches, and Early Islamic Domestic Structures,. Bristol, CT: ISD Publishing; 2013. Website
Imagining Ancient Egypt as the Idealized Self in 18th Century Europe
Imagining Ancient Egypt as the Idealized Self in 18th Century Europe. In: Eighteenth-Century Thing Theory in a Global Context: From Consumerism to Celebrity Culture. Surrey: Ashgate; 2013. Website imaginingegypt.pdf
The Intimate Lives of the Ancient Greeks
Budin S. The Intimate Lives of the Ancient Greeks. Santa Barbara: Praegger Press; 2013. Website
The Roman Aqaba Project Final Report. Volume 1 – The Regional Environment and the Regional Survey
Parker TS, III ASM. The Roman Aqaba Project Final Report. Volume 1 – The Regional Environment and the Regional Survey. Bristol, CT: ISD Publishing; 2013. Website
2011
Classical Traditions: 1000 BCE -300 CE: World History Encyclopedia
with Mierse W. Classical Traditions: 1000 BCE -300 CE: World History Encyclopedia. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO; 2011. Website
Early Civilizations: 4000-1000 BCE: World History Encyclopedia. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO; 2011. Website
Ugaritic Commercial Practices and Biblical Law
Ugaritic Commercial Practices and Biblical Law. In: A Common Cultural Heritage: Studies on Mesopotamia and the Biblical World in Honor of Barry L. Eichler. Baltimore: CDL Press; 2011. Website
Ugaritic Economic Tablets: Text, Translations, and Notes
with Smith MS. Ugaritic Economic Tablets: Text, Translations, and Notes. Leuven: Peeters ; 2011. Website
2009
Just What Collapsed? A Network Perspective on Trade, Exchange, and the Palace at Ugarit
with Routledge B. Just What Collapsed? A Network Perspective on Trade, Exchange, and the Palace at Ugarit. In: Forces of Transformation: The End of the Bronze Age in the Mediterranean. London: Oxbow Books; 2009. Website WhatCollapsed_Routledge-McGeough.pdf
The Romans: An Introduction
The Romans: An Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press; 2009. Website
‘Working Egyptians of the World Unite!’: How Edith Nesbit Used Near Eastern Archaeology and Children’s Literature to Effect Social Change
with Galway EA. ‘Working Egyptians of the World Unite!’: How Edith Nesbit Used Near Eastern Archaeology and Children’s Literature to Effect Social Change. In: The World of Women in the Ancient and Classical Near East. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Press; 2009. Website
2008
Esther the Hero. The Catholic Biblical Quarterly. 2008;70:44-65.
2007
Exchange Relationships at Ugarit
Exchange Relationships at Ugarit. Leuven: Peeters; 2007. Website
2006
Birth Bricks, Potter’s Wheels, and Exodus 1:16. Biblica [Internet]. 2006;87(3):305-318. Website birthbricks-biblica.pdf
Examining Feasting in Late Bronze Age Syro-Palestine Through Ancient Texts and Bones
with Lev-Tov J. Examining Feasting in Late Bronze Age Syro-Palestine Through Ancient Texts and Bones. In: We Were What We Ate: The Archaeology of Food and Identity. Carbondale: Center for Archaeological Investigations, Occasional Paper No. 34; 2006. Website lev-tov_and_mcgeough_chapter.pdf
Heroes, Mummies, and Treasure: Near Eastern Archaeology in the Movies. Near Eastern Archaeology. 2006;3-4(69):174-185. nea_mcgeough_mummies.pdf
2004
The Romans: New Perspectives
The Romans: New Perspectives. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO; 2004. Website
with Hasinoff E, Aufrecht WE. A Comprehensive Index to Biblical Archaeologist Volumes 51 60 (1988 1997). Atlanta: Scholars Press; 2004.
Locating the Marzihu Archaeologically. Ugarit-Forschungen. 2004;35(2003-2004):407-420.