James P. Allen received his PhD from the University of Chicago. Before joining Brown in 2007, Prof. Allen was an epigrapher with the University of Chicago's Epigraphic Survey, Cairo Director of the American Research Center in Egypt, and curator of Egyptian art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. From 2008 to 2015, he was President of the International Association of Egyptologists.
Prof. Allen's research interests include ancient Egyptian grammar and literature, religion, and history. He has written extensively on these subjects, including Genesis in Egypt: the Philosophy of Ancient Egyptian Creation Accounts (Yale, 1988), Middle Egyptian: an Introduction to the Language and Culture of Hieroglyphs (Cambridge, 2000; 2010, 2014), The Heqanakht Papyri (MMA, 2002), The Ancient Egyptian Pyramid Texts (Society of Biblical Literature, 2005), The Debate between a Man and His Soul (Brill, 2011), The Ancient Egyptian Language, an Historical Study (Cambridge, 2013), and Middle Egyptian Literature: Eight Literary Works (2014). He is currently working on publication of material from the Metropolitan Museum's excavations at Dahshur, a comprehensive grammar of the ancient Egyptian Pyramid Texts, and a study of ancient Egyptian religion and thought.