I am a specialist in Coptic hagiography and the Late Antique and Early Islamic history of Egypt. I am also trained in Egyptian, Arabic, Syriac, Ethiopic, and Classical and Byzantine Greek. My DPhil in Late Antique and Byzantine Studies was supervised by Professor Gesa Schenke and Professor Phil Booth. I passed all three of my Transfer of Status, Confirmation of Status, and viva without corrections. Previously, I earned an MA in Archaeology and German at the University of Liverpool and an MA in Egyptology with Coptic at the University of Oxford.
I have a huge amount of teaching experience at university level, including teaching the Elementary and Advanced Coptic courses for BA and MPhil Egyptology students for three years, as well as designing and teaching MPhil special subject courses in archaeology and the history of Egyptology. In Trinity Term 2020, I passed the university's Developing Learning and Teaching course accredited by SEDA and in Hilary Term 2022 I undertook the Ashmolean Museum and TORCH's Eloquent Things teaching with objects course. Building on this, in Michaelmas Term 2022 and Hilary Term 2023 I was fortunate enough to be an Ashmolean Junior Teaching Fellow, leading symposia on the Krasis programme with undergraduate and postgraduate students on the themes of 'Believing' and 'Work', before the programme was closed down.
As well as teaching, I am dedicated to access and am currently an Outreach Tutor with the History Faculty and participating in the Classics Faculty's 'Classical Conversations' initiative. During summer 2022, I taught at the University's UNIQ summer school in the History Faculty, St John's College's Year 12 and 13 Inspire Programme, OxNet Access Week at Pembroke College, and the Aim for Oxford summer school at Christ Church. In summer 2023, I taught at UNIQ for the History Faculty and at OxNet Access Week again. As part of my outreach work, I have designed courses on Egyptian history and Early Christian theology.
As part of my role at Harris Manchester College, I was the administrator for the Graffiti Quest Workshop in July 2023. I am continuing this role throughout 2024 as the administrator of the proceedings. I co-organised the 'Late Antique Cult of Saints in Eastern Christianity' conference in May 2023 at which one of my responsibilities was running a tour of the Ashmolean Museum for the speakers which received high praise. In March 2022, I was support staff for the 'Hesychasm in Context' conference organised by Professor Phil Booth and Dr Rei Hakamada. As well as my current support worker role, I have worked in the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies as an academic administrator rewriting the course handbooks and examination conventions for undergraduate and postgraduate courses and as a note-taker for undergraduate admissions interviews for Egyptology, including joint schools, been part of the organising committee for the Oxford University Byzantine Society's annual postgraduate conference four times, and was the Arts Representative and Vice President on the Student Representative Committee at St Cross College.
Jan-Georg Deutsch Scholarship in African History, 2018-21
Lady Wallis Budge Prize for Academic Excellence, 2016
The presentation of interactions between saints and figures of secular authority
Gendered miracles and martyrdoms
The Coptic martyrdom of James the Persian
The Coptic witnesses of 1 Clement
Violence enacted posthumously by martyr saints
On the representation of visions in Coptic hagiographical texts (DPhil thesis)
The formulation of a methodology and criteria for universally assessing the standard of heritage management: Pilot study using Egypt as its case study (MA dissertation)
Scientific analysis of the effects of acids and alkalis on Egyptian blue pigment (MA research)
Dwarf burials in ancient Egypt: A contextual study c. 4,500-332 BC (BA dissertation)
Agar, C. and Booth, P. in preparation, ‘English Translation of the Posthumous Miracles of Apa Claudius’.
Batovici, D. and Agar, C. in preparation, 'Textual notes on 1 Clement in Coptic'.
Agar, C. in preparation, Seeing is Believing: Visions of the Holy in Coptic Hagiography. Egypt from the Ptolemies to the Early Middle Ages series. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck.
Agar, C. under review, 'The State of the Field: Distinctions of Gender in Late Antique Egypt' in N. Websdale and J. Chandler (eds.), Passing Judgement, Proceedings of the Oxford University Byzantine Society's 25th Annual International Graduate Conference. Leiden: Brill.
Agar, C. under review, ‘Utopias in Christian Egypt: How Heaven and Hell are Presented in Hagiography Preserved in Coptic’ in A. Ravani, J. Cogbill, and A. Neuhauser (eds.), Reshaping the World, Proceedings of the Oxford University Byzantine Society’s 24th Annual International Graduate Conference. Leiden: Brill.
Agar, C. forthcoming, 'Politics and Piety: Martyr Saints and Emperors Presented in Hagiography Preserved in Coptic' in R. Whelan, M. McEvoy, and R. Flower (eds.), Christian Political Cultures in Late Antiquity. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press.
Navratilova, H. and Agar, C. accepted, 'Puzzle of a Pyramid Life'. Accepted by Egyptian Archaeology.
Agar, C. 2022, 'The saint of the issue: Apa Menas'. The Byzantinist 12, 9-11.
Presented the 20-minute paper '"He thrust his spear into the middle of him, and his bowels came out": Literary Violence against Religious and Legal Transgressions in Early Christian Egypt' at the Oxford University Byzantine Society's 26th International Graduate Conference, 24th-25th February 2024
Presented the 40-minute paper 'James the Persian: The Case of a Martyr with a Coptic Martyrdom Translated from Syriac' at the Syriac Lunch Seminar, Campion Hall, 24th January 2024
Administrator for the 'Graffiti Quest' Workshop, 17th July 2023
Chaired at the Oxford University Byzantine Society's 25th International Graduate Conference, 24th-25th February 2023
Presented the 20-minute paper 'Distinctions of Gender in Coptic Hagiography: Sex, Suffering, and Sainthood' at the Oxford University Byzantine Society’s 25th International Graduate Conference, 24th-25th February 2023
Presented the 20-minute paper 'Coptic Hagiography from the 7th to 11th Centuries' at the A Conversation between Hagiographical Traditions Workshop, 30th September 2022 (INVITED)
Presented the 30-minute paper 'Shaping Coptic Christian identity: Forging collective memories through hagiography' at the Forgotten Christianities Seminar series, 20th June 2022 (INVITED)
Chaired the paper ‘The Epigraphy of the Dome of the Rock in Relation to the Sacred Landscape of Jerusalem’ at the University of Oxford Byzantine Graduate Seminar series, 28th March 2022
Support staff at the conference 'Hesychasm in context', 17th-18th March 2022
Presented the 20-minute paper 'Utopias in Coptic hagiography: Presentations of heaven and hell' at the Oxford University Byzantine Society's 24th International Graduate Conference, 25th – 26th February 2022
Chaired at the Oxford University Byzantine Society’s 24th International Graduate Conference, 25th – 26th February 2022
Presented the 60-minute paper 'The cult of saints in Coptic texts: Saints, sinners, and pilgrims in early Christian Egypt' at the Leicester Ancient Egyptian Society, 20th November 2021 (INVITED)
Presented the 30-minute paper 'Christians in Egypt: Between the ancient Egyptian gods and Islam' at the Virtual History Society, 21st October 2021 (INVITED)
Presented the 10-minute paper ‘The Cult of Saints on the bank of the Nile: How did worship function in this extreme environment?’ at the 53rd Society for the Promotion of Byzantine Studies Spring Symposium, 27th – 29th March 2021
Presented the 30-minute paper ‘Analysing visions experienced by saints and supplicants: What, how, and why?’ for the University of Liverpool ACE Work in Progress seminar series, 12th November 2020, Liverpool and as the inaugural paper for the University of Oxford Byzantine Graduate Seminar series, 25th January 2021 (INVITED)
Presented the 20-minute paper ‘Transition and transformation in Coptic hagiography: Visions as transformative experiences’ at the Oxford University Byzantine Society’s 22nd International Graduate Conference, 28th – 29th February 2020
Chaired at the Oxford University Byzantine Society’s 22nd International Graduate Conference, 28th-29th February 2020
Supported tours at the conference 'Egypt's heartland: Regional perspectives on Hierakonpolis, Elkab and Edfu', 18th-19th July 2019
Presented the 20-minute paper 'Celebrating sanctity: The public celebrations of saints in Coptic hagiography' at the Centre for Byzantine, Ottoman and Modern Greek Studies' 20th Annual Postgraduate Colloquium, 1st June 2019
Chaired at the 3rd Sudan Studies Conference, 4th May 2019
Chaired at the Oxford University Byzantine Society's 21st International Graduate Conference, 22nd-23rd February 2019
Presented the 20-minute paper 'Blue vs the world: Scientific analysis of the effects of acids and alkalis on the stability of synthesised Egyptian blue' at the Egyptology Graduate Seminar series, 15th November 2018