Dr William Carruthers recently finished a Leverhulme Trust funded project at the University of East Anglia, where he is an Honorary Lecturer in the School of Art, Media and American Studies.
Among other things, Will and I discuss sources, decolonisation, and most of all his new book, Flooded Pasts: UNESCO, Nubia and the Recolonisation of Archaeology (Cornell University Press, 2022). Listen to our conversation here.
Link to Will's book, Flooded Pasts https://www.cornellpress.cornell.edu/book/9781501766442/flooded-pasts/#bookTabs=1
Other books mentioned:
Lucia Allais: https://press.uchicago.edu/ucp/books/book/chicago/D/bo28907758.html
Ann Laura Stoler: https://press.princeton.edu/books/paperback/9780691146362/along-the-archival-grain
Menna Agha: https://architecture.carleton.ca/archives/people/menna-agha
Debbie is Education and Outreach Officer at the London School of Economics Library. She and I discussed many things including racism in the history of archaeology, emotions in the history of archaeology, making connections to wider histories and contexts, and the importance of good metadata in archives. Listen to our conversation here.
You can find Debbie's two posts on Hilda Petrie and suffrage, written for this website here.
Debbie's work published open access:
Challis, D., 2016. Skull Triangles: Flinders Petrie, Race Theory and Biometrics. Bulletin of the History of Archaeology, 26(1), p.Art. 5. DOI: http://doi.org/10.5334/bha-556 Open Access
Challis, Debbie and Romain, Gemma (2015), A Fusion of Worlds. A / AS Level Learning Resource on the Equiano Centre Website, (Department of Geography UCL): https://www.ucl.ac.uk/equiano-centre/educational-resources/fusion-worlds/context/ancient-egypt-culture-and-barbarism [accessed 13 July 2020].
2021: ‘Back to Back: Babies, Bodies, Boxes’ in Carruthers, W. 2021. Special Issue: Inequality and Race in the Histories of Archaeology. Bulletin of the History of Archaeology, X(X): X, pp. 1–19. DOI: https://doi.org/10.5334/bha-660
With Daniel Payne, ‘Giving Peace a Chance: Archives engagement at LSE Library’, Andrew H. W. Smith (ed.), Paper Trails. The social life of archives and collections, UCL Press: https://ucldigitalpress.co.uk/BOOC/3
2019, ‘Seeing Race in Biblical Egypt: Edwin Longsden Long’s Anno Domini (1883) and A. H. Sayce’s The Races of the Old Testament (1891)’, Papers from the Institute of Archaeology 28(1). doi: https://doi.org/10.14324/111.444.2041-9015.1128
Debbie has put work she is now allowed to share and the introduction to her two books up here: https://lse.academia.edu/DebbieChallis
Debbie's recent talk has been recorded and is available: https://events.bizzabo.com/aep/agenda/session/651358 (Registration needed)
Other work referenced in the interview:
Davies, Vanessa, 2019-20. W. E. B Du Bois, a new voice in Egyptology’s disciplinary history, ANKH. Can download from Academia: https://www.academia.edu/42746258/W._E._B._Du_Bois_a_new_voice_in_Egyptologys_disciplinary_history
Gunning, Lucia Patrizio, 2021. Cultural Diplomacy in the acquisition of the head of the Satala Aphrodite for the British Museum. Journal of the History of Collections, fhab025, https://doi.org/10.1093/jhc/fhab025.
Books with the most influence on Debbie when doing her PhD include Dominic Montserrat (2000) Akhenaten and Digging for Dreams, Ian Hodder and Scot Hudson (2003) Reading the Past. Current Approaches to Interpretation in Archaeology and Sven Lindqvist (1997) ‘Exterminate All the Brutes’.
A book that influenced Debbie's writing The Archaeology of Race is Fiona Candlin and Raiford Guins (ed.) The Object Reader (2009).
The most recent and compelling books that I’ve read using archives, history, politics and objects are Phillippe Sande The Ratline (2020), Dan Hicks The Brutish Museum (2020) and Richard Overy Burning the books. Knowledge Under Attack (2020)
Heba Abd El Gawad is an Egyptian Egyptologist and project researcher on the Egypt's Dispersed Heritage project (more information on the project below). She was co-curator of the Beyond Beauty exhibition at Two Temple Place in 2016 and the Listen to Her! exhibition at the Petrie Museum of Egyptian and Sudanese Archaeology in 2018. We discussed the emotional impact of history of archaeology research, the role of social justice in the history of archaeology, and the ongoing legacies of colonialism.
You can listen to our discussion here.
The inspirational text Heba mentions in the discussion is by Egyptian geographer Gamal Habdan (1928-1993), a graduate of both Cairo University and the University of Reading. The work Heba refers to is entitled مجموعة شخصية مصر دراسة فى عبقرية المكان 4 أجزاء (The Character of Egypt).
The quote from Amelia Edwards' 1877 book A Thousand Miles Up the Nile that Heba references in our discussion is:
"I may say, indeed, that our life here was one long pursuit of the pleasures of the chase. The game, it is true, was prohibited; but we enjoyed it none the less because it was illegal. Perhaps we enjoyed it the more" (p.449-450)
Heba has provided links to a number of additional project outputs:
a) Who owns Egyptian heritage? podcast with Manchester Museum
b) Our public panel on the legacies of Western colonialism on ancient Egypt and the link between ancient and modern Egypt chaired by BBC's Samira Ahmed at the National Museum in Scotland listen to this podcast
c) You can listen to Heba discussing the Egypt's Dispersed Heritage project and her experience in curation in the latest episode of The Wonder House podcast, published Jan 2021.
d) Heba has also been interviewed for the Manchester Museum podcast, published Feb 2021.
Social Media Accounts
The Egypt Dispersed Heritage project on Twitter and Facebook
Project partnership with Egyptian comic artists producing Egyptian comic strips and graphic novels to confront colonial legacies of ancient Egyptian displays in Western museums, you can check out our interview with Digital Hammurabi and our comic artists' discussion panel for Everyday Orientalism.
Human Remains webinar
Your mummies, their ancestors webinar on the ethics of displaying and researching human remains in partnership with Egypt Exploration Society and Everyday Orientalism.
a) For the Egypt Dispersed Heritage partnership with the Egypt Exploration Society to unpack its colonial legacy check this blog entry
b) Project partnership with National Museum in Scotland check this English webpage and Arabic here.
Our project as Arab leading for Digital Comics during COVID 19
a) Project in Egyptian Online News Network
b) Project Comics in Egyptian Online News Network
c) Project on Egyptian National TV