… they do the sand dance, don’t you know! So goes the first two lines of The Bangles’ 1986 hit Walk Like An Egyptian. Wondering why I’m referencing 1980s pop rock music?
I’m very pleased to announce that I have been invited to King’s College London to give a talk on stereoscopic photography and travel to Egypt. The talk is part of a new seminar series at King’s, run by their (also new!) research group on Exploring the Institutionalisation of Archaeology. The core aim of this exciting new research group is to examine ‘the historical and contemporary intersections between archaeology, museums and collections’ – read more here.
As regular readers, friends and colleagues know, my PhD thesis is on British popular photographic culture and travel to the Far East. The talk is a great opportunity to apply my thesis research to a new geographical area – Egypt – and to relate it to archaeology, a life long interest of mine.
The second half of the nineteenth century saw an explosion of interest in Egypt, including archaeologists like Flinders Petrie, travellers spurred on by early ‘package’ tours, and all reflected in the popular print culture of the time. This is the age of exploring Egypt before Lord Carnarvon funded the expedition that discovered the tomb of Tutankhamun. Please do take a look at the fantastic objects in the collections of the Petrie Museum at UCL or have a read of this paper on nineteenth century tourism to Egypt – yes, Thomas Cook really did run tours to Egypt in the 1860s!
[For those of you looking for bad jokes about ancient Egypt, follow this link for some that are so-bad-they’re-nearly-good.]