Dr Katie J. Hickerson, visiting fellow, delivers the 2022 Sir William Luce public lecture.
Hand-coloured postcard of Khartoum Central Station
Images from the Sudanese imperial archive have been and continue to be sites of meaning making for individuals and collectives today, whether printed on postcards, assembled in scrapbooks, or uploaded to online groups. This lecture will address the visual sources of the late nineteenth and early twentieth-century Sudan and consider the ways these photographs were produced for specific ends, including scientific studies, propaganda campaigns, war albums, and popular entertainment.
These images played an important role in the creation of a visual lexicon in the early years of photography in Sudan, and more recently, artists have reconfigured these images in contemporary works. This lecture demonstrates how thinking through the production and circulation of these visual sources can allow for new ways to better listen to the voices of the past.
Katie J. Hickerson is cultural and political historian of the nineteenth and early twentieth-century Nile Valley and an Assistant Instructional Professor at the University of Chicago. Her book manuscript-in-preparation, 'Mortal Struggles: Death and Empire in the Nile Valley', examines cultural practices surrounding death in Sudan throughout the era of Ottoman-Egyptian colonialism, the Islamic-inspired independent state known as the Mahdiyya, and the beginning of the co-dominion of Sudan by Great Britain and Egypt, as well as the transitions between these periods. Before coming to the University of Chicago, she was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Middle East Center at the University of Pennsylvania and a Mary Catherine Mooney Fellow at the Boston Athenæum. Her writings have appeared in the Journal of Northeast African Studies; Encyclopaedia of Islam, 3rd edition; and the Sudan Studies Bulletin.
Free public event
No booking required to attend the event at Trevelyan College. Remote attendance via Zoom (registration required).