Above the fold

When the big project you’re directing at work makes the front page of the local paper. Above the fold! (Insert big, HUGE grin here!!) More about the project a bit later…

 

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Curator’s Diary November 2017: My First Trip to Sudan

Impressions of a first trip to Sudan by friend and fellow curator, Campbell Price at the Manchester Museum. Just by reading his post, I can see the sparkle in his eye and the grin on his face… he clearly enjoyed his trip to this wonderful country!

Egypt at the Manchester Museum

Last week I returned from six days in Sudan, my first ever trip to the country. Despite many visits to neighbouring Egypt, I have always wanted to visit Sudan but not quite managed. I have been especially aware of this since my appointment in 2011 as Curator of Egypt and Sudan at Manchester Museum, which holds some 2000 Sudanese antiquities. As a guest of staff at the British Embassy in Khartoum, I was very grateful for their hospitality and the logistical help afforded in seeing so much of this beautiful country over a short period. Tourism is not nearly as widespread in Sudan as it is in Egypt, which has definite advantages (and some drawbacks) for the interested visitor.

Omdurman Sufi dancing at Omdurman

A personal highlight was witnessing Sufi dancing at the mosque of Hamed al Nil, at Omdurman just outside Khartoum, at dusk after Friday prayers. Although an…

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The CIPEG Journal

One of the many projects that have occupied my evenings and weekends these last several months is the CIPEG Journal: Egyptian & Sudanese Collections and Museums. After a slow start last fall, the editorial committee, of which I am in charge, has been working very hard on the first issue of the journal.  My tasks were included corresponding with authors, liaising with the reviewers, reviewing articles as well as designer the journal (cover and article template), formatting the contributions and designing the website that would host our open access journal (the latter in collaboration with the Universitätsbibliothek, Heidelberg).

At the General Assembly held during the Annual Meeting, which took place in Chicago a few weeks ago, we announced the publication of the first volume of the CIPEG Journal. We launched with five articles and we have five more currently in the works that will be added as soon as they are ready. Contributions to the journal are papers that were presented at last year’s annual meeting–either on the theme of the conference or research undertaken by curators of ancient Egyptian and Sudanese collections (and other non-museum scholars who also work with these collections). I was delighted that we managed to launch in time for the meeting.

You can now understand why I have been so busy. In fact, I have been juggling between three to seven projects at a time since November… and that does not include my projects and my daily activities at work. Phew !

Overwhelmed…

Aside

I have to beg forgiveness from my readers for my absence from An Archaeologist’s Diary.  I have been completely swamped… both at work and at home.

Last year, I had to put most of my work projects aside in order to concentrate on the Rolling Sculpture exhibition at the NCMA in the fall of 2016.  I have just barely caught up and I find myself where I was back in January 2016 (it feels like I have lost a year and a half of my life).  Not only have I managed to catch up, I have also written an article that will be published in November. (This came out of the blue after I presented a paper at the Archaeological Institute of America meeting held in Toronto back in January.)  I managed to submit my material two months ahead of the deadline, trying to make time to complete the article I was revising before Rolling Sculpture took over my life. I’m desperately trying to complete it by the end of August… if it’s not ready by then, it will never be published.

At home, it’s volunteer projects (both professional/academic and social) that occupy my evenings: the creation of a new open access journal (designing the cover and the article template, typesetting said articles, communicating with authors and reviewers, and working with colleagues in Heidelberg to design the web site where the journal will be hosted), curating and producing the content of the Canada Cultural Booth at the Raleigh International Festival, hosting various projects for the Canadian club of which I am president and other projects that have since been completed.  At some point, I calculated that I was juggling between four and seven projects at the same time.  You will understand that after approximately 17 hours daily on the computer (at the Museum and at home), I had no desire to write and post anything on An Archaeologist’s Diary. All I wanted to do was rest my eyes…

I’m still overwhelmed, but in August I will host more scholars who will examine the remaining classical material for the catalogue project.  Considering that I have been blogging about this for a few years, I would be remiss not to continue posting short notes about what’s going on and see this project through!

I’ll be back!