Professor Christina Riggs
BA, MA, DPhil, FSA
Quondam Fellow since 2020
Chair in the History of Visual Culture, Department of History, Durham University
I am a historian of archaeology, photography, and ancient Egyptian art. I am interested in how different people, at different times, have imagined, studied, and represented the culture we know as ‘ancient Egypt’. Most recently, I have been working on the photographic archive from the 1920s excavation of Tutankhamun’s tomb – and the impact those photographs had both at the time and up to the present day. I am currently extending this research to other photographic archives and collections, for two reasons: first, to explore the history of colonial-era archaeology in Egypt, and second, to investigate the ways in which the dissemination of images and objects shaped ideas about ancient Egyptian art.
- Two-Year Fellow, All Souls College (from 2018 to 2020)
- Lecturer (2007-13), then Senior Lecturer (2013-15), then Reader (2015-18) in Art History, then Professor of the History of Art and Archaeology (2018-19), University of East Anglia
- Visiting Fellow (2015) and Evans-Pritchard Lecturer (2012), All Souls College
- Museum Education Development Officer, Faculty of Classics, University of Cambridge (from 2006 to 2007)
- Curator of Egyptology, Manchester Museum, University of Manchester (from 2004 to 2006)
- Barns and Griffith Research Fellow, The Queen’s College, University of Oxford (from 2000 to 2003)
- Postgraduate, University of California, Berkeley; Somerville College and The Queen’s College, University of Oxford (Exchange Scholar, Department of Art and Architecture, Harvard University, 1995-6) (from 1993 to 2001)
- Undergraduate, Brown University (from 1989 to 1993)
- History of photography
- Historiography of ancient Egyptian art, including histories of archaeology, collecting, and museums
- Critical and postcolonial approaches to Egyptology
- Textiles, the body, and mummification in ancient Egypt
- Photographing Tutankhamun: Archaeology, Ancient Egypt, and the Archive (London: Bloomsbury, 2019)
- Egypt: Lost Civilizations (London: Reaktion, 2017)
- 'Photography and antiquity in the archive, or, how Howard Carter moved the road to the Valley of the Kings’, History of Photography 40.3 (2016), 267–82
- ‘Beautiful burials, beautiful skulls: The aesthetics of the Egyptian mummy’, British Journal of Aesthetics 56.3 (2016), 247–63
- Unwrapping Ancient Egypt (London, Bloomsbury, 2014)
- The Beautiful Burial: Art, Identity, and Funerary Religion in Roman Egypt (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006)
- Publications (External Link)
Research awards and grants
- Leverhulme Research Fellowship (2016).
- British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship (2015).
- First runner-up, BKFS Prize in Middle Eastern Studies for Unwrapping Ancient Egypt (2015).
- AHRC Research Fellowship (2011).