The origin of the second Kingdom of Kush (c. 850 BCE to 350 CE) has been the subject of much discussion and debate over the years. The kingdom that arose at Napata lasted over a thousand years, evolving over time and shifting its primary capital south to Meroe in c. 300 BCE, continuing to influence the polities that emerged after the kingdom broke apart in c. 350 CE. One of the kingdom’s legacies continues on today as an early example of an African state, allowing for an exploration of theoretical questions surrounding state formation, religion and ideology, political economy, identity and intercultural interaction. At the same time, the Kingdom of Kush has played an important and controversial role in the development of Black Studies, the discourse of Afrocentrism, and a consideration of the asymmetries in the racial discourse surrounding Egypt in particular and Africa more generally in both their historical and contemporary incarnations. This conference aims to examine the origins and afterlives of the second Kingdom of Kush by using a wide array of evidence and bringing together archeological and historiographical research while engaging with recent advances in Black Studies. Please submit a title and abstract by June 1, 2019, to [email protected]. Suggested topics include:

  • Continuities and discontinuities in Nubia after the end of the New Kingdom empire;
  • Kush’s origins in the early Napatan/Third Intermediate Period;
  • Kush as a polycentric kingdom;
  • The transition to Meroe;
  • Kush’s legacy in the post-Meroitic and Meroitic Periods;
  • A critique of early scholarship on Kush in the context of racist & colonialist narratives about Africa;
  • The modern significance of Kush within and outside of Nubia and Sudan, to African Americans.

Practical information

University of California Santa Barbara is situated along the Pacific coastline close to Santa Barbara Airport, but you may find it easier to travel via Los Angeles International Airport and take the Santa Barbara Airbus shuttle service. The conference location is Mosher Alumni Hall.

Conference fee

The conference fee has been set at $120. Online registration and payment options will be available soon.

Accommodation

As hotels around campus are expensive, and traveling daily from downtown can be rather impractical, lodging has been reserved at San Joaquin Apartments, at a short distance from campus. Both single and double rooms are available. You can find details and make reservations through the following link, but use a browser other than Safari: https://meet.housing.ucsb.edu/anthropology2019 

Excursion

On Sunday July 28 a wine tasting excursion will be organized to the Santa Ynez Valley, in the heart of California’s Central Coast wine country, more information to follow.

For more information

Check the following web site for updates and links: http://www.anth.ucsb.edu/news/event/677

For questions about the conference, contact Stuart Tyson Smith at: [email protected]

Please note that if you have a Sudanese Visa in your passport, you will need to apply for a Visa at a US Embassy or Consulate (good for 10 years), even if you are from a country that qualifies for the Visa Waiver Program.