Panel discussion

Sudan archives and Nubiology in times of war

This year marks the 60th anniversary of the start of the collaboration between the University of Bergen and the University of Khartoum. The humanities have been a central part of this collaboration, and historians, archaeologists, and philologists alike have worked, to various degrees, in the field of Nubiology—the study of Nubia. Roughly speaking, Nubia is the stretch of the Nile between Khartoum and the southernmost regions of Egypt, which has historically been inhabited by people speaking a Nubian language.

Liten utstilling av fysisk arkivmateriale fra Sudan presentert i en monter. Plassert i foajeen til Bibliotek for Humaniora.
Exhibition of books and archival material from the Rare Books and Manuscripts Collection. Location: Arts and Humanities Library.
Manuskript- og librarsamlingen, UBB.


In Bergen, the study of these people’s past has resulted, among others, in the most complete corpus of written sources concerning ancient Nubia, the Fontes historiae Nubiorum. Moreover, rich archival material has been assembled as part of the Sudan Collection, of which the University of Bergen is immensely proud. Such archives play a crucial role, given the situation on the ground in Sudan and the risk of the loss of its cultural heritage as yet another casualty of the war that broke out in April this year.

On Friday, September 8, a panel of Nubiologists will be discussing the Sudan archives and Nubiology in a hybrid event that will look both to the past—the formation of the archives and the history of Nubiology—and to the present and future, which are being determined by the 2019 revolution and the 2023 war. Join us at Bergen Global from 10:00 to 12:00 a.m. for an informative and thought-provoking discussion with the following panelists:

1. Cornelia Kleinitz, Research Associate for sub-Saharan Africa at the Commission for Archaeology of Non-European Cultures (KAAK) of the German Archaeological Institute, Guest researcher at Humboldt University, Co-Director of the Humboldt University Archaeological Mission to Musawwarat es-Sufra, and Curator of the Sudan Archaeological Collection and Archive at Humboldt University, Berlin.

2. Sami El Amin, director of antiquities of Sudan’s Northern Province, responsible for the National Corporation for Antiquities and Museums archive.

3. Artur Obłuski, professor at Warsaw University, president of the International Society for Nubian Studies, director of the Polish Centre of Mediterranean Archaeology.

4. Mohamed Farouq Abdelrahman Ali, Chief Executive Officer of the American Sudanese Archaeological Research Center, Okwui Enewzor postdoctoral fellow at the Africa Institute in Sharjah, UAE.

5. Henriette Hafsaas, head of research, Volda University College.

Chair: Alexandros Tsakos, senior academic librarian, University of Bergen.