Africa has been home to numerous states and civilizations for millennia. Along the Nile Valley – in modern-day Egypt and Sudan – is Nubia, the site of multiple complex and sophisticated political, military, artistic, and architectural achievements that are indigenous to Africa. However, Nubia has been the source of misunderstanding, forgetting, and erasure in the Global North as archaeologists have downplayed and diminished the standing of Nubia in the ancient world. In this episode, we explore the vastness of Nubian history while also examining the racial politics of knowledge and memory. We focus on the way Nubia has been misunderstood and how classrooms can be sites where Africa’s ancient civilizations can be remembered and appreciated in renewed and dynamic ways.
Dr. Debora Heard
Debora Heard is a Ph.D. Candidate in Anthropology specializing in Nubian Archaeology at the University of Chicago.
Stephen Guerriero is a 6th grade social studies teacher in Needham, Massachusetts.
Free Resources and Featured Books
Nubia Resources is a curated collection of teaching materials compiled by Boston University’s African Studies Center. The collection includes lesson plans, videos, music, podcasts, books, and more from PBS, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the BBC, and more. Visit the collection for up-to-date and expansive materials to learn and teach about Nubia.
Using Ancient Africa to Decolonize the Curriculum webinar recording produced by the Africa Studies Center features Debora Heard detailing the value of studying Nubia in transforming curriculum.
The American Research Center in Egypt offers a trove of innovative research, programming, and content that makes North African archeology accessible to the general public.
The William Leo Hansberry Society is a scholarly society that promotes diversity and equity in the study and research related to the ancient Nile Valley and Northeast Africa.
Thanks to Debora Heard and Stephen Guerriero for sharing their insights and expertise.
Thanks to Nico Rivers for audio editing, mixing and mastering this episode.
Photo of Debora Heard provided by the University of Chicago website.
“Hare Krisha (Praise the Lord) ft. Billie Waves & Mukti Bird” by Siddhartha Corsus, from the album The Truth Within, under CC BY-NC 4.0. This track has been excerpted and overlaid with narrative.
“Kurbu” by Abdoulaye Alhassane Toure, from the album Live with Banning Eyre at WFMU on Transpacific Sound Paradise 5/19/09, under CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 US. This track has been excerpted and overlaid with narrative.
“Maru Kiray” by Abdoulaye Alhassane Toure, from the album Live with Banning Eyre at WFMU on Transpacific Sound Paradise 5/19/09, under CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 US. This track has been excerpted and overlaid with narrative.