I began giving lectures online shortly after the current lockdown began, initially as part of the wonderful EES series, and have been doing so independently since.
Title slide for the second of my online talks, on the period ‘After Akhenaten’. almost 700 people registered for the three performances of this one.
I had initially thought they would provide a welcome distraction for me, and perhaps a few others if anyone was interested in listening in, but they’ve proven to be much more successful than I could have imagined. Lots of people have been in touch to say how much they have enjoyed them, and to ask if they will continue after the lockdown. I hadn’t thought that far ahead… One benefit of doing things online is that they’re accessible to anyone with an internet connection, regardless of where in the world they are, which is far more people than could ordinarily travel to lectures on ancient Egypt. So I can reach more people online than I could via traditional lectures. I can also direct people straight to other resources online – things they can read if they want to take their interest further etc. (see, for example, the page of links relating to my talk on ‘People at Amarna’) Ironically, despite the fact that participants in an online lecture are separated from one another, sometimes by thousands of miles – I have been amazed at the number of countries and cities represented by people joining in! – there is a strong sense of togetherness and even community beginning to form, now that attending such talks has become regular event for many. It had never occurred to me how enjoyable it would be to be in touch with some many people in so many places, some near to me in London, some very far away, some familiar to me, others not. To be able to chat to people all of whom share a passion for Egyptology, before and after the lectures, whether it’s about the weather where they are are or where I am, or on the true identity of pharaoh Neferneferuaten, it’s been a joy, and I see no reason why it would not continue to be as enjoyable even after we are all allowed out again.
So, I’m now hoping to be able to carry on with the lectures, and a few other activities online, whether we’re in lockdown or not. In order to ensure I can cover the costs of my Zoom subscription (and my time!) there will be a small charge to attend some of the lectures in future. I’m not doing this to make a fortune, I just want to be able to carry on doing what I’m doing. I hope charging won’t put too many people off and that some of you at least will still want to join me for the next few talks. The details are here; I’ll be updating the page regularly as I’m ready to add new topics and dates.
Next online lecture: SEARCHING FOR IMHOTEP (3 and 8 June)
Thanks for reading this, thanks to all of you who have joined the talks so far, and an especially big thank you to those who have made contributions via the ‘Support my work’ page – I’ve been really touched and encouraged by the response to this, and determined to find a way of carrying on my online activities. I hope to see you at another talk soon, or elsewhere online!
Very best wishes, stay safe and well,