Charles Sturt academic travelled through USA for book tour

20 NOVEMBER 2019

Charles Sturt academic travelled through USA for book tour

Charles Sturt lecturer Dr Sam Bowker recently completed a lecturing tour across the United States where he discussed his new co-authored book on Egyptian appliqué craft.

  • Charles Sturt’s Dr Sam Bowker toured USA to discuss new book on Egypt's medieval and modern appliqué craft
  • The Wagga Wagga-based academic’s book explores the history and stories of the vibrant Egyptian tentmaker appliqué called khayamiya
  • The Australian book launch is on Monday 9 December at Wagga Wagga City Library

A Charles Sturt University (Charles Sturt) lecturer from Wagga Wagga has travelled through the United States to discuss his new co-authored book on Egyptian appliqué craft.

Senior lecturer in art history and visual culture in the Charles Sturt School of Communication and Creative Industries Dr Sam Bowker was invited to give a series of lectures on his book in San Jose, Seattle, Chicago, Denver and Los Angeles.

The book, 'The Tentmakers of Cairo: Egypt's Medieval and Modern Appliqué Craft', was co-authored by Dr Bowker and architectural historian Seif El Rashidi, and published by the American University in Cairo Press.

It explores the history of the Egyptian tentmaker appliqué known as khayamiya, which comprises of ornamental needlework where pieces of fabric are sewn or stuck on to a larger piece to form a picture or pattern.

The book also shares the stories of khayamiya craftsmen who sew the decorative tent panels along a historic street market in Cairo.

The book surveys the craftsmen’s extraordinary work by drawing on historical literature, interviews with tentmakers, and analysis of khayamiya from around the world.

It investigates the craftsmen’s work, from the huge tent pavilions on the streets of Egypt, and the crafts made during the Ottoman Empire, to the souvenirs of the First World War, and the contemporary textile artworks celebrated by quilters around the world.

Dr Bowker was invited by the Textile Museum Associates of Southern California and the American Conference on Oriental Rugs to discuss the book as part of a lecturing tour across the United States.

The tour aimed to survey the history of the Egyptian tentmakers through their representation in public and private art collections in America.

The book’s official Australian launch event is on Monday 9 December from 5.30pm at Wagga Wagga City Library.

Light refreshments will be provided, and limited copies of the book will be available for purchase on the night for $30 each.

Tickets are free and are available on the Eventbrite website or by phoning 6926 9700.

Media Note:

To arrange interviews with Dr Sam Bowker, contact Rebecca Tomkins at Charles Sturt Media on 02 6365 7111 or

Image note: Neo-Khedival khayamiya designed and sewn by Ahmed Naguib in 2015 after the Dokki Panel in the Agricultural Museum, Cairo. Photography by Timothy Crutchett.

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