Nina Frances Layard and queering archaeology
ONLINE - Tuesday 25th July 2023 at 7pm
In this lecture, I will explore the archaeological writings of Nina Frances Layard published in the East Anglian Daily Times from 1890 onwards. I will demonstrate the ways in which Layard integrates queer approaches in her archaeological excavation practices as well as in the broader methodical practices of archaeological work. Throughout her life, Layard often travelled and excavated with her partner, Mary Outram and displayed gestures of queerness in her archaeological practices. In highlighting accounts of their shared experiences of excavating in various sites, I will also show how Layard’s writings emphasises the experiences of excavating and brings into focus the experiences of those people whose lives she excavates. These approaches are also reflected in how Layard demonstrates more intimate relations with the objects she excavated. Paying attention to the different discursive strategies Layard participated in allows us to decentre narratives of popular, imperial excavations, often led by middle class-men which dominated newspapers and periodicals from the mid-nineteenth century onwards.