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MQ Ancient World HDR: Shannon Collis

By MQ Ancient World HDR

This week, we’re back in Ancient Egypt to hear about the work of Shannon Collis. If you like Egyptian art, visual narratives, and comics (yes, comics), then read on…

Hi everyone, my name is Shannon. I am a Master of Research (MRes) candidate at Macquarie University in the Department of Ancient History. After completing my undergraduate degree in 2018, I decided that I wanted to continue my studies in Egyptology, I just couldn’t stop! I feel like I am interested in a bit of everything Egyptology; from Egyptian visual representations, narratives, and Egyptomania, to cognitive semiotics and hieroglyphs…

MRes Thesis

My MRes research focuses on visual narrative representation during the Middle Kingdom (c. 2050-1710 BCE). Namely, I am evaluating if some of the concepts from Comic Studies and Visual Language Theory can be applied to this form of ancient evidence. My current working title is ‘Understanding Modality, Meaning and Grammar: Visual Narratives in Elite Mortuary Representation in Middle Kingdom Egypt’. In the project, I will be examining a selection of mortuary imagery from the Middle Kingdom and applying a Visual Language Theory approach and an adapted methodology from Neil Cohn (a prominent visual language theorist). My supervisor for this project is Dr Alex Woods.

Fun things you learnt this month?

One thing that I have learnt in the last month is that Dr Linda Evans has private dance parties… Haha I joke, but seriously Linda… Zoom for one more?

Also, I was told once that I needed to do ‘confidence push-ups’, but I don’t think that I really understood what that meant until recently: confidence is a skill and you need to build the muscle. These past few weeks have really allowed me to focus on myself and my own wellbeing in a way that I haven’t been able to before. One thing I found particularly helpful was to remember to remain confident as much as you can, but always be prepared to tackle any issue with hard work and determination. You will get there eventually!

Suggested reading

  • Comic Studies: McCloud, S., Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art (New York, 1993).

  • Visual Language Theory: Cohn, N., The Visual Language of Comics: Introduction to the Structure and Cognition of Sequential Images (London, 2013).

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