Personal profile

Academic Background

William Carruthers is a historian of archaeology, heritage, and decolonisation. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society (May 2023), and holds an AHRC-funded PhD (2014) in the History and Philosophy of Science from the University of Cambridge. Prior to that, he trained in archaeology (BA and MA) at the UCL Institute of Archaeology. He also lived, worked, and studied Arabic in Egypt for several years, an experience which informs a further research interest in the ethics of archaeology and the construction of the past.

William's first monograph, Flooded Pasts: UNESCO, Nubia, and the Recolonization of Archaeology, was published by Cornell University Press in December 2022. The book concerns decolonisation in Egypt and Sudan, the development of world heritage, and the role of colonial archaeology in that process. It is based around research on UNESCO’s International Campaign to Save the Monuments of Nubia, funded (2016–2018) by the Gerda Henkel Stiftung and supported by a fellowship at the German Historical Institute London. William is also the editor of Histories of Egyptology: Interdisciplinary Measures (Routledge, 2014), “Disassembling Archaeology: Reassembling the Modern World”, a special issue of the journal History of Science (with Stéphane Van Damme, 2017), and, most recently (2021, although dated 2019) a special issue of the journal Future Anterior on "Heritage, Preservation, and Decolonization."

William was a (2014–2015) Max Weber Postdoctoral Fellow at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy, and also (2016) held a short postdoctoral fellowship at the MS Merian-R Tagore International Centre of Advanced Studies in the Humanities and Social Sciences in Delhi, India. His (2018-22) Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship project ("Making Global Heritage: Afro-Asianism and the Archaeological Survey of India") built on this Delhi research, examining the work of the Archaeological Survey of India across the formerly colonised world. 

Website:    Twitter: @w_carruthers

Areas of Expertise

Archaeology, Global History, Heritage, History of Archaeology, History of Science, Middle East History, Museums.

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, University of Cambridge

Award Date: 31 May 2014

Master of Arts, University College London

Award Date: 1 Dec 2009

Bachelor of Arts, University College London

Award Date: 1 Jul 2006

External positions

Honorary Lecturer, University College London

1 Sep 201731 Aug 2019