SOAS University of London

Department of History, School of History, Religions & Philosophies

The Camel Conference @ SOAS [May 2011]

Various Speakers

Date: 23 May 2011Time: 6:00 PM

Finishes: 25 May 2011Time: 5:00 PM

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings Room: Khalili Lecture Theatre & other rooms (see below)

Type of Event: Conference

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Camel Conference Video

A Two-Day Conference to be held in London on 24/25 May 2011

In May 2011 the School of Oriental and African Studies will host an international conference examining, documenting and celebrating camel cultures from around the world.

The Camel Conferences @ SOAS is open to members of the general public.

The conference will address all aspects of camel culture, past, present and future and in all continents. It will deal with both material and cultural concerns, and will cover both Dromedaries and Bactrians.

Programme of Speakers

[Please note that timings may vary]

Monday 23 May, Evening Session. Venue: Room G3
6:00pmRespect the Camel
Sebastian Lindstrom, Alicia Sully and Philippa Young [Independent film makers – "What Took You So Long" project]
 Filming camels in Mali
Dylan Watkins [Independent researcher, Cambridge] – An illustrated talk about the camel salt caravan in Mali
 Cameron’s Camel Campaign
A showing of Cameron Oliver’s Powerpoint presentation about saving camels.
Tuesday 24 May, Evening Session. Venue: Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre
10.00amThe camel (C. dromedarius; C. bactrianus): an ancient livestock species with modern productive qualities for an arid 21st century
Maurizio Dioli [Independent researcher]
10.30amCamel wrestling events in Western Turkey
Ali Fuat Aydin [of Izmir]
Download PDF (pdf; 195kb)
11.00amCoffee break
11.30amComparing camels in Afghanistan and Australia: Industry and nationalism during the long nineteenth century
Shah Mahmoud Hanifi [James Madison University, Virginia, USA]
Download PDF (pdf; 189kb)
12.00amThe association between Bedouin Al-sadu weaving and the camel
Keireine Canavan [University of Wales Institute, Cardiff - UWIC]
Download PDF (pdf; 196kb)
12.30pmLunch break
2.00pmThe wild camel
John Hare [Wild Camel Protection Foundation]
2.30pmThe status of the camel in the United States of America
Doug Baum [Texas Camel Corps] [Presentation via video]
Download PDF (pdf; 227kb)
3.00pmThe Weeping Camel
Film [2003] – dir. Byambasuren Davaa and Luigi Falorni [Excerpt]
4.00pmTea break
4.30pmOld World camels reproduction: Nature, current technologies and future prospects
Khalid Ahmed El-Bahrawy [Desert Research Center (DRC), Cairo]
Download PDF (pdf; 297kb)
5.00pmMangrota Camel Fair: a major socio-economic and cultural event in Pakistan
A. Raziq [Camel Association of Pakistan] [Paper will be presented by video]
5.30pmThe prospects for the camel in Australia
Petronella Vaarzon-Morel, Glenn Edwards and Murray McGregor [Australia]
Download PDF (pdf; 290kb)

PLEASE NOTE: Tuesday’s sessions will end with a 30-minute concert of Camel Songs in the Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre, at around 6.00pm, and then we shall go to a local restaurant to eat, from 7.30pm. All are welcome to join us.

Wednesday 25 May, Evening Session. Venue: Khalili Lecture Theatre
10.00amRelations between camels and communities in Butana, Sudan
Merijn Offringa [African Studies Centre, Leiden, Netherlands]
10.20amShowing of "What Took You So Long" video short.
10.30amGas chromatography mass spectrophotometry (gc-ms) analysis of female camel urine extracts
Salwa Elbasheir [Central Veterinary Research Laboratory, Khartoum, Sudan]
Download PDF (pdf; 975kb)
11.00amA study on camel (Camelus dromedarius) Trypanosomiasis: transmitting vectors in Somaliland
Abdullahi Sheikh Mohamed Nur [Sheikh Technical Veterinary School, Somalia][Presentation via video]
11.30amCoffee break
12.00amThe commodification of camel milk in Kenya
David Anderson, Hannah Elliott, Hassan Hussein Kochore and Emma Lochery [The British Institute in Eastern Africa]
Download PDF (pdf; 320kb)
12.30amOne hump or two? Hybrid camels and pastoral cultures revisited
Richard Tapper [University of London]
Download PDF (pdf; 392kb)
1.00pmLunch break
2.00pmThe historical spread of Trypanosoma evansi (surra) in camels: a factor in the weakening of Islam?
William G. Clarence-Smith [SOAS, London]
Download PDF (pdf; 212kb)
2.30pmCamels and the Hajj: A window onto the Islamicate world in the 18th century
Gagan D.S. Sood [European University Institute, Florence, Italy]
3.00pmTea Break
3.30pmCamel culture and camel terminology among the Omani Bedouin
Mohammed Bar Ingema Al-Mahri, Domenyk Eades and Janet Watson [University of Salford]
4.00pmCamel songs and dances
Ed Emery [SOAS, London]
Download PDF (pdf; 135kb)
4.30pmClosing session


Some of the participants at the Camel Conference @ SOAS on 24-25 May 2011. Photo: Alicia Sully
Some of the participants at the Camel Conference @ SOAS on 24-25 May 2011. Photo: Alicia Sully



William Gervase Clarence-Smith [SOAS] Professor of the Economic History of Asia and Africa
Ed Emery [SOAS], Conference organiser

If you wish to register to attend the Conference, please send an e-mail to

A Registration Form will be sent by return, and also a formal invitation letter for anyone needing to apply for visas.

The fees for Conference registration are as follows:

Standard fee: £30

Students and unwaged: £10

SOAS staff and students: Free - but pre-registration by e-mail is required

Conference speakers: Free

The conference will include an evening of films on Monday 23 May, to which you are cordially invited, and a small concert of camel-related musics. Admission to these is included in the fee for registration.

You may be interested to know that we plan a second conference, to be held at SOAS in 2013, and submissions for that conference are welcome.

Organiser: Ed Emery

Contact email:

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Camel Conference 2011 Abstracts

Download File (pdf; 684kb)