Book                         Teaching                      Public Lectures                  Exhibitions  

Publications – see CSU Research Output (Orchid) as I no longer update my profile on

Dr Sam Bowker with the Syme Panels, photograph by Kylie Esler (2015)


Dr Sam Bowker works on Wiradjuri country (in Wagga Wagga, Australia) as an Associate Professor in Art History and Visual Culture for Charles Sturt University. He is also the Sub Dean Graduate Studies for the Faculty of Arts and Education.

The contents of this website are his own research projects and express his own opinions, unless otherwise cited.

His research focuses upon the history of Egyptian Tentmaker Appliqué or Khayamiya. Co-authored with Seif El Rashidi, this has been published as the book The Tentmakers of Cairo: Egypt’s Medieval and Modern Applique Craft through the American University in Cairo Press (2018). He is co-editor with Onur Ozturk and Xenia Gazi for Deconstructing the Myths of Islamic Art (Routledge, 2021). He is also a curator and educator across diverse fields in art history, notably Islamic art and design from Australian perspectives.

His exhibitions have toured regional Australia (Elsewhere with Wendy Sharpe and Bernard Ollis, 2018-2020), as well as the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia (Khayamiya: Khedival to Contemporary, 2015-2016) and the Australian National Art Glass Gallery (Windowless Worlds, 2021). His curation highlights narratives through the combination of visual and literary cultures (Have Poets Left a Patch to Sew? 2017).

He also performs creative practice research regarding literary song cycles and Egyptian khayal al-zill shadow theatre for the Green Beetle Company, notably the collaborative concert The Thief of Stars (2020-2021) and The Alchemist’s Jar (2023).

He joined Charles Sturt University in 2012, having previously lectured in Art and Design Theory for the Australian National University in the National Gallery of Australia (since 2008). His work before academia was focused on museum and gallery education (or ‘learning and access’) for Australian cultural institutions, including the National Portrait Gallery, National Museum of Australia, and National Library of Australia.

Twitter: @drsambowker

Instagram: @zanzibert