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Jewish and Muslim Space in Morocco's Red City
"[The Mellah of Marrakesh] captures the vibrancy of Jewish society in Marrakesh in the tumultuous last decades prior to colonial rule and in the first decades of life in the colonial era. Although focused on the Jewish community, it offers a compelling portrait of the political, social, and economic issues confronting all of Morocco and sets a new standard for urban social history." -- Dale F. Eickelman
Weaving together threads from Jewish history and Islamic urban studies, The Mellah of Marrakesh situates the history of what was once the largest Jewish quarter in the Arab world in its proper historical and geographical contexts. Although framed by coverage of both earlier and later periods, the book focuses on the late 19th century, a time when both the vibrancy of the mellah and the tenacity of longstanding patterns of inter-communal relations that took place within its walls were being severely tested. How local Jews and Muslims, as well as resident Europeans lived the big political, economic, and social changes of the pre- and early colonial periods is reconstructed in Emily Gottreich's vivid narrative.
Published with the generous support of the Koret Foundation.
Labor and Inequality in a Berber Village
In the High Atlas Mountains of Morocco, far from the hustle and noise of urban centers, lies a village made of mud and rock, barely discernible from the surrounding landscape. Yet a closer look reveals a carefully planned community of homes nestled above the trees, where rock slides are least frequent, and steep terraces of barley fields situated just above spring flood level. The Berber-speaking Muslims who live and farm on these precipitous mountainsides work together at the arduous task of irrigating the fields during the dry season, continuing a long tradition of managing land, labor, and other essential resources collectively. In Moroccan Households in the World Economy, David Crawford provides a detailed study of the rhythms of highland Berber life, from the daily routines of making a living in such a demanding environment to the relationships between individuals, the community, and the national economy. Demonstrating a remarkably complete understanding of every household and person in the village, Crawford traces the intricacies of cooperation between households over time. Employing a calculus known as "arranging the bones," villagers attempt to balance inequality over the long term by accounting for fluctuations in the needs and capacities of each person, household, and family at different stages in its history. Tradition dictates that children "owe" labor to their parents and grandparents as long as they live, and fathers decide when and where the children in their household work. Some may be asked to work for distant religious lodges or urban relatives they haven't met because of a promise made by long-dead ancestors. Others must migrate to cities to work as wage laborers and send their earnings home to support their rural households. While men and women leave their community to work, Morocco and the wider world come to the village in the form of administrators, development agents, and those representing commercial interests, all with their own agendas and senses of time. Integrating a classic village-level study that nevertheless engages with the realities of contemporary migration, Crawford succinctly summarizes common perceptions and misperceptions about the community while providing a salient critique of the global expansion of capital. In this beautifully observed ethnography, Crawford challenges assumptions about how Western economic processes transfer to other contexts and pulls the reader into an exotic world of smoke-filled kitchens, dirt-floored rooms, and communal rooftop meals—a world every bit as fascinating as it is instructive.
Émile Mauchamp and the French Colonial Adventure
"In Morocco, nobody dies without a reason." -- Susan Gilson Miller, Harvard University
In the years leading up to World War I, the Great Powers of Europe jostled one another for control over Morocco, the last sovereign nation in North Africa. France beat out its rivals and added Morocco to its vast colonial holdings through the use of diplomatic intrigue and undisguised force. But greed and ambition alone do not explain the complex story of imperialism in its entirety. Amid fears that Morocco was descending into anarchy, Third Republic France justified its bloody conquest through an appeal to a higher ideal. France's self-proclaimed "civilizing mission" eased some consciences but led to inevitable conflict and tragedy. Murder in Marrakesh relates the story of the early days of the French conquest of Morocco from a new perspective, that of Émile Mauchamp, a young French doctor, his compatriots, and some justifiably angry Moroccans. In 1905, the French foreign ministry sent Mauchamp to Marrakesh to open a charitable clinic. He died there less than two years later at the hands of a mob. Reviled by the Moroccans as a spy, Mauchamp became a martyr for the French. His death, a tragedy for some, created opportunity for others, and set into motion a chain of events that changed Morocco forever. As it reconstructs Mauchamp's life, this book touches on many themes -- medicine, magic, vengeance, violence, mourning, and memory. It also considers the wedge French colonialism drove between Morocco's Muslims and Jews. This singular episode and compelling human story provides a timely reflection on French-Moroccan relations, colonial pride, and the clash of civilizations.
This selection of Arabic and English translations illuminations the changes of eighteenth-century government in the northern Nile Valley of Sudan, and provides reliable chronological points of reference for the history of the region.
The documents offered in this volume, including charter grants of land and privilege, administrative letters, judicial rulings, and other official government records, date form 1702 to 1820. This period marks the apogee of the wealth, power, and geographical extent of the realm of the Funji kings of Sinnar who reigned over much of the Sudan from about 1500 until the Turkish colonial conquest of 1821.
These records document with concrete precision and eloquence the dissolution of the agrarian social order of an old African kingdom under the corroding influence of intrusive Mediterranean commercial practices and culture. They reveal the Sudan's legacy of a traditionally weak government vulnerable to manipulation or conquest by foreign powers and a divided and impoverished society dominated by a minority of urban interests.
Environmental History and French Colonial Expansion in North Africa
Space and Mobility in Northwest Africa
The Sahara has long been portrayed as a barrier that divides the Mediterranean world from Africa proper and isolates the countries of the Maghrib from their southern and eastern neighbors. Rather than viewing the desert as an isolating barrier, this volume takes up historian Fernand Braudel's description of the Sahara as "the second face of the Mediterranean." The essays recast the history of the region with the Sahara at its center, uncovering a story of densely interdependent networks that span the desert's vast expanse. They explore the relationship between the desert's "islands" and "shores" and the connections and commonalities that unite the region. Contributors draw on extensive ethnographic and historical research to address topics such as trade and migration; local notions of place, territoriality, and movement; Saharan cities; and the links among ecological, regional, and world-historical approaches to understanding the Sahara.
Recasting Maghrebi Immigration in Contemporary France
Maghrebi Women's Cinema
Examined within their economic, cultural, and political context, the work of women Maghrebi filmmakers forms a cohesive body of work. Florence Martin examines the intersections of nation and gender in seven films, showing how directors turn around the politics of the gaze as they play with the various meanings of the Arabic term hijab (veil, curtain, screen). Martin analyzes these films on their own theoretical terms, developing the notion of "transvergence" to examine how Maghrebi women's cinema is flexible, playful, and transgressive in its themes, aesthetics, narratives, and modes of address. These are distinctive films that traverse multiple cultures, both borrowing from and resisting the discourses these cultures propose.
Agrarian Doctrines of Development and the Legacies of British Colonialism
The most striking feature of British colonialism in the twentieth century was the confidence it expressed in the use of science and expertise, especially when joined with the new bureaucratic capacities of the state, to develop natural and human resources of the empire.Triumph of the Expert is a history of British colonial doctrine and its contribution to the emergence of rural development and environmental policiesin the late colonial and postcolonial period. Joseph Morgan Hodge examines the way that development as a framework of ideas and institutional practicesemerged out of the strategic engagement between science and the state at the climax of the British Empire. Hodge looks intently at the structural constraints, bureaucratic fissures, and contradictory imperatives that beset and ultimately overwhelmed the late colonial development mission in sub-Saharan Africa, south and southeast Asia, and the Caribbean.Triumph of the Expert seeks to understand the quandaries that led up to the important transformation in British imperial thought and practice and the intellectual and administrative legacies it left behind.
This examination of Tunisia’s ruling family between 1700 and 1900 reveals the significance of the palace and the crucial political and economic roles women played in the family’s relationship with the imperial government.