Black Morocco: A History of Slavery, Race and Islam chronicles the experiences, identity, and achievements of enslaved black people in Morocco from the sixteenth century to the beginning of the twentieth century. Chouki El Hamel argues that we cannot rely solely on Islamic ideology as the key to explain social relations and particularly the history of black slavery in the Muslim world, for this viewpoint yields an inaccurate historical record of the people, institutions, and social practices of slavery in Northwest Africa. El Hamel focuses on black Moroccans’ collective experience beginning with their enslavement to serve as the loyal army of the Sultan Isma’il. By the time the Sultan died in 1727, they had become a political force, making and unmaking rulers well into the nineteenth century. The emphasis on the political history of the black army is augmented by a close examination of the continuity of black Moroccan identity through the musical and cultural practices of the Gnawa.Read the rest
New Publication: Smugglers and Saints of the Sahara: Regional Connectivity in the Twentieth Century by Judith ScheeleFriday, August 3rd, 2012
Smugglers and Saints of the Sahara describes life on and around the contemporary border between Algeria and Mali, exploring current developments in a broad historical and socioeconomic context. Basing her findings on long-term fieldwork with trading families, truckers, smugglers and scholars, Judith Scheele investigates the history of contemporary patterns of mobility from the late nineteenth century to the present. Through a careful analysis of family ties and local economic records, this book shows how long-standing mobility and interdependence have shaped not only local economies, but also notions of social hierarchy, morality and political legitimacy, creating patterns that endure today and that need to be taken into account in any empirically-grounded study of the region.
Judith Scheele is post-doctoral research Fellow at All Souls College, Oxford University. She is a social anthropologist who has conducted extensive fieldwork in Algeria, Mali, and, more recently, Chad. She is the author of Village Matters: Knowledge, Politics and Community in Kabylia, Algeria (2009).Read the rest
España en África: la ciencia española en el Sáhara Occidental, 1884-1976, contiene un DVD con diez documentales, de una duración media de diez minutos, sobre los aspectos históricos, geográficos, económicos, científicos y culturales de lo que fue esta presencia en el Sáhara Occidental y la relación con sus habitantes originarios; y lo hace mediante descripciones explicativas del desierto y de sus habitantes, con películas e imágenes lejanas y actuales, y con el indispensable apoyo de gráficos, imágenes de satélite y una rica y variada cartografía.Read the rest