Lecture by M'hamed Oualdi (Sciences Po-Paris)
How can we write a history of modern North Africa that is not centered around colonial sources and colonial rationalities but that would rather take into account the social and political agendas of North Africans ? Our proposal is to understand how the transition between Ottoman rule and European colonial domination was felt in the daily lives of North Africans through micro-history: by focusing on the specific case of Husayn, a manumitted slave turned dignitary in the Ottoman province of Tunis, who passed away in Florence in 1887 after a life crossing empires.
M'hamed Oualdi is a historian of Early Modern and Modern North Africa. Prior to joining the faculty at Sciences Po-Paris, he was assistant and then associate professor at Princeton University (2013-2019). His research has centered on two main topics: on slavery and its social impacts on Ottoman Tunisia and on the many effects of transitioning from the Ottoman rule to a French colonial domination in North African societies. He is currently the principal investigator of the European Reseach Council project "SlaveVoices" about slave testimonies in 19th century North Africa.
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