« Back to all events

Beyond the Casbah / Medina: socio-political change and anti-colonial mobilizations in the shantytowns of Algiers and Casablanca (1930-1962)

Dates:
  • Wed 06 Nov 2019 17.00 - 19.00
  Add to Calendar 2019-11-06 17:00 2019-11-06 19:00 Europe/Paris Beyond the Casbah / Medina: socio-political change and anti-colonial mobilizations in the shantytowns of Algiers and Casablanca (1930-1962)

In the framework of the HEC Department Colloquium

Comparing case studies of two large shantytowns, Mahieddine in Algiers and Carrières centrales (today Hay Mohammadi) in Casablanca during the period 1930-1962, this talk will examine how we might understand the processes by which pro-independence nationalism especially moved out of its well-established heartlands of Casbah / Medina: after 1945 in particular, nationalism reached new social constituencies and urban areas, creating a multi-centred nationalist city that the colonial state often struggled to control. Nationalism drew on a wide range of activities and channels to promote its cause, at the same time as the shantytown phenomenon arguably facilitated the ‘nationalization’ of Moroccan and Algerian societies, by bringing together people from diverse regions who forged social solidarity in the face of adversity. Over time, shantytowns inhabitants - many of whom were migrants from the countryside - became integrated into new neighbourhood and wider urban and other social identities, while often retaining links to their home regions: the latter factor proved vital during the war for independence in Algeria (1954-1962) and the armed anti-colonial struggle in Casablanca (1953-1956). Whereas many contemporary writers viewed shantytown dwellers as an ‘anomic’ and undifferentiated ‘mass’, this talk, drawing on archival and oral history material, will suggest that both the social and the political profiles of these areas are richer and more complex than commonly thought.

Biographical details
Jim House is Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) in French and Francophone History at the University of Leeds, UK. His research and publications examine the social, political and urban histories of Algeria, France and Morocco in the 20th century, with a particular focus on colonial migrations, anti-colonial mobilizations and their repression, and the memories of decolonization. He is the author (with Neil MacMaster) of Paris 1961. Algerians, State Terror, and Memory (Oxford University Press, 2006), which examined the causes, cover-up and subsequent re-emergence of the killings by the Paris police of many Algerian pro-independence demonstrators in October 1961. He has also published his work in journals such as War in History, Genèses. Sciences sociales et histoire, The Historical Journal, Monde(s). Histoire, espaces, relations, Yale French Studies and Vingtième Siècle. Revue d’histoire. He is currently writing up a monograph for Oxford University Press entitled Shantytowns and the City: Colonial Power Relations in Algiers and Casablanca, 1919-1962, from which this talk is taken.

Sala dei Levrieri, Villa Salviati DD/MM/YYYY
  Sala dei Levrieri, Villa Salviati

In the framework of the HEC Department Colloquium

Comparing case studies of two large shantytowns, Mahieddine in Algiers and Carrières centrales (today Hay Mohammadi) in Casablanca during the period 1930-1962, this talk will examine how we might understand the processes by which pro-independence nationalism especially moved out of its well-established heartlands of Casbah / Medina: after 1945 in particular, nationalism reached new social constituencies and urban areas, creating a multi-centred nationalist city that the colonial state often struggled to control. Nationalism drew on a wide range of activities and channels to promote its cause, at the same time as the shantytown phenomenon arguably facilitated the ‘nationalization’ of Moroccan and Algerian societies, by bringing together people from diverse regions who forged social solidarity in the face of adversity. Over time, shantytowns inhabitants - many of whom were migrants from the countryside - became integrated into new neighbourhood and wider urban and other social identities, while often retaining links to their home regions: the latter factor proved vital during the war for independence in Algeria (1954-1962) and the armed anti-colonial struggle in Casablanca (1953-1956). Whereas many contemporary writers viewed shantytown dwellers as an ‘anomic’ and undifferentiated ‘mass’, this talk, drawing on archival and oral history material, will suggest that both the social and the political profiles of these areas are richer and more complex than commonly thought.

Biographical details
Jim House is Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) in French and Francophone History at the University of Leeds, UK. His research and publications examine the social, political and urban histories of Algeria, France and Morocco in the 20th century, with a particular focus on colonial migrations, anti-colonial mobilizations and their repression, and the memories of decolonization. He is the author (with Neil MacMaster) of Paris 1961. Algerians, State Terror, and Memory (Oxford University Press, 2006), which examined the causes, cover-up and subsequent re-emergence of the killings by the Paris police of many Algerian pro-independence demonstrators in October 1961. He has also published his work in journals such as War in History, Genèses. Sciences sociales et histoire, The Historical Journal, Monde(s). Histoire, espaces, relations, Yale French Studies and Vingtième Siècle. Revue d’histoire. He is currently writing up a monograph for Oxford University Press entitled Shantytowns and the City: Colonial Power Relations in Algiers and Casablanca, 1919-1962, from which this talk is taken.


Location:
Sala dei Levrieri, Villa Salviati

Affiliation:
Department of History and Civilization

Type:
Lecture

Contact:
Francesca Parenti - Send a mail

Organiser:
Prof. Federico Romero (EUI - HEC)
Giorgio Riello

Speaker:
Jim House (Fernand Braudel Fellow/University of Leeds)

Attachment:
Privacy statement
 
 
 

Page last updated on 18 August 2017