[P4903] Colonial Regimes and Anti-Colonial Revolts between Maghrib and Mashriq, 1920-1950

Created by John Boonstra
Monday, 11/20/17 8:00am


This collection of papers explores questions of colonial authority and anti-colonial resistance in the interwar and immediate postwar period, with particular interest in the connections and distinctions between experiences in North Africa and the Near East. By bringing together studies of popular movements and political discourses across the two regions, it asks how particular sites of conflict and exchange functioned within a broader context of Arab and Islamic nationalism, colonial "pacification" measures, and imperial mythologies. We aim to offer insight into how logics of colonial violence were formulated and enacted under distinct "protectorate" and "mandate" regimes, yet also traversed geopolitical, social, and ideological boundaries.

The first paper focuses on a seminal moment after the Great War to analyze how the divergent colonial trajectories of Syria and Lebanon took shape. Through a juxtaposition of the 1920 defeat of King Faisal's Arab Army outside Damascus and the subsequent proclamation of the state of Greater Lebanon under French Mandate authority, it endeavors to assess the formation of colonial policies within long-cultivated--yet inherently contradictory--imperial myths of Franco-Lebanese affection and Oriental hostility.

The second paper expands analysis across the Mediterranean, assessing treatments of the Rif Rebellion (1921-1926) from administrators, activists, and participants in the 1925-1927 Syrian Revolt. By interpreting these two insurgencies within a transnational frame, it aims to re-evaluate understandings of anti-colonial nationalism and the instability of imperial rule as broader global postwar phenomena.

The third paper focuses on Morocco and the intersection of climate and imperial governance during the era of "Pacification" (1927-1934). It posits that consecutive El Nisos and El Nisas exacerbated difficult economic and political conditions for tribes in the Atlas Mountains, and for which the French responded either through violence or by experimenting with new methods of governance.

The fourth paper looks beyond the Second World War to assess transnational connections between Tunisia and Palestine, examining the experiences of Tunisian volunteer soldiers who left the country for Palestine with the aim of joining the 1948 Arab-Israeli war. It situates this heterogeneous movement within considerations of Maghribian and Arab nationalism and explores tensions between the goals of volunteers and Tunisian nationalist leaders.





Julia Clancy-Smith

(University of Arizona)
Panel Participating Role(s): Discussant;

Reem Bailony

(Agnes Scott College)
Panel Participating Role(s): Presenter;

Graham Auman Pitts

(NC State University)
Panel Participating Role(s): Chair;

John Boonstra

(University of Wisconsin-Madison)
Panel Participating Role(s): Organizer; Presenter;

Shoko Watanabe

(Institute of Developing Economies)
Panel Participating Role(s): Presenter;

Guillaume Wadia

(Harvard University)
Panel Participating Role(s): Presenter;