Saharan Frontiers

Saharan Frontiers : Space and Mobility in Northwest Africa

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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.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 306 pages
  • 152.4 x 226.06 x 22.86mm | 430.91g
  • Bloomington, IN, United States
  • English
  • 10 maps
  • 0253001269
  • 9780253001269
  • 953,642

Table of contents

Note on spelling and transliteration
Introduction Time and Space in the Sahara Judith Scheele and James McDougall

Part I. Framing Saharan History
1. Situations Both Alike? Connectivity, the Mediterranean, the Sahara Peregrine Horden
2. On Being Saharan E. Ann McDougall
3. Saharan Trade in Classical Antiquity Katia Schoerle
4. Frontiers, Borderlands, and Saharan/World History James McDougall

Part II. Environment, Territory, and Community
5. The Rites of Baba Merzug: Diaspora, Ibadism, and Social Status in the Valley of the Mzab Fatma Oussedik
6. Celebrating mawlid in Timimoun: Ritual as Words in Motion, Space as Time Stood Still Abderrahmane Moussaoui
7. Villages and Crossroads: Changing Territorialities among the Tuareg of Northern Mali in the Twentieth Century Charles Gremont
8. Ethnicity and Interdependence: Moors and Haalpulaar'en in the Senegal Valley Olivier Leservoisier

Part III. Strangers, Space, and Labor
9. Mauritania and the New Frontier of Europe: From Transit to Residence Armelle Choplin
10. Living Together and Living Apart in Nouakchott Laurence Marfaing
11. Cultural Interaction and the Artisanal Economy in Tamanrasset Dida Badi

Part IV. Economies of Movement
12. Notes on the Informal Economy in Southern Morocco Mohamed Oudada
13. Garage or caravanserail; Saharan Connectivity in al-Khall, Northern Mali Judith Scheele
14. Movements of People and Goods: Local Impacts and Dynamics of Migration in the Central Sahara Julien Brachet

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Review quote

[This] book makes a compelling case for the importance of Saharan history, both in its own right and in its articulations with the histories of other regions.November 2013 * American Ethnologist * Altogether, this book is highly recommendable. Its key contribution is in teaching us to conceive of the Sahara not as a region clearly defined by natural features, but as a space that exists, extends, and expands according to its vibrant human interconnectedness. * Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute * This edited volume presents a compilation of coherent, well-structured case studies addressing highly significant issues for the contemporary Sahara. [O]ffers a groundbreaking study of the Sahara. * Social Anthropology *
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About James McDougall

James McDougall is Fellow and Tutor in modern history and University Lecturer in twentieth century history at Trinity College, Oxford. He is editor of Nation, Society and Culture in North Africa and author of History and the Culture of Nationalism in Algeria.

Judith Scheele, a social anthropologist, is a Research Fellow at All Souls' College, Oxford. She is author of Village Matters: Knowledge, Politics and Community in Kabylia.
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