Maghrib Conference

Thursday and Friday there was a conference at the U of MN: “From Colonial Histories to Post Colonial Societies: Placing the Maghrib at the Center of the Twentieth Center.” I had planned on attending both days, but the MA paper and my cold got in the way. So I ended up going just Friday morning. It was a joint conference with the U of Michigan and included speakers from Morocco, England, France and the UK. The odd thing with history conferences is that you can read the speakers papers ahead of time. So I had a chance to look at a few. For some reason this always seems like cheating and I wonder if they would get a better turnout if people did not know what the talks were about before hand. There is something to be said for the mystery of scholarship and waiting to head information live and in person. So you would think that the speakers would just give the audience a brief summary of what happened. Nope, the speakers then read the papers, word for word. Yep, the paper that I took the time to read, was then read to me. Odd!

There was a similar conference last spring by the History Department and I think that one was better. This one had the usual suspects of scholars, students, and a crazy academic woman with some odd agenda to get across. Yes, there is always one crazy person. I dont know what it is about history talks, but they tend to bring out a few crazies (some times scholars, sometimes non-university people and once a crazy librarian- like the nutcase at a history talk I attended this past winter. Who took offense to the title of a talk. I did not know her, but found out later that she is a real nutjob. Yes, the library world is a small one filled with all sorts of good gossip). So today’s nutcase was an woman- she sounded American and the foreign scholars all looked at her a bit odd.

The schedule:
April 9: Sessions 1 and 2
Session 1 (10:00am-12:00pm) – Room B & C, Andersen Library

Ruptures and Continuities during the Colonial Period in North Africa

Karima Direche, Researcher, Centre National de Recherche Scientifique, “Writing the Past: Uses and Abuses of History in Post-Independent Algeria”

Julia Clancy-Smith, Department of History, University of Arizona, “Ruptures? Husaynid-Colonial Tunisia, c. 1870-1914″

Commentator: Joëlle Vitiello, Macalester College

Session 2 (2:00pm-4:00pm) – Room B & C, Andersen Library

The Metropole/Colony Relationship and its Transnational Contexts

Daho Djerbal, Department of History, University of Algiers-Bouzareah: “The Effects of the 1956 Crisis on the War of Algeria”

James McDougall, Department of History, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London: “The Politics of Religion and State Secularism between Algeria and Metropolitan France, c.1905-51”

Commentator: Ragui Assaad, University of Minnesota

April 10: Sessions 3 and 4
Session 3 (10:00am-12:00pm) – Room B & C, Andersen Library

The Politics of Religion in Postcolonial North Africa

Mohammed El Ayadi, Department of Social Science and Political History, Ain-Chock University, Morocco: “Religious Actors and the Political Domain”

Hassan Rachik, Faculty of Juridical, Economic and Social Sciences, Casablanca, Morocco: “Arab Nationalism, Ideology, and Islam”

Commentator: Daniel Schroeter, University of Minnesota

Session 4 (2:00 – 4:00 pm) – Room B & C, Andersen Library

Postcolonial Regimes and Ideologies in the Maghrib

Abderrahmane Moussaoui, Department of Anthropology, Université de Provence, Aix-en-Provence, France : “Between Violence and Jihad”

Mohammed Hachemaoui, Menton, Sciences Po: “Political Representation in Algeria: Between Mediation and Predation”

Commentator: William Beeman, University of Minnesota