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The Ethnographic StateFrance and the Invention of Moroccan Islam$
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Edmund III Burke

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780520273818

Published to California Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520273818.001.0001

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inventing moroccan islam

(p.1) Introduction
The Ethnographic State

Edmund Burke

University of California Press

The introduction provides an overview of the scope and aims of the book. It begins by noting that the Moroccan colonial archive was the collective product of a generation of French scholars and amateur ethnologists, who, between 1900 and 1925, invented a new field, “Ethnographic Morocco,” and a new object of study, Moroccan Islam. It claimed to provide a scientific basis for the development of French colonial policy toward Morocco. The Moroccan colonial archive, however, was not just a product of its discursive destiny; it was continually reshaped in response to the multiple historical conjunctures (diplomatic, political, and intellectual) in which it was embedded. In this sense, this book is an extended argument in the importance of historicization. The introduction also forecasts a central argument: that the Moroccan ethnographic state was structured, organized, and institutionalized the way in which both non-Moroccans and Moroccans understood the Moroccan polity. In short, it created modern Morocco. The introduction also contains brief discussions of the chapters.

Keywords:   invention of tradition, Bernard S. Cohn, French ethnography, Moroccan colonial archive, historicization, orientalism, Hubert Lyautey

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