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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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The Algerian Origins of Moroccan Studies, 1890–1903

The Algerian Origins of Moroccan Studies, 1890–1903

(p.38) Two The Algerian Origins of Moroccan Studies, 1890–1903
The Ethnographic State

Edmund Burke

University of California Press

Chapter 2 explores the Algerian background to the development of Moroccan ethnography. It begins with a discussion of the growing interest in new forms of colonial governance, grounded in the newly emergent social sciences. Only if these policies were adopted, its supporters agreed, would France be able to devise more efficient and less costly forms of governance and thereby avoid the costly blunders that characterized the history of French Algeria. A second topic of this chapter is the emergence of the Ecole d’Alger as the main center of expertise for the study of Algerian Muslim popular culture, especially rural forms of Islam (Sufism, saint cults, and sharifism). However, while French experts agreed on the desirability of a more scientifically based policy toward Morocco—and while the expertise of the Ecole d’Alger (and its leader, Edmond Doutté) was widely recognized—this did not lead to a take-over of Moroccan research by French Algerian scholars.

Keywords:   Ecole d’Alger, Arab bureaux, scientific imperialism, Edmond Doutté, French orientalism, Alfred Le Chatelier, Maghreb

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