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From the Publisher“In vivid prose, this breakthrough book portrays how Morocco’s Berber women and men – in remote villages and towns, on radio, and in schools – use language as a key element to shape how they ‘belong’ in Moroccan society today and in the process reshape the idea of ‘center’ and ‘periphery’.”
Dale F. Eickelman, Dartmouth College
“Katherine Hoffman is a gifted ethnographer and her nuanced account of language, gender, poetry, and place in Berber Morocco resonates with the rich sensory texture of lived experience. Her chapter on radio is alone worth the price of admission – a pioneering work of media ethnography in linguistic anthropology.”
Richard Bauman, Indiana University
“With compassion and intellectual acuity, Hoffman’s study of the Berber-speaking Ishelhin of Southern Morocco evokes a society where the spoken word has molded a deep attachment to place. Her observations glow with the intensity of lived experience, distilled from a total immersion in the land, language, and people of this remote region. Using speech, poetry, and song as keys to understanding social process, We Share Walls represents a major contribution to contemporary Moroccan Studies and to the wider field of ethnolinguistics.”
Susan Gilson Miller, Harvard University
"A beautiful and deeply researched ethnography that elucidates how performance genres like talk, song, and poetry create a sense of place and a particularly Berber (and gendered) response to modernity."
Deborah Kapchan, The Tisch School of the Arts, New York University
"A richly detailed study of the changing politics of language in Morocco. Hoffman deftly shows how Berber women's everyday labour keeps alive the homeland and mother tongue that are the charged objects of migrant men's nostalgia and identity. This is linguistic anthropology at its best, and broadest."
Lila Abu-Lughod, Columbia University
“At last we have an account of Berber Morocco that probes space, culture and people in a highly sensitive and eloquent style. Hoffman brings to the forefront a long marginalised language and an almost forgotten community. This is indeed ethnography at its best. Readers will be inspired by the breadth and depth of Hoffman’s treatment.”
Enam Al-Wer, University of Essex
“An excellent in-depth study of the gender and language dynamics in Berber communities. A highly readable and timely addition to the emerging and promising scholarship on language, gender and women in Morocco.”
Fatima Sadiqi, Harvard University