Subversives and Mavericks in the Muslim Mediterranean: A Subaltern History

Subversives and Mavericks in the Muslim Mediterranean: A Subaltern History


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Subversives and Mavericks in the Muslim Mediterranean: A Subaltern History by Odile Moreau

Subaltern studies, the study of non-elite or underrepresented people, have revolutionized the writing of Middle Eastern history. Subversives and Mavericks in the Muslim Mediterranean represents the next step in this transformation. The book explores the lives of eleven nonconformists who became agents of political and social change, actively organizing new forms of resistance—against either colonial European regimes or the traditional societies in which they lived—that disrupted the status quo, in some cases, with dramatic results. These case studies highlight cross-border connections in the Mediterranean world, exploring how these channels were navigated.

Chapters in the book examine the lives of subversives and mavericks, such as Tawhida ben Shaykh, the first Arab woman to receive a medical degree; Mokhtar al-Ayari, a radical Tunisian labor leader; Nazli Hanem, Kmar Bayya, and Khiriya bin Ayyad, three aristocractic women who resisted the patriarchal structures of their societies by organizing and participating in intellectual salons for men and women and advocating social reform; Qaid Najim al-Akhsassi, an ex-slave and military officer, who fought against French and Spanish colonial expansion; and Boubeker al-Ghandjawi, a nearly illiterate trader who succeeded, though his diverse connections, in establishing important relations between the Moroccan sultan and the representative of the British government. Although based on individual and local perspectives, Subversives and Mavericks in the Muslim Mediterranean reveals new and unrecognized trans-local connections across the Muslim world, illuminating our understanding of these societies beyond narrow elite circles.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781477310915
Publisher: University of Texas Press
Publication date: 12/13/2016
Pages: 230
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Odile Moreau is an associate professor of history at the University of Montpellier in France and a researcher at the French National Research Center (CNRS), Institut des Mondes Africains (IMAF), Paris.

Stuart Schaar taught history at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and at Brooklyn College (CUNY) for nearly forty years.

Table of Contents

Preface (Edmund Burke III)

Introduction: Trajectories of Subversives and Mavericks in the Muslim Mediterranean (Odile Moreau)

Part I
1. The Life of Boubeker El-Ghanjaoui: From a Cameleer to a Wealthy Notable in Precolonial Morocco, 1870–1905 (Khalid Ben-Srhir )
2. Aref Taher Bey: An Ottoman Military Instructor Bridging the Maghreb and the Ottoman Mediterranean (Odile Moreau)
3. Nazli Hanem, Kmar Bayya, and Khiriya Bin Ayyad: Three Women Living between Istanbul, Cairo, and Tunis in the Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Century (Leïla Blili)
4. Servant, Officer, and Resistance Fighter: The Autobiography of Qaʾid al-Raha al-Najim al-Akhsassi (1867/68–1964) (Wilfrid Rollman)
5. Little Known Roots of Islamism: al-Kawakibi’s Umm al-Qura (Sanaa Makhlouf)

Part II
6. Revisiting Networks and Narratives: Enver Pasha’s Pan-Islamic and Pan-Turkic Quest (Şuhnaz Yılmaz)
7. Going to School: Women’s Life Stories, Networks, and Education in Colonial North Africa, c. 1850–1962 (Julia Clancy-Smith)
8. Mukhtar Al-Ayari, a Radical Tunisian in the 1920s and His Place in Labor History (Stuart Schaar)


What People are Saying About This

Kenneth Brown

"This most impressive volume is an important contribution to our knowledge of the Muslim societies that it covers. Significantly, it should provide a most useful text for university teaching in terms of both the information provided and the methodological ground traversed."

Daniel Schroeter

"This book is important in helping shape the emerging field of Mediterranean history, which aims to overcome the pitfalls of nationally based histories. Taken as a whole, the book encapsulates, through the lively narratives of individual life histories, many of the important developments at a crucial moment in the history of the Middle East and North Africa."

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