Oct 31, 2016

Decolonization, Health Care, and Humanitarianism in Algeria

with Jennifer Johnson

hosted by Chris Gratien, Zoe Griffith, and Nora Lessersohn

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The Algerian War is perhaps the most recognizable national and anti-colonial movement of the 20th century. From the iconic film “The Battle of Algiers” to Frantz Fanon's influential book The Wretched of the Earth, the violence of the Algerian fight for independence and the French reaction has marked depictions of not only the war but representations of Algerian history on the whole. In this podcast, however, we explore another battlefield of contention during the Algerian War: medicine and humanitarian relief. As our guest Jennifer Johnson demonstrates in her new monograph The Battle for Algeria (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2015), both the French government and the Algerian National Liberation Front used medicine and public health as a tactic, and the presence of humanitarian organizations in Algeria as well rendered the war not just a national struggle but in fact an international affair.

Oct 28, 2016

War, Environment, and the Ottoman-Habsburg Frontier

with Gábor Ágoston

hosted by Graham Auman Pitts and Faisal Husain

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Whereas military histories once focused narrowly on armies, battles, and technologies, the new approach to military history emphasizes how armies and navies were linked to issues such as political economy, gender, and environment. In this episode, we sit down with Gábor Ágoston to discuss the principal issues concerning the relationship between the Ottoman-Habsburg military frontier in Hungary and the environmental history of the early modern period. From the battle of Mohacs in 1526, through the dramatic battle of Vienna 1683, and until the Treaty of Sistova 1791, the Ottoman-Habsburg frontier was the site of fighting, fortification, and mobilization. In our conversation, we consider the environmental dimensions of these centuries of conflict and contact, focusing on how the military revolution transformed the way in which armies used and managed resources and the role of both anthropogenic and climatic factors in reshaping the Hungarian landscape.

Oct 24, 2016

The Ottoman Empire in the Age of Revolutions

with Ali Yaycioglu

hosted by Zoe Griffith

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The turn of the nineteenth century was a period of tumult and transformation in the Ottoman Empire as in many places around the world from France to Haiti, China, and the United States. With people, ideas, and armies on the move as never before, new geopolitical pressures pushed states around the globe to reinvent their relationships to their subjects and citizens. In this episode, we talk with Ali Yaycioglu about his new book Partners of the Empire: The Crisis of the Ottoman Order in the Age of Revolutions. We explore the Ottoman experience during the Age of Revolutions, which saw the rise of new participatory mechanisms that brought Ottoman subjects from many walks of life into the arena of imperial politics. We discuss the empowerment of local committees and the election of ayans in the countryside, and we consider the Janissaries as the voice of the popular will in Ottoman cities. Ultimately, we ask why new forms of participatory politics and limits on central authority failed to take root, even as they laid the foundation for later experiments in constitutional government during the Tanzimat era and beyond. 

Oct 22, 2016

Managing Population in Cyprus and Mandate Palestine

with Yael Berda

hosted by Chris Gratien and Shireen Hamza

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How does the structure of bureaucracies and state administrations influence the capacity for political and social change, and what are the legacies of empire for contemporary societies? In this episode, we take a comparative look at these questions by focusing on former regions of the British Empire that have been subject to different forms of political partition. Our guest Yael Berda is a sociologist who has examined the histories of British colonialism in Cyprus, Palestine, India, and beyond, and in our conversation, we focus in on the subject of population management and censuses in the Protectorate of Cyprus and Mandate Palestine. We discuss how the British administration inherited, adopted, and modified systems of governance and categorization of people from their Ottoman forebears, and we consider how ethnic, religious, and racial categories employed by the British Empire influenced eventual questions of citizenship and political partition. 

Oct 20, 2016

Both Citizens and Strangers in Post-1948 Israel

with Shira Robinson

hosted by Graham Auman Pitts

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The Palestinian Arabs who remained within the borders of Israel after the 1948 war became citizens of the new state. But in those early years Arab villages lived under military rule that would last nearly two decades. In this episode, Shira Robinson discusses the research for her book Citizen Strangers: Palestinians and the Birth of Israel's Liberal Settler State, which examines the crucial and neglected experience of Palestinians in the early years after the founding of the state of Israel. In our conversation, we explore how the ideal of liberal democracy and the promise of equal citizenship were at odds with the project of the nation-state.   

Oct 17, 2016

Nationality and Citizenship in Mandate Palestine

with Lauren Banko

hosted by Michael Talbot

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The 1925 Palestine Citizenship Order-in-Council, passed by the British government and implemented in the Palestine Mandate, was the first piece of mandate legislation to officially recognize Palestine's Arab community as citizens of Palestine rather than 'ex-enemy Ottoman subjects.'  This marked a change in the legal position of Palestine's Arab residents, and a confirmation of the de facto status of Palestine's Jewish residents. But as our guest Lauren Banko explains in this episode, the reality on the ground for the Arab inhabitants of Palestine and emigrants settled outside of the former Ottoman realms did not reflect the British mandatory understanding of citizenship.  In line with a communitarian understanding of nationality and civic belonging, the Palestinian Arabs reacted to the order-in-council and its subsequent amendments through actions, behaviours, and discourses which emphasized their understanding of Ottoman-era jus sanguinis and jus soli provisions of nationality and citizenship.  This contrasted sharply with the order's provisions for Jewish citizenship and immigrant naturalization policy, and its denial of Palestinian citizenship to Arabs who emigrated temporarily or habitually abroad.  In the mandate decades, nationality and citizenship became less like abstract or ideological concepts for Palestine's Arab community both inside and outside of Palestine as these legal statuses were integrated into most aspects of social, civic, and political life as markers of a new (and often contested) identity in a changing quasi-colonial, political, national, and social landscape. For Palestine's indigenous population, the Ottoman markers of citizenship and identity remained essential components of the opposition to, and negotiation with, the apolitical status imposed by Great Britain in the territory during the interwar period.

Oct 12, 2016

La prostitution en Algérie à l’époque Ottomane et française

avec Aurélie Perrier

animée par Dorothée Myriam Kellou

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L’histoire de l’Algérie coloniale est souvent abordée du point de vue des bouleversements économiques et politiques engendrés par l’occupation française. Mais cette dernière entraîna un remaniement dans la sphère de l’intime qui fut tout aussi significatif, bien que peu étudié.  Dans cet épisode, Aurélie Perrier se penche sur la question de l’évolution des formes de sexualités illicites en Algérie, particulièrement de la prostitution.  Organisée et mise en place par les autorités françaises dès l’arrivée des premières troupes en 1830, la régulation de la prostitution apparait rapidement comme un enjeu médical et social majeur pour les français : il s’agit à la fois d’enrayer le péril vénérien qui sévit au XIXe siècle et d’assurer la pureté de la race « blanche » en limitant les contacts sexuels entre les deux communautés (européenne et autochtone) au cadre prostitutionnel.

Si les courtisanes existaient bien à l’époque ottomane, leur statut était très différent. Nombre d’entre elles étaient musiciennes ou poètes, ce qui leur permettait de contribuer à la vie sociale et culturelle de leur société.  Après 1830, la courtisane devient simple prostituée. Par ailleurs, les autorités françaises mettent en place de nouveaux espaces et modalités de contrôle des « filles soumises ».  Le bordel et le quartier réservé, jusque là inconnus en Algérie,  apparaissent dans une majorité de villes algériennes tandis que médecins et police des mœurs élaborent des règles rigoureuses visant à discipliner ces filles dont la sexualité et le mode de vie sont considérés comme dangereux.