My dissertation focuses on the relationship between colonial administrators and the production of knowledge, as well as its effects on anthropology as a nascent social science discipline. In focusing on early fieldwork-based studies carried out by travelers, administrators, and scholars, I hope to reintegrate ethnography with the history of theoretical “racial” study (ethnology) and physical conceptions of culture (physical anthropology). My dissertation will elucidate the role of Algeria, and that of North African Muslim populations in general, in the genesis of anthropological thought in the Third Republic. In particular, metropolitan attitudes toward religion, gender, and the law determined the ways in which anthropologists, administrators, and ethnographically-inclined amateurs conceived of Sufism, women’s role in North African societies, and Islamic justice. In writing the history of anthropology, I will clarify the manifold nature of early anthropology’s conception of human culture and colonial identity.