Current Institutional Affiliation
Coordinator Yemen and Saudi Arabia, Amnesty International

Award Information

International Dissertation Research Fellowship 2009
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
History, Georgetown University
Family Matters, Native Affairs: Negotiating Sex, Gender and the Family in Colonial Algeria (1830-1914)

This dissertation will examine how the politics of colonial relations restructured gendered practices and domestic life in nineteenth and early twentieth-century colonial Algeria. As military conquest drew to a close, migrants from across the Mediterranean settled in the French colony, propelling diverse ways of life and conceptions about gender and the family into contact and forcing the invention of new identities. Sexuality, gender and intimate relations became an important source of conflict and a prime theater of political contention between local populations, Europeans and the colonial administration. By focusing on Arabic sources and the role of native Algerians in contesting and redefining the gendered order produced by the colonial encounter, I hope to write the colonized people back into history and restore much of the nuance and complexity to the narrative of colonial Algeria. In order to trace this process of negotiation, I will examine four areas of inquiries: the impact of economic and social dislocation on family patterns and gender relations; the role of local leaders in collaborating with colonial authority over the control of women; the spaces and social sites of racial and gender mixing; and the way that individuals who transgressed the accepted moral codes of behavior were treated by colonial and Algerian authorities.