CFP – "Architecture and Modernization in North Africa" at SAH 2023, Montréal – DUE June 7

Ashley Dimmig's picture

Submitted by Barry Flood:

Call for Papers

SAH 2023 Annual International Conference 

April 12–16 in Montréal, Canada

Architecture and Modernization in North Africa

Over the past two centuries, modernization efforts in North Africa have dramatically transformed the physical fabric and spatial organization of cities and territories. These efforts, often involving wide-ranging and complex processes, vary considerably from region to region; they span colonialism and postcolonialism and they have been carried out by both endogenous and exogenous means. This session examines the architectural and urban planning interventions that were central to these modernization efforts in North Africa, from the end of the eighteenth century to the present: that is, from the Ottoman Tanzimât reforms and Napoleon’s incursion into Egypt, through the French conquest of Algeria, the establishment of protectorates in Tunisia and Morocco and the Italian colonization of Libya, to the period of decolonization and post-independence. The intention is to consider those processes that are connected to European power and dominancethat is, to colonialism and its persistent economic and political legacy—as well as to mechanisms initiated internally by North Africans, such as the pre-colonial Khedivial transformations of Cairo and Ahmad I Bey’s democratic reforms in Tunisia or, in the postcolonial context, the intense programs of modernization initiated in Egypt and Algeria. 

The session seeks contributions that explore the question of modernization from multiple perspectives. It invites submissions that qualify or challenge the linear and Eurocentric character of theories of modernization, whether through recognizing its partial rejection owing to the resurgence of religion, the adoption of pre-colonial technologies of construction, retreats from global market forces, or the endurance of kin-based social structures. It seeks papers that explore the connections between modernization and the social and cultural dimensions of colonialism as exhibited, for example, by the enduring effects of racial and religious categorizations. It also invites perspectives that foreground transnational networks and the diversity of influences in North Africa.

Session Chairs: Ralph Ghoche, Barnard College, and Mary McLeod, Columbia University

The deadline for abstracts is 11:59 p.m. CDT on June 7, 2022. Papers will need to be delivered in English and in person. There are a number of grants to help defray the costs of travel and registration for international scholars, doctoral students and early-career scholars. You’ll find more information here.