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Women and Ottoman households in Colonial Tunisia (1880s-1920s)

Date(s) - 03/19/2021
12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

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The Center for Middle Eastern Studies Harvard University

Professor of Modern History of the Maghrib, Sciences Po-Paris; and Principal Investigator of the European Research Council project “SlaveVoices” about slave testimonies in 19th century North Africa

M’hamed Oualdi is a historian of Early Modern and Modern North Africa. Prior to joining the faculty at Sciences Po, he was assistant and then associate professor at Princeton University (2013-2019) and maître de conferences at Inalco-Paris (2010-2013). His research has centered on two main topics: on slavery and its social impacts on Ottoman Tunisia and on the many effects of transitioning from the Ottoman rule to a French colonial domination in North African societies.

His first book, Esclaves et maîtres. Les mamelouks au service des beys de Tunis du XVIIe siècle aux années 1880 (Publications de la Sorbonne, 2011), is a study of a specific group of slaves and servants, the mamluks who served the governors of the Ottoman province of Tunis from the 1630s until the 1880s.

His second book, A Slave between Empires (published in 2020 by Columbia University Press), is centered around a case study: the life a former slave and Ottoman dignitary and the many conflicts over his inheritance from the 1880s to 1920.

His current project, funded by an ERC consolidator grant, will deal with the narratives and ego-documents written by European, African and Asian slaves and their offspring in 19th-century North Africa/Western Mediterranean, when European and Ottoman states implemented the abolition of slavery around the Mediterranean.
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