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Beyond Nationality: Belonging and Empire in Ottoman North Africa

Thursday Lecture Series

dateSeptember 22, 2022 timeThursday, 12:15pm–1:45pm EDT location The Heyman Center, Second Floor Common Room, Columbia University locationVirtual Event
  • Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities
  • Free and open to the public
  • Registration required. See details.
Painting of mounted European and Ottoman soldiers, with two shaking hands

The Society of Fellows hosts the Thursday Lecture Series (TLS), which runs regularly throughout the academic year. The Fall Semester TLS, our Fellows present their own work, chaired by Columbia faculty.

"Beyond Nationality: Belonging and Empire in Ottoman North Africa”
Lecture by Youssef Ben Ismail
Chaired by Dorothea von Mücke

In September 1874, the Tunisian government issued a decree declaring that, from then on, all Algerians living under its jurisdiction would be considered local subjects. In practice, this meant that Algerians residing in Ottoman Tunis would no longer benefit from the broad array of extraterritorial rights they previously enjoyed as protected subjects of a French colony. But if Algerians in Tunis were no longer France’s protégés then what were they? What did it mean to be “from” Tunis in the nineteenth century? This lecture takes the status of Algerians in Tunis as a case study to explore the layered and multidimensional nature of subjecthood in Ottoman North Africa. Through a careful analysis of the category of ḥimāya, it suggests that we look beyond the European legal repertoire in order to understand conceptions and experiences of belonging outside of the West.

This event also will be recorded. By being electronically present, you consent to the SOF/Heyman using such video for promotional purposes.

Please email [email protected] to request disability accommodations. Advance notice is necessary to arrange for some accessibility needs.