01/06/2016 GTD Colloquium “Indigenous Masculinities in Berber Morocco: Colonial Violence and Postcolonial Recuperations” by Paul Silverstein

Indigenous Masculinities in Berber Morocco: Colonial Violence and Postcolonial Recuperations

By Paul Silverstein (Read College)

Globalisation, Transnationalism & Development (GTD) Colloquium organized in association with Maastricht Centre for Citizenship, Migration and Development (MACIMIDE)


In this essay, I explore the ways in which visions and expectations of martial masculinity underwrite imperial formations and the debris they leave behind. Drawing on my archival and field research in southeastern Morocco and northern France, I will focus on how the colonial encounter between French military officers and semi-nomadic tribal notables entailed processes of recognition and mimesis established a model of martial agency with which young men on both sides of the Mediterranean continue to struggle to perform, whether as explicitly political activists or simply disciplined individuals. These gendered dilemmas of performance constrain as much as they enable, and provide insight into some of the ways in which the inequities of colonialism continue to haunt our postcolonial present.

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