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The Ethnographic State

The Ethnographic State

France and the Invention of Moroccan Islam
Edmund Burke III, The Ethnographic State. France and the Invention of Moroccan Islam, Oakland, University of California Press, 2014, 288 p., ISBN : 9780520273818.
Notice published 26 March 2015

Publisher's presentation

Alone among Muslim countries, Morocco is known for its own national form of Islam, “Moroccan Islam.” However, this pathbreaking study reveals that Moroccan Islam was actually invented in the early twentieth century by French ethnographers and colonial officers who were influenced by British colonial practices in India. Between 1900 and 1920, these researchers compiled a social inventory of Morocco that in turn led to the emergence of a new object of study, Moroccan Islam, and a new field, Moroccan studies. In the process, they resurrected the monarchy and reinvented Morocco as a modern polity.

This is an important contribution for scholars and readers interested in questions of orientalism and empire, colonialism and modernity, and the invention of traditions.

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Edmund Burke III

Edmund Burke III is Professor Emeritus of History at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and the author or editor of many works, including Struggle and Survival in the Modern Middle East (UC Press).

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