Book Talk " Markets of Civilization: Islam and Racial Capitalism in Algeria "

Book Talk " Markets of Civilization: Islam and Racial Capitalism in Algeria " with Muriam Haleh Davis
Wednesday 02 November 22, 6 p.m. - 8 p.m. at IMERA (conference room of the Maison des Astronomes)

In the last few decades, there have been numerous debates around the concept of “racial capitalism” among historians who study slavery in the Atlantic world. Is it possible to adapt these theoretical tools to shed light on the history of Algeria? In her recent book, Markets of Civilization: Islam and Racial Capitalism in Algeria, published by Duke University Press, Muriam Haleh Davis shows how Islam became a racial category that influenced economic development in colonial and post-colonial Algeria. She argues that French planners created a “racial regime of religion” that subjected Algerians to discriminatory economic and political policies. Under the Fifth Republic, colonial experts believed that introducing a market economy would modernize society and discourage anticolonial nationalism. Planners, politicians, and economists implemented reforms that both sought to transform Algerians into modern economic subjects and drew on racial assumptions despite the formally color-blind policies of the French state. Following independence, convictions about the inherent link between religious beliefs and economic behavior continued to influence development policies. Highlighting the entanglements of race and religion, Davis demonstrates that economic orthodoxies helped fashion understandings of national identity on both sides of the Mediterranean during decolonization.

With the participation of:

  • Muriam Haleh Davis, Associate Professor, Department of History, University of California, Santa Cruz and former researcher in residence at Iméra;
  • Giulia Fabbiano, anthropologist, lecturer at Aix-Marseille University, specialist in identity and memory issues in the Algerian transnational space;
  • Jim House, Senior Lecturer at the University of Leeds (UK). He currently holds the Chair Germaine Tillion at Iméra
  • and Thierry Fabre, director of the Mediterranean program at Iméra.

Iméra’s pedestrian address: 2 place Leverrier, 13004 Marseille. This square is located on the boulevard Camille Flammarion.