• Between Homeland and Exile: Poetry, Memory, and Identity in Sahrawi Communities

      Park, Thomas K.; Baro, Mamadou A.; Deubel, Tara Flynn; Park, Thomas K.; Baro, Mamadou A.; Alonso, Ana Maria; Betteridge, Anne H.; Boum, Aomar; Clancy-Smith, Julia A. (The University of Arizona., 2010)
      Sahrawi communities in the Western Saharan region of northwest Africa have experienced a series of radical shifts over the past century from decentralized nomadic tribal organization to colonial rule under the Spanish Sahara (1884-1975) and annexation by Morocco and Mauritania in 1975. The international dispute over the future of the Western Sahara remains unresolved between the Moroccan government that administers the territory and the Sahrawi opposition that seeks self-determination under the leadership of the Polisario Front. In this context, this dissertation explores the lived experience and social memory of Sahrawis affected by conflict, diaspora, and urbanization over the past thirty-five years by examining multivocal expressions of ethnic and gender identity, nationalism, and citizenship in personal narratives and oral poetry in Hassaniyya Arabic. Through modes of everyday speech and verbal performances, Sahrawis living in the undisputed region of Morocco and the disputed Western Sahara exhibit varying political allegiances linked to tribal and national affiliations and political economic factors. Pro-independence activists negotiate public and clandestine aspirations for an independent state with the realities of living under Moroccan administration while refugees in Algeria employ performance genres to appeal for political and humanitarian support in the international community and maintain communication in the Sahrawi diaspora. Intergenerational perspectives between Sahrawis born before and after the 1975 cleavage reveal key divergences between the older generation that retains an active memory of nomadic livelihoods and pre-national tribal organization, the middle generation affected by a massive shift to urban residence and compulsory postcolonial nationalism, and the younger generation raised primarily in urban environments and refugee camps. Across generations, Sahrawi women have retained a prominent role in maintaining tribal and family ties and serving as leaders in nationalist and social movements.
    • National and Minority Cultures in 21st Century France: North African and Pied-Noir Cultural Associations

      Park, Thomas K.; Phaneuf, Victoria M.; Betteridge, Anne H.; Clancy-Smith, Julia; Greenberg, James; Schiffer, Michael Brian; de Vet, Thérèse; Park, Thomas K. (The University of Arizona., 2012)
      Social conflict is common in many nations around the world. Tensions often arise from cultural misunderstandings and disagreements over national and group membership in multicultural populations. France offers a particularly clear example of such unrest. As a contemporary multi-ethnic, multicultural nation, France advocates both the belief in universal human rights as well as assimilationist policies designed to create a singular majority culture. North African immigrants and Pied-Noir repatriates are two groups at the center of recent debate in France. Both have historical ties to colonial French North Africa, but now reside within the modern French state. Each offers a unique case study of alternative strategies related to cultural negotiation and social tension as both groups currently demand recognition as French citizens and minorities. This dissertation analyses how North African and Pied-Noir minority communities in France engage discourses of history, culture, and identity to create a hospitable place for themselves in the French nation by redefining themselves both as minorities and as active citizens. One primary mechanism through which these groups achieve these goals is cultural associations, or social clubs. Cultural associations were legalized in 1901 and have not yet found a well-established role in France. Minorities use this institutional fluidity to develop concurrently their national and minority identities. Within such associations, they develop performances for both minority and outside audiences, engage contemporary French understandings of "culture," and acquire attention and resources needed to enact social change. One of the recurring tropes in such performances is the display of minority history and the role minorities play in French history. Through analysis of such activities this dissertation argues that these groups create new conceptions of national membership through their assertion of their right to be members in the French nation while retaining their cultural difference.
    • Reconstructing Early Islamic Maghribi Metallurgy

      Killick, David J; Morgan, Martha E.; Killick, David J; Croissant, Jennifer L.; Holbrook, Jarita C.; Park, Thomas K.; Schiffer, Michael B. (The University of Arizona., 2009)
      Interactions in culture, science, and technology in early Islamic North Africa are studied through an examination of Maghribi metallurgy. My dissertation, based on the Social/Cultural Construction of Technology (SCOT) model (Bijker 1997), explores the impact of the Islamic religion and culture on scientific and technological change in the spheres of gold and silver minting, copper working, and iron smelting towards reconstructing the role and impact of metals in Islamic society. The purpose of my reconstruction is to define and contextualize early Islamic Maghribi metallurgy for a region and time period poorly defined in the history of metallurgical technology. The development of this history of technology involves the investigation of technical design within a religious framework, presenting explanations for the motivations of the use of certain metals from both their intrinsic and instrumental properties. This specialized history is important in that it provides information of significance on the larger scope of the history of technology and science and on the structure of Islamic society. This study uses multiple lines of evidence, including historical documents, numismatic evidence, and archaeological data in an effort to situate the role of early Islamic Maghribi metallurgy into the framework of the history of African metallurgy. The religious and cultural meanings of metals are outlined through the compilation of their mention in the qur’ān, the Hadīth, and the chronicles of travelers. Coinage survey positions the political and economic role of the Islamic state, and addresses the stability of western-periphery polities within the state and the concerns of a dogmatically motivated bimetal system. The site of al-Basra, Morocco, a state mint under the Idrisid rule (A.D. 788-959), is the source for the excavated metal materials; the metal artifacts, unprocessed minerals, slag, non-metal tools associated with the metal production, and metallurgical facilities are described in their historical context. This dissertation presents, for the first time ever, an English translation of al-dawHa al-mushtabika fī DawābiT dār al-sika (The Intricate Tree in the Realm of the House of Minting). This fourteenth century Arabic text details the meaning, production, and uses of metals in medieval Islamic society, and serves as a unit of study within Maghribi metallurgical technology. An ethnographic study of the metal artisans of Fes, Morocco provides a modern-day reflection to this reconstruction. This study supports the SCOT methodology by identifying the relationships between scientific and technological practices and systems of belief. The Islamic culture and its practices -- which were part codified religion, part belief system -- were subject to change based on the contextual situations of the society. This study demonstrates that the society’s metallurgical practices were subject to the same conditions. The metallurgical know-how within Islamic Maghribi society was, and is, a direct reflection of the unifying themes embedded in the culture.
    • Repertoires of Identities: Language, Intersectionality and Memory in Tunisia (1881-Present)

      Farwaneh, Samira; Clancy-Smith, Julia; Rahmouni, Kamilia; Betteridge, Anne H. (The University of Arizona., 2019)
      The aim of this dissertation is to elucidate the links between identity, performative acts, social representations and memories by exploring linguistic and symbolic processes involved in identity construction in Tunisia (1881-present). It brings together historical, cultural and linguistic perspectives in order to explore the intersectional plays of identities among minority groups in Tunisia and abroad. As such, this dissertation takes an integrative approach that analyzes identity construction from various angles (sociolinguistics and cultural studies) and in different settings (Tunisia and diaspora) (Butler 1990, 1993; Crenshaw 1989, 1991; Hymes 1986; Myers-Scotton, 1993). Based on surveys, archival research and ethnographic work, this dissertation is divided into three main sections. The first section introduces and defines a new sociolinguistic construct termed intersectional linguistic repertoire (Benor 2013). This section investigates the mutually performative relationship between this repertoire and intersectional identities in Tunisia through the analysis of various ideological essays and literary productions. The second section discerns and analyzes ways in which diaspora minority groups in Paris construct and perform their complex intersectional identities (focusing on language choice and linguistic attitudes). It analyzes the complex and subtle intra-group differences, while challenging presumptions about intra-group uniformity and homogeneity among minority communities both in Tunisia and the diaspora. The third section examines the history of inter-religious relations and collective memory formation in Tunisia. It historicizes today’s social memories about former religious and national minorities and discusses how these memories are created, retained, and reproduced through social experiences, personal narratives, and archival documents.