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Document Type:Latin Dissertation
Language of Document:English
Record Number:54557
Doc. No:TL24511
Call number:‭3165749‬
Main Entry:Jennifer Elson Sessions
Title & Author:Making colonial France: Culture, national identity and the colonization of Algeria, 1830–1851Jennifer Elson Sessions
College:University of Pennsylvania
Date:2005
Degree:Ph.D.
student score:2005
Page No:543
Abstract:In the middle decades of the nineteenth century, France embarked on the conquest of its modern colonial empire with the invasion of Algeria in 1830. This dissertation analyzes the relationship between the Algerian conquest and French national identity between 1830 and 1851, through an interdisciplinary study of representations of Algeria in French culture and colonial policy during the July Monarchy and Second Republic. In these foundational years, French intellectuals, cultural entrepreneurs, and policy-makers portrayed Algeria as a site for European settlement and as a site of military conquest. Both of these images were formulated and spread in travel accounts, popular prints, and government propaganda. Each portrayed the new territory and its growing European population as part of the French nation, but, I argue, they did so in different ways that were not always compatible. In the first of the dissertation's two parts, I focus on the emergence of a new theory of European settlement and on the policy mechanisms developed to put it into practice in Algeria. Social reforming publishers and French colonial administrators encouraged and disseminated the ideals of rural colonization through landscape imagery in guidebooks and in the nascent illustrated press, while colonial administrators in Paris and Algiers struggled, relatively unsuccessfully, to create a correspondingly pastoral colonial society by regulating migration to and settlement in Algeria. Part two analyzes the military themes that predominated in popular culture, which cheered the conquest as the return of an earlier era of militaristic male citizenship. Mass-produced broadsheets of Algerian battle scenes appealed to nostalgia for the Napoleonic period, and forged affective links between French consumers and the nascent colony. The constitutional July Monarchy attempted to harness this militaristic nationalism to its own ends by putting the Algerian conquest at the center of royal iconography in the 1840s. These efforts proved double-edged, as popular representations of the military conquest drew attention to the violence of conquest, undermining efforts to recruit settlers and raising doubts about the honorability of French military action in North Africa. Despite the peaceable rhetoric of settlement, mid-nineteenth century Frenchmen could not separate colonization from the realities of colonial violence.
Subject:Communication and the arts; Social sciences; Algeria; Colonization; Culture; France; National identity; European history; Art history; Middle Eastern history; 0335:European history; 0333:Middle Eastern history; 0377:Art history
Added Entry:L. H. Lees
Added Entry:University of Pennsylvania