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Cover

Electric News in Colonial Algeria

Arthur Asseraf

Publication Date - July 2022

ISBN: 9780192864017

256 pages
Paperback
8.5 x 5.4 inches

In Stock

Retail Price to Students: $40.00

Description

How do the things which connect us also serve to divide us? Electric News in Colonial Algeria traces how news circulated in a particularly divided society: Algeria under French rule in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It tells a different history of globalization, one which puts the experience of everyday people at the centre. The years between 1881 and 1940 were those of maximum colonial power in North Africa; a period of intense technological revolution, global high imperialism, and the expansion of settler colonialism. Algerians became connected to international networks of news, and local people followed distant events with great interest. But once news reached Algeria, accounts of recent events often provoked conflict as they moved between different social groups. In a society split between its native majority and a substantial settler minority, distant wars led to riots. Circulation and polarisation were two sides of the same coin.

Examining a range of sources in multiple languages across colonial society, Electric News in Colonial Algeria offers a new understanding of the spread of news. News was a whole ecosystem in which new technologies such as the printing press, telegraph, cinema, and radio interacted with older media like songs, rumours, letters, and manuscripts. The French government watched anxiously over these developments, monitoring Algerians' reactions to news through an extensive network of surveillance that often ended up spreading news rather than controlling its flow. By tracking what different people thought of as news, this history helps us reconsider the relationship between time, media, and historical change.

Features

  • Analyses the circulation of news in Algeria under French rule in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
  • Presents a new understanding of how communication and information flows changed the dynamics of imperial rule.
  • Demonstrates the changes provided by new technologies such as the printing press, telegraph, cinema, and radio as they interacted with older media like songs, rumours, letters, and manuscripts.
  • Provides a new way of analysing modern global history by looking at Algeria's connections to the wider world.

About the Author(s)

Arthur Asseraf, Lecturer in the history of France and the Francophone World, University of Cambridge

Arthur Asseraf is a historian of North Africa, France, and the Mediterranean. Born and raised in Paris, he was Examination Fellow at All Souls College, Oxford, before joining the History Faculty at Cambridge. His research focuses on global histories of colonialism, race, and information.

Table of Contents

    List of Figures
    List of Abbreviations
    Introduction
    1. Magical Printing
    2. Arab Telephone
    3. War-Time
    4. Old Waves
    5. Palestine the Martyr
    Epilogue
    Bibliography
    Index

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