African Studies Morocco
by
Dale Eickelman
  • LAST REVIEWED: 06 May 2016
  • LAST MODIFIED: 26 August 2013
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199846733-0034

Introduction

Morocco shows the most marked ecological diversity of any of the North African countries, consisting of the Rif and Atlas mountains chains, the fertile coastal and interior plains situated between Marrakesh and Fez, the semiarid pre-Sahara of the south, and the Sahara region. With a population of thirty-three million as of 2012, Morocco is a constitutional monarchy that has both an Islamic and a Mediterranean identity. From 788, about a century after the Arab conquests of North Africa, a succession of Moroccan Muslim dynasties ruled Morocco and—for certain periods—Spain (al-Andalus) as well. Unlike the other regions of North Africa, the region today known as Morocco resisted Ottoman domination. From the 16th century onward, the combination of Ottoman pressure and Iberian incursions contributed to building a distinct Moroccan identity. Many regard the dynasty of the Fez-born Sa’adian Sultan, Ahmad al-Mansur (r. 1578–1603), as a golden age because of his importance to both North Africa and the Middle East. Morocco’s ruling ‘Alawi dynasty (1666–present) bases its legitimacy on descent from the prophet Muhammad and the periodic renewal of a covenant (Arabic, bay’ah) between the ruler and the people, as represented by a combination of community leaders (the umma) and Islamic scholars. Present-day Morocco has a small Christian community, mostly foreign residents. The country’s Jewish population has dwindled from a peak of 300,000 in the mid-20th century to about six thousand persons as of 2012. Morocco’s most recent constitution (July 2011) is unique in the Arab world for recognizing Berber (Tamazight) as an official language together with Arabic and French. The constitution also recognizes the country’s Jewish heritage as well as its Muslim heritage; it is the only constitution in the Arab world to do so. In spite of progressive European encroachment in the late 19th century, Morocco remained formally independent until 1912, when it became a “protectorate,” or colony, of both France and Spain. Morocco regained its independence in 1956 from France. Colonization was progressive, with France not “pacifying” the entire country until 1933 and the Spanish regions until slightly later. The majority of the country was under French colonial rule, but Spain assumed control over Morocco’s northern region, including the Rif, Ifni in the south (ceded to Morocco in 1969), and the Sahara, assimilated into Morocco in 1975.

General Overviews

Present-day Morocco is known in Arabic as al-mamlaka al-maghribiyya (literally, “the Western Kingdom.” North Africa in general is known in Arabic as al-maghrib, “the West,” and the term is also used in French). It is helpful to begin any study of Morocco by understanding the history and geography of North Africa as a whole. Abun-Nasr 1975 is the standard point of departure, but Naylor 2010 and Pennell 2003 offer more recent alternatives. For readers of French, Abitbol 2009 makes excellent use of Jewish, Arab, and European sources. Terrasse 2005 offers insight into original sources. Brignon, et al. 1968, prepared in the wake of Morocco’s independence, is an unusual collaboration of French and Moroccan scholars establishing a shared history, and Laroui 2008 offers an insightful account of French historiography on Morocco. Mouline 2009 offers an authoritative reading of how Moroccan ruler Ahmad al-Mansur forged the basis of Moroccan political and religious identity at a time of powerful threats of encroachment from both European powers and the Ottoman Empire. See also the separate Oxford Bibliographies articles North Africa to 600 and North Africa from 600 to 1800.

  • Abitbol, Michel. Histoire du Maroc. Paris: Librairie Académique Perrin, 2009.

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    Born in Morocco, the author is a distinguished historian at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and writes about the country from the Phoenician era to the present, using Muslim, Jewish, and European sources.

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    • Abun-Nasr, Jamil M. A History of the Maghrib. 2d ed. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1975.

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      Remains a significant and carefully documented point of departure for understanding the region’s history.

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      • Brignon, Jean, AbdelAziz Amine, Brahim Boutalib, et al. Histoire du Maroc. Paris: Hatier, 1968.

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        Following Morocco’s independence in 1956, French and Moroccan scholars collaborated to prepare a history of the country for use in advanced secondary education. The result is fascinating both as an authoritative postcolonial historiography and as a highly readable history of Morocco from Antiquity to the present, lavishly illustrated and containing examples of original texts.

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        • Laroui, Abdallah. The History of the Maghrib: An Interpretive Essay. Translated from the French by Ralph Mannheim. New York: American Council of Learned Societies E-Book, 2008.

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          Laroui, a Moroccan scholar, offers one of the first postcolonial histories of North Africa that in its French original (1970) gained a wide audience beyond North African specialists. Originally published in English by Princeton University Press in 1976.

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          • Mouline, Nabil. Le Califat imaginaire d’Ahmad al-Mansur. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 2009.

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            Ahmad al-Mansur (r. 1578–1603) was one of Morocco’s most important rulers, known throughout Europe and the Muslim-majority world. The “imagined” caliphate of Mouline’s title echoes political scientist Benedict Anderson’s notion of “imagined community.” Al-Mansur forged much of the ideology and practice that continues to legitimate Moroccan rule today. This is an important book that fuses original sources with modern anthropology.

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            • Naylor, Philip. North Africa: A History from Antiquity to the Present. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2010.

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              A concise, comprehensive history of the region.

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              • Pennell, C. R. Morocco: From Empire to Independence. Oxford: Oneworld, 2003.

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                This short, authoritative introduction to Morocco builds on the author’s earlier publications. Contains an extensive bibliography.

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                • Terrasse, Henri. Histoire du Maroc des origines à l’établissement du Protectorat Français. Casablanca, Morocco: Éditions Frontispice, 2005.

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                  Terrasse (b. 1895–d. 1971) was a leading historian of Morocco. This two-volume study represents the best of colonial-era history and respects traditional Moroccan historiography. It remains a useful introduction and contains extensive references to primary and secondary sources. Originally published in Casablanca by Éditions Atlantides in 1949.

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                  Reference Works

                  Several works situate Morocco in a wider context. Until it ceased publication, the Annuaire de l’Afrique du Nord provided an exhaustive annual chronology of events throughout North Africa and publications related to it. Esposito 2009 offers concise entries on themes and places throughout the Islamic world. The one-volume Mostyn 1988 is dated and narrower in scope than its Oxford equivalent, but it remains helpful. Both Bearman, et al. 1960–2009 and the equally comprehensive Stillman 2010 cover much more than North Africa but are authoritative points of departure. Da’ud 1959–1979 and al-Susi 1961 are more limited in scope. For Arabic speakers they represent the wealth of materials available on specific towns, traditions of learning, and other themes important to Moroccan concepts of person and place as represented in traditional Moroccan scholarship. TEIM 2004 encompasses more than migration alone. The maps and illustrations of both editions are invaluable references even for non-Spanish speakers.

                  • IREMAM. Annuaire de l’Afrique du Nord XLI, 2003. Paris: Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, 2005.

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                    The Annuaire offered a comprehensive one-stop source on developments throughout North Africa, an annual review of social and political events, and a comprehensive review of new publications throughout its three decades of publication. It was replaced in 2004 by the more limited L’Année du Maghreb.

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                    • Bearman, Peri, ed. Encyclopedia of Islam. 2d ed. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 1960–2009.

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                      This comprehensive, multi-volume reference work contains a fascinating array of entries, many of which relate directly to Morocco and North Africa. The English index makes the entries accessible. Some of the bibliographic entries are dated, but supplements update them and many university libraries provide online access to the work. A third edition from 2007 is progressively appearing online.

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                      • Da’ud, Muhammad. Ta’rikh Titawin. Tetouan, Morocco: Muḥammad Dāwud, 1959–1979.

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                        This twelve-volume history represents the best of the thriving tradition of local history in Morocco. Da’ud (b. 1901–d. 1984) reproduces many original documents that chronicle both Muslim and Jewish life in one of the key cities of northern Morocco. Although it primarily concerns northern Morocco, this book suggests what local histories available for other key cities and regions can offer.

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                        • Esposito, John, ed. Oxford Encyclopedia of the Islamic World. 2d ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 2009.

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                          Contains useful articles that help situate themes specific to Morocco. Also available online.

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                          • Mostyn, Trevor, ed. Cambridge Encyclopedia of the Middle East and North Africa. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1988.

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                            Although obviously dated in some respects, this book remains a comprehensive guide to the region, with sharply focused essays on Moroccan and North African topics.

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                            • Stillman, Norman A., ed. Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 2010.

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                              Concise, authoritative, and available online through many universities and major libraries, this encyclopedia is especially good on North Africa, a region often neglected in surveys of Middle Eastern history and society.

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                              • al-Susi, Muhammad al-Mukhtar (d. 1963). al-Ma’sul. Casablanca, Morocco: al-Najah, 1961.

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                                This multi-volume book is an example of a traditional genre of religious scholarship in which the author, a prominent Islamic scholar from Morocco’s Berber Sus Valley south of the Atlas Mountains, compiles the biographies of prominent men of learning (‘ulama) of his region. It provides insight into how Moroccans view interconnections within the world of religious learning.

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                                • Taller de Estudios Internacionales Mediterráneos (TEIM). Atlas de la immigración maghrebí en España. 2d ed. Madrid: UA Ediciones, 2004.

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                                  Ranges considerably beyond its formal title, suggesting a focus on Moroccan immigration to Spain. Excellent maps and graphics, with short essays dealing with everything from the expulsion of the “Moors” in 1492 through the present, together with linguistic maps of Morocco. The first edition appeared in 1996. Read together, the two editions suggest changing Spanish views on immigration.

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                                  Bibliographies, Periodicals, and Web Portals

                                  There is no one-size-fits-all general bibliography for Morocco, where original scholarship regularly appears in Arabic, French, Spanish, and English. A bookselling cooperative run by Moroccan academics, Ketabook, estimates that some 95 percent of scholarly books in French published on North Africa originate in North Africa itself. Arribas Palau 1953 offers an invaluable inventory of Spanish contributions to Moroccan studies almost to the end of the colonial era. Bulletin économique et sociale du Maroc, published continuously since 1933, offers numerous economic, demographic, and sociological studies concerning the country. Fondation du Roi Abdul-Aziz is Casablanca, Morocco’s most comprehensive public access library and study center and offers many invaluable publications and online resources for scholars. Hespéris-Tamuda, the major Morocco-based journal for history and the humanities, is now online. Prologues: Revue Maghrébine du Livre is no longer published, but its back issues offer thoughtful reviews of scholarship related to Morocco. The Journal of North African Studies and the London-based Maghreb Review are the standard region-specific academic journals in the English language.

                                  • Arribas Palau, Mariano. Catálogo de autores de la biblioteca del Instituto Muley el-Hasan. Tetouan, Morocco: Alta Comisaría de España en Marruecos, 1953.

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                                    Contains the holdings of the main library of the Spanish Protectorate (1913–1956), and thus a virtually complete inventory of books and periodicals in Spanish and a large number of those published in the French zone of Morocco during the colonial era.

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                                    • Bulletin Économique et Sociale du Maroc. 1933–.

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                                      Morocco’s leading economic and sociological journal, published continuously since 1933 and available online through the web portal of the Bibliothèque Nationale du Royaume du Maroc.

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                                      • Fondation du Roi Abdul-Aziz.

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                                        Founded in the early 1980s, the Foundation has become Morocco’s leading research library. Its website demonstrates its commitment to operating in Arabic, English, and French, and its digital portal provides access to many Moroccan periodicals, theses, manuscripts, photographs, and even collections of historical postcards.

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                                        • Hespéris-Tamuda.

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                                          Morocco’s premier scholarly journal for history and the humanities. Hespéris was founded in 1921 by the French Protectorate; its Spanish Protectorate counterpart, Tamuda, began publication only in 1953 and the two journals were merged in 1960. Available online through the Bibliothèque Nationale du Royaume du Maroc.

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                                          • Journal of North African Studies. 1996–.

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                                            JNAS is the leading academic English-language periodical focused on North Africa.

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                                            • Ketabook.

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                                              Established in 2000, this academic bookselling cooperative offers excellent and timely information on Morocco-related scholarly books and periodicals. Many entries are annotated and described in detail.

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                                              • Maghreb Review. 1976–.

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                                                Issued quarterly since 1976, this unusual scholarly journal does not depend on a university or foundation subsidy. Its founding editor, Mohamed Ben-Madani, owns the Maghreb Bookshop in London.

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                                                • Prologues: Revue Maghrébine du Livre. 1993–2007.

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                                                  Published quarterly in Casablanca in both Arabic and French. Each issue contains reviews on important books plus brief notices on others. In some respects its predecessor was Le Livre marocain (al-kitab al-maghribi) (Casablanca, Morocco: al-Najah al-Jadida, 1983–1997), also bilingual in French and Arabic.

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                                                  History Prior to Independence

                                                  Compared to many other countries of North Africa and the rest of the continent, materials related to Morocco’s history, both archaeological and archival, are abundant. The period from the 1800s through to the 21st century is conventionally divided into the precolonial and colonial eras, with the colonial era ranging from 1912 (the formal date of the establishment of the French and Spanish protectorates) through 1956, the year of Morocco’s independence. The precolonial/colonial dichotomy is arbitrary. European colonial encroachment on Morocco began in the late 19th century, and it took over two decades after the formal establishment of the Protectorate for France and Spain, in their respective zones, to establish full political control. Moreover, settler colonialism began in earnest after World War I. Moroccans provided abundant histories of their country, and French historical and sociological accounts often included these accounts and translated the most important of them.

                                                  Precolonial (18th to Early 20th Centuries)

                                                  Prior to the formal declaration of the French Protectorate in Morocco (1912–1956), the French supported a high level of sociological and historical activity to gain an understanding of the country they assumed colonial rule over. Both the French and Moroccan governments have placed many of these basic studies online, including Mission Scientifique au Maroc 1904–1927 and Le Chatelier 1914–1932. Burke 1976 provides an effective overview of the half century prior to formal colonial rule in French Morocco, and Martín Corrales 1992 does the same for Spanish Morocco. Aubin 1906 and Doutté 1914 provide accounts of Morocco just prior to colonial rule. Ennaji and Pascon 1988 and As-Saffar 1992 suggest how knowledge of Morocco’s past will progressively alter once archives in Arabic are increasingly made available.

                                                  • As-Saffar, Muhammad. Disorienting Encounters: Travels of a Moroccan Scholar in France in 1845–1846. Translated and edited by Susan Gilson Miller. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1992.

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                                                    The core of this account are the letters that the author, as secretary to Morocco’s ambassador to France, made to Morocco’s reigning Sultan ‘Abd al-Rahman. One of the first modern historical studies based on the papers of the Royal Archives in Rabat.

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                                                    • Aubin, Eugène (Descos). Morocco of To-day. London: Dent, 1906.

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                                                      Aubin (b. 1863), who traveled throughout Morocco in 1902–1903 with an Algerian interpreter, provides a thorough account of Moroccan politics, administration, culture, and society.

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                                                      • Burke, Edmund III. Prelude to Protectorate in Morocco: Precolonial Protest and Resistance, 1860–1912. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1976.

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                                                        The first major book in English to depict both precolonial Morocco and French historiography on the period. It remains a standard account, although the opening of state archives in Morocco are beginning to change the understanding of events in this period.

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                                                        • Doutté, Edmond. En tribu. Paris: Paul Geuthner, 1914.

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                                                          On behalf of France’s colonial lobby beginning in the 1890s, Doutté (b. 1867–d. 1926) made several visits to Morocco prior to the Protectorate.

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                                                          • Ennaji, Mohamed, and Paul Pascon. Le Makhzen et le Sous al-Aqsa: La correspondence politique de la maison d’Iligh (1821–1894). Paris: Éditions du CNRS, 1988.

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                                                            Co-edited by a Moroccan historian and a French sociologist who chose Moroccan citizenship after Morocco’s independence in 1956; offers insight into political rule in the 19th century and how Moroccan history of primarily Amazigh (Berber) areas is changing as local archives come increasingly to light.

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                                                            • Le Chatelier, Alfred, ed. Villes et Tribus du Maroc. Paris: Honoré Champion, 1914–1932.

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                                                              This eleven-volume series, founded by the colonial sociologist and later director of intelligence, Édouard Michaux-Bellaire (b. 1857–d. 1930), provides fascinating portraits of Moroccan towns and tribes as seen through the eyes of French intelligence officers. Although published in the colonial era, most of the studies concern the precolonial period.

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                                                              • Martín Corrales, Eloy, ed. Marruecos y el colonialismo español (1859–1912): De la guerra de África a la “penetración pacífica.” Barcelona: Edicions Bellaterra, 1992.

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                                                                An interesting collection that provides an overview of Spain’s colonial lobby that paralleled its French counterpart, although with less success.

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                                                                • Mission Scientifique au Maroc. Archives Marocaines. Paris: Ernest Leroux, 1904–1927.

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                                                                  This thirty-four-volume series offers translations of basic Moroccan historical sources, regional ethnographies of cities and tribes, and accounts of administrative practices. In 1906 the series began the Revue du Monde Musulman, related to themes dealing with Morocco as well as Muslim-majority countries or colonies elsewhere. In 1919 the Mission Scientifique was absorbed into the Direction des Affaires Indigènes (Native Affairs Bureau). Available online at Bibliothèque Nationale du Royaume du Maroc.

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                                                                  Colonial

                                                                  The French Protectorate in Morocco promoted a range of historical and ethnographic research. The titles below represent the resources available. The Spanish zone, consisting of northern Morocco, the Spanish Sahara, and Ifni, attracted considerably less attention, although Spanish historians and ethnographers have produced significant studies of the colonial era. Julien 1972 offers an authoritative history of French North Africa. Nogué and Villanova 1999 does the same for Morocco under Spanish rule with contributions from both Moroccan and Spanish scholars. Mateo Dieste 2003 focuses primarily on the evolving reciprocal perceptions of Moroccans and Spaniards throughout the colonial era. Berque 1967 provides the best overview of what life was like under colonial rule, supplemented in Swearingen 1987 on agricultural politics, Knibiehler, et al. 1992 on reminiscences of the colonial settlers, and Bidwell 1973 on colonial administration. Rivet 1988 offers a riveting study of Lyautey, Morocco’s first résident-général, who shaped policies that lasted throughout the colonial era and beyond. See also Amazigh (Berber) Society and Cities and Urban Life for related references.

                                                                  • Berque, Jacques. French North Africa: The Maghrib between Two World Wars. Translated by Jean Stewart. New York: Praeger, 1967.

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                                                                    Berque (b. 1910–d. 1995), an Algerian-born former Native Affairs officer in colonial Morocco, sociologist, and formidable Arabist, became a professor at the Collège de France. The book provides a comprehensive portrait of colonial North Africa in the interwar years from multiple perspectives of class cities, countryside, Arabs, settlers, and officials.

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                                                                    • Bidwell, Robin. Morocco under Colonial Rule: French Administration of Tribal Areas, 1912–1956. London: Frank Cass, 1973.

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                                                                      Excellent study of French colonial administration in Morocco by a former British colonial officer.

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                                                                      • Julien, Charles-André. L’Afrique du Nord en Marche: Nationalismes musulmanes et souveraineté française. 3d ed. Paris: René Julliard, 1972.

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                                                                        Majestic review of North Africa’s political and independence movements. The first edition appeared in 1952, when nationalist movements were in full swing in all three French North African colonies. The third edition includes the periods of independence and post-independence.

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                                                                        • Knibiehler, Yvonne, Genviève Emmery, and Françoise Leguay. Des Français au Maroc: La présence et la mémoire. Paris: Denoël, 1992.

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                                                                          A fascinating account, collected from oral histories and family archives, of the lives of colonial-era French settlers and officials.

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                                                                          • Mateo Dieste, Josep Lluís. La “hermandad” hispano-marroquí: Política y religión bajo el Protectorado español en Marruecos, 1912–1956. Barcelona: Edicions Bellaterra, 2003.

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                                                                            Well-written analysis of Spanish popular and official accounts of religion and politics in Morocco during the colonial era.

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                                                                            • Nogué, Joan, and José Luis Villanova, eds. España en Marruecos (1912–1956). Sant Salvador, Spain: Editorial Milenio, 1999.

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                                                                              A thoughtful retrospective on Spain’s colonial era in Morocco by leading Spanish and Moroccan historians, anthropologists, geographers, and political scientists.

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                                                                              • Rivet, Daniel. Lyautey et l’institution du Protectorat francais au Maroc, 1912–1925. Paris: L’Harmattan, 1988.

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                                                                                Major study of Louis Hubert Gonzalve Lyautey (b. 1854–d. 1934), the French military general who served as résident-général of Morocco from 1912 to 1925 and shaped Morocco’s key governmental institutions.

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                                                                                • Swearingen, Will D. Moroccan Mirages: Agrarian Dreams and Deceptions, 1912–1986. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1987.

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                                                                                  An excellent narrative of French colonial and post-independence agricultural politics.

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                                                                                  Geography and Economy

                                                                                  In the latter stages of French and Spanish colonial domination in Morocco (1912–1956), geographers and economists produced a number of in-depth studies of Morocco’s overall economy and of the economy of regions. The regional economic surveys are especially helpful and remain useful in understanding current conditions. Ayache 1956 (on the colonial period) and White 2001 (on the contemporary era) offer an overview of Morocco’s political economy. Geertz 1978 and Le Coeur 1969 offer fascinating insight into different conceptions of the economy. Noin 1970 and Troin 2002 provide comprehensive overviews of Morocco’s economic regions, and Morrisson 1991 and Gallina 2006 offer detailed views of the economic impact of personal and policy decisions. Waterbury 1972 offers a short, readable biography of a Berber (Amazigh) merchant from southern Morocco who later achieved national importance as a major importer of tea, Morocco’s national drink.

                                                                                  • Ayache, Albert. Le Maroc: Bilan d’une Colonisation. Paris: Éditions Sociales, 1956.

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                                                                                    Published at the end of the French Protectorate, Ayache offers a historically grounded political economy of Morocco’s colonial era.

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                                                                                    • Gallina, Andrea. “Migration, Financial Flows, and Development in the Euro-Mediterranean Area.” Journal of North African Studies 11.1 (March 2006): 17–34.

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                                                                                      Focuses on the significance of remittances and their relation to regional economic development. Primarily concerns Morocco.

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                                                                                      • Geertz, Clifford. “Suq: The Bazaar Economy in Morocco.” In Meaning and Order in Moroccan Society: Three Essays in Cultural Analysis. Edited by Clifford Geertz, Hildred Geertz, and Lawrence Rosen, 123–313. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1978.

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                                                                                        Brilliantly depicts the cultural logic of both traditional markets and how they are integrated into the world economy.

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                                                                                        • Le Coeur, Charles. Le rite et l’outil: Essai sur le rationalisme social et la pluralité des civilisations. Paris: Presses Universitaires du France, 1969.

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                                                                                          Originally published in 1939 on the eve of World War II, this fascinating yet overlooked book assesses the implications for social relations on integrating rural Morocco into the global cash economy. This short book merits a wide audience.

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                                                                                          • Morrisson, Christian. Adjustment and Equity in Morocco. Paris: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, 1991.

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                                                                                            Continues to offer a clear framework for understanding Morocco’s economic choices in a global economy.

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                                                                                            • Noin, Daniel. La Population rurale du Maroc. Paris: Presses Universitaires du Maroc, 1970.

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                                                                                              Classic study of Morocco’s rural regions.

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                                                                                              • Troin, Jean-François. Maroc: Région, Pays, Territoire. Paris: Maisonneuve et Larose, 2002.

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                                                                                                This readable cultural geography of Morocco offers a sense of regions and regionalism that transcends internal political boundaries, dealing with themes including food security, water, migration, urbanization, and population growth.

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                                                                                                • Waterbury, John. North for the Trade: The Life and Times of a Berber Merchant. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1972.

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                                                                                                  Depicts the rise of a Berber merchant from southern Morocco to a leading role in Morocco’s urban and international economy.

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                                                                                                  • White, Gregory. A Comparative Political Economy of Tunisia and Morocco: On the Outside of Europe Looking In. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2001.

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                                                                                                    Succinct account of long-term trends.

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                                                                                                    Politics from the Independence Movement to the Present

                                                                                                    Morocco’s independence movement has its origins in the 1930s, and many accounts, even when focusing on events leading up to Morocco’s independence, narrate the earlier part of the colonial struggle and the many transformations not fully incorporated into formal political parties. Rezette 1955 traces Morocco’s political parties to the eve of independence. Waterbury 1970 profiles the wider framework of Moroccan politics through the 1960s, and Ben Chemsi 2010 does the same for the current era through lively profiles of key players in business, politics, and religion. Dalle 2001 profiles the reign of Hassan II, as does Perrault 1990, often in scathing terms. Leveau 1985 offers an insightful view of independent Morocco’s first elections, which he helped organize, and López García 2000 offers an outstanding analysis of the increasingly open electoral process. Chaarani 2004 assesses the implications of terrorist violence in the early 21st century.

                                                                                                    • Ben Chemsi, Ahmed R. Special Issue: Les Puissants du Royaume: Le Pouvoir, les réseaux, l’argent. Telquel (2010).

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                                                                                                      Offers a thorough guide to Morocco’s current power elite, including their social and economic networks and alliances. Fascinating to read in conjunction with Waterbury 1970, published forty years earlier.

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                                                                                                      • Chaarani, Ahmed. La mouvance islamiste au Maroc: Du 11 septembre 2001 aux attentats de Casablanca du 16 mai 2003. Paris: Karthala, 2004.

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                                                                                                        These two years were pivotal in Morocco, as the 2003 Casablanca terrorist attack accentuated the potential for homegrown terrorism. The result was a major reorientation of how local movements were connected with global ones, and a reorientation of state policies.

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                                                                                                        • Dalle, Ignace. Maroc, 1961–1999: L’espérance brisée. Paris: Tarik Éditions, 2001.

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                                                                                                          This longtime journalist for Agence France Presse in Rabat offers a fascinating account of the “broken hope” of Moroccan politics during the reign of Hassan II (1961–1999).

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                                                                                                          • Leveau, Rémy. Le Fellah Marocain: Défenseur du trône. 2d ed. Paris: Presses de la Fondation Nationale des Sciences Politiques, 1985.

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                                                                                                            Leveau (b. 1932–d. 2005) was one of France’s leading specialists on Morocco and played a major formative role in shaping Morocco’s early electoral politics. This book, originally published in 1976 and updated in 1974, offers an insider’s view combined with that of a political scientist of the role of rural Morocco in the national political process.

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                                                                                                            • López García, Bernabé. Marruecos político: Cuarenta años de procesos electorales (1960–2000). Madrid: Siglo XXI de España Editores, 2000.

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                                                                                                              An important analysis by Spain’s leading political analyst on North African electoral politics for the first forty years after Moroccan independence.

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                                                                                                              • Perrault, Gilles. Notre ami le roi. Paris: Gallimard, 1990.

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                                                                                                                Published in France and banned (but widely circulated) in Morocco, Our Friend the King offers a devastating account of how Hassan II (b. 1929–d. 1999) maintained economic, political, and social domination, as well as external support.

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                                                                                                                • Rezette, Robert. Les Partis politiques marocaines. Paris: Librairie Armand Colin, 1955.

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                                                                                                                  Published a year before Morocco’s independence, Rezette’s book remains a fascinating reference point for understanding the country’s party politics in the years leading up to independence for the rest of the 20th century.

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                                                                                                                  • Waterbury, John. Commander of the Faithful: The Moroccan Political Elite. New York: Columbia University Press, 1970.

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                                                                                                                    Banned for many years in Morocco, Morocco’s Ministry of the Interior commissioned a private translation in 1970. The official French translation appeared in 1975.

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                                                                                                                    Religion and Society

                                                                                                                    The 1960s through the 1980s saw a surge in anthropological and sociological studies of Moroccan society, and many of these studies contributed to the mainstream of modern social thought. Geertz 1971 sought to reshape the history of religions by using Morocco and Indonesia to anchor conceptions of how religious ideas develop in local contexts. Gellner 1969 approaches religion and society from a different perspective that emphasized social structural factors over cultural ones. Westermarck 1968 represents an older method of ethnographic inquiry in which examples of given themes (such as amulets, marriage rites, or naming ceremonies) read as if assembled from note cards. Nonetheless, the specific examples and linguistic terms in Eickelman 1976 and Hammoudi 1993 offer different approaches to religion as locally understood. Waugh 2005 through music and Zeghal 2008 through electoral politics indicate the role of religion in society, and Mateo Dieste 2012 explores the intersection of religion, health, and ideas of the body. See also Education and Youth.

                                                                                                                    • Eickelman, Dale F. Moroccan Islam: Tradition and Society in a Pilgrimage Center. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1976.

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                                                                                                                      Links Islam as popularly understood with the dynamics of political and social change. Chapter 1 also reviews earlier studies, including those of the French colonial era, on the role of religion in Moroccan society.

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                                                                                                                      • Geertz, Clifford. Islam Observed: Religious Development in Morocco and Indonesia. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1971.

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                                                                                                                        Based on the influential Terry Foundation Lectures on Religion and Science presented at Yale University in 1967. Through comparing religious history and practice at two contrasting ends of the Muslim-majority world, Geertz sought to reshape the history of religions as a discipline so that it could play a major role in social thought.

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                                                                                                                        • Gellner, Ernest. Saints of the Atlas. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1969.

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                                                                                                                          An original and widely cited study that, like Geertz 1971, links the study of Morocco to the mainstream of social thought.

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                                                                                                                          • Hammoudi, Abdellah. The Victim and Its Masks: An Essay on Sacrifice in the Maghreb. Translated by Paula Wissing. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993.

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                                                                                                                            A Moroccan anthropologist examines how the Sunni Muslim feast of the sacrifice (the ‘Id al-Kabir) has been interpreted through the eyes of colonial ethnography, Muslim purists, and the ethnography of the postcolonial era.

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                                                                                                                            • Mateo Dieste, Josep-Lluis. Health and Ritual in Morocco: Conceptions of the Body and Healing Practices. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 2012.

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                                                                                                                              Comprehensive study of popular notions of body, health, and healing in Morocco and the development of Islamic medicine.

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                                                                                                                              • Waugh, Earle H. Memory, Music, and Religion: Morocco’s Mystical Chanters. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 2005.

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                                                                                                                                Shows how music functions as a tool for reshaping cultural and national identity.

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                                                                                                                                • Westermarck, Edward. Ritual and Belief in Morocco. New Hyde Park, NY: University Books, 1968.

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                                                                                                                                  Originally published in 1926, this massive, two-volume study offers a compendium of popular religious belief in urban and rural settings. Westermarck (b. 1862–d. 1939) was a Finnish anthropologist who made his career in London.

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                                                                                                                                  • Zeghal, Malika. Islamism in Morocco: Religion, Authoritarianism, and Electoral Politics. Translated from the French by George Holoch. Princeton, NJ: Markus Wiener, 2008.

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                                                                                                                                    One of the best accounts of the interface of religion and politics in contemporary Morocco.

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                                                                                                                                    Amazigh (Berber) Society

                                                                                                                                    Efforts in the French colonial era to divide Arabs and Berbers contributed to the suppression of Berber language and culture in independent Morocco. In the mid-1990s, King Hassan II (b. 1929–d. 1999) reversed earlier policies and recognized Morocco’s Amazigh languages and society. Schooling in selected areas, and radio and television programming further enhance the Amazigh presence. Laoust 1983 and Montagne 1973 profile Amazigh society as it was in the early 20th century. Hart 1976 is good on northern Morocco, and Berque 1978 is a helpful study on a tribe in the High Atlas. Gellner and Micaud 1973 covers Berber societies in North Africa, as do the essays in Hoffman and Miller 2010. Hoffman 2008 provides an insightful ethnography of an Amazigh community and its integration into wider society, and Maddy-Weitzman 2011 assesses the rise to political significance of the Amazigh identity movement throughout the region.

                                                                                                                                    • Berque, Jacques. Structures sociales du Haut-Atlas. 2d ed. With an afterword by Jacques Berque and Paul Pascon. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1978.

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                                                                                                                                      Former colonial official and noted scholar, Berque’s comprehensive ethnography of the Seksawa, originally published in 1955, remains a classic. The 1978 second edition indicates their transformation from the last years of colonial rule through the early independence period, with an excellent afterword from Paul Pascon that situates Berque’s work in the politics of the late colonial era.

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                                                                                                                                      • Gellner, Ernest, and Charles Micaud, eds. Arabs and Berbers: From Tribe to Nation in North Africa. London: Duckworth, 1973.

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                                                                                                                                        An important early collection of the changing role of Berber identity in North Africa. Lawrence Rosen’s chapter on Arab-Berber relations and how “Berbers” and “Arabs” are situationally identified in Morocco remains essential reading.

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                                                                                                                                        • Hart, David Montgomery. The Aith Waryaghar of the Moroccan Rif: An Ethnography and History. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1976.

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                                                                                                                                          Classic ethnography of a Berber-speaking tribe in northern Morocco.

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                                                                                                                                          • Hoffman, Katherine E. We Share Walls: Language, Land, and Gender in Berber Morocco. Malden, MA: Blackwell, 2008.

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                                                                                                                                            Equally significant for its account of ethnic and gender identity and the importance of migration.

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                                                                                                                                            • Hoffman, Katherine E., and Susan Gilson Miller. Berbers and Others: Beyond Tribe and Nation in the Maghrib. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2010.

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                                                                                                                                              With Moroccan and American contributors, this edited book is an essential sequel to Gellner and Micaud 1973.

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                                                                                                                                              • Laoust, Émile. Mots et choses berbéres. Rabat, Morocco: Société Marocaine d’Édition, 1983.

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                                                                                                                                                Originally published in 1920, Laoust’s bilingual (Amazighi-French) text offers fascinating ethnographic and linguistic insight into Morocco’s Amazigh-speaking highlands.

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                                                                                                                                                • Maddy-Weitzman, Bruce. The Berber Identity Movement: The Challenge to North Africa. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2011.

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                                                                                                                                                  Reviews the social and political implications of the rise of the Berber identity movement in Morocco and Algeria. Excellent critical bibliography.

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                                                                                                                                                  • Montagne, Robert. The Berbers: Their Social and Political Organisation. Translated and edited by David Seddon. London: Frank Cass, 1973.

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                                                                                                                                                    Originally written in 1931 by a leading French military intelligence officer turned sociologist, this book is as valuable for its insight into French colonial understandings of Berber society as it is for anthropologist David Seddon’s introduction.

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                                                                                                                                                    Jewish Society

                                                                                                                                                    Both urban and rural Morocco had vibrant Jewish communities, with Jews at one time comprising a significant part of major cities and playing a major role in rural areas. Using the Royal Archives and French and Hebrew sources, among others, Gottreich 2007 provides a fascinating account of Jewish life in Marrakesh in the late 19th century and the role of Jews in wider Moroccan society. Deshen 1989 does the same for precolonial Fez. Several outstanding accounts of Jewish urban rural and urban life exist for the first half of the 20th century, the best of which are Goulven 1927 and Flamand 1952. Voinot 1948, who provides illustrations and maps, describes shared Jewish and Muslim shrines. Kenbib 1994 provides an impressive synthesis of Jewish economic, religious, and social activities in Morocco, and Lévy 1998, provides a thoughtful approach to Jewish identity in contemporary Morocco. Using material from Morocco’s royal archives, and those of France and Israel, Gottreich 2007 offers an important social historical account of Jewish economy and society in the late 19th century.

                                                                                                                                                    • Deshen, Shlomo A. The Mellah Society: Jewish Community Life in Sherifian Morocco. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1989.

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                                                                                                                                                      Offers a fascinating account of social and religious life in precolonial Fez. Where Deshen sees “deviations” from normative Jewish practice, others would read the extent to which local Jewish society mirrored local Muslim practice.

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                                                                                                                                                      • Flamand, Pierre. Un mellah en pays berbère: Demnate. Paris: Librairie générale de droit et de jurisprudence, 1952.

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                                                                                                                                                        Describes the Jewish community in Demat, a rural market town in the High Atlas mountains.

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                                                                                                                                                        • Gottreich, Emily Benichou. The Mellah of Marrakesh: Jewish and Muslim Space in Morocco’s Red City. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2007.

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                                                                                                                                                          The “red” city, as Marrakesh is locally known, had a large Jewish population. Gottreich’s narrative includes analysis of a precolonial census of its Jewish community. If one can only read a single book about Moroccan Jewish society, this is the one to choose.

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                                                                                                                                                          • Gottreich, Emily Benichou, and Daniel J. Schroeter, eds. Jewish Culture and Society in North Africa. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2011.

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                                                                                                                                                            Edited by two leading scholars of Jewish communities in North Africa, this offers essays that define recent scholarship and provide bibliographic guides.

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                                                                                                                                                            • Goulven, J. G. A. Les mellahs de Rabat-Salé. Paris: Paul Geuthner, 1927.

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                                                                                                                                                              Beautifully printed and lavishly illustrated, this book provides a portrait of the Jewish enclaves in Rabat and Salé.

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                                                                                                                                                              • Kenbib, Mohammed. Juifs et musulmans au Maroc, 1859–1948. Rabat, Morocco: Faculté des lettres et des sciences humaines, 1994.

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                                                                                                                                                                Lavishly illustrated, this 700-page book offers a definitive portrait of Jewish-Muslim relations in Morocco.

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                                                                                                                                                                • Levy, André. “Center and Diaspora: Jews in Late-Twentieth-Century Morocco.” City and Society 13 (1998): 245–270.

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                                                                                                                                                                  The author was born in Morocco and emigrated to Israel in the 1960s. Levy’s article provides a highly readable account of Moroccan Jewish life, primarily in Casablanca.

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                                                                                                                                                                  • Voinot, L. Pèlerinages judéo-musulmans du Maroc. Paris: Larose, 1948.

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                                                                                                                                                                    The maps alone in this account of shared pilgrimage sites in Morocco give a sense of the strong complementarity of popular religious practices between Morocco’s Jewish and Muslim communities.

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                                                                                                                                                                    Women and Gender

                                                                                                                                                                    Virtually all ethnographic accounts of Moroccan society include significant discussions of women and gender, a theme covered in other sections. Some references under Education and Youth, for example, include significant discussion of changing gender roles, and the 2004 revised Moroccan Family Code Law, a major development for women’s rights. For ethnographies and extended essays concerning the role of women, see Maher 1974 and Davis 1983 for smaller towns in Morocco and Mernissi 1987 for urban settings. Hoffman 2008 (cited under Amazigh (Berber) Society) and Kapchan 1996 (for an Arab community) offer excellent ethnographies. Kapchan is especially helpful in linking gender roles to changing economic opportunities. Sadiqi 2003 is outstanding on women, gender, and language use, and Naâmane-Guessous 1991 on generational changes among women in urban Casablanca. Rosander 1991 describes women along the Spanish-Moroccan frontier, and Ramírez 1998 assesses the role of migration in significantly changing women’s status in rural Morocco.

                                                                                                                                                                    • Davis, Susan Schaefer. Patience and Power: Women’s Lives in a Moroccan Village. Cambridge, MA: Schenkman, 1983.

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                                                                                                                                                                      Beautifully nuanced account of gender roles and how they can be manipulated and transformed.

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                                                                                                                                                                      • Kapchan, Deborah. Gender on the Market: Moroccan Women and the Revoicing of Tradition. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1996.

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                                                                                                                                                                        Describes how economic and material changes have affected women’s participation in society and facilitated new modes of participation.

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                                                                                                                                                                        • Maher, Vanessa. Women and Property in Morocco: Their Changing Relation to Social Stratification in the Middle Atlas. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1974.

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                                                                                                                                                                          Argues that marriages and the power of women are stronger when marriages involve significant property rights. Without economic incentives, marriages are less stable.

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                                                                                                                                                                          • Mernissi, Fatima. Beyond the Veil: Male-Female Dynamics in Modern Muslim Society. Rev. ed. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1987.

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                                                                                                                                                                            Based on her Brandeis doctoral dissertation and first published in 1975, this book was one of the first explorations of women and sexuality in Morocco.

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                                                                                                                                                                            • Naâmane-Guessous, Soumaia. Au-delà de toute pudeur: La sexualité féminine au Maroc. Casablanca, Morocco: Éditions Eddif, 1991.

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                                                                                                                                                                              In the 1990s, this was one of the biggest-selling books in French in Morocco because of its frank accounts of how women of different generations and backgrounds spoke of their attitudes toward sexuality.

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                                                                                                                                                                              • Ramírez, Angeles. Migraciones, género e Islam: Mujeres marroquíes en España. Madrid: Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores de España, 1998.

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                                                                                                                                                                                Provides a useful account of the links between migration, gender, and social status. Despite the book’s title, which emphasizes Moroccan female migrants in Spain, Ramírez provides considerable information on the villages of origin of migrant women.

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                                                                                                                                                                                • Rosander, Eva Evers. Women in a Borderland: Managing Muslim Identity Where Morocco Meets Spain. Stockholm: Stockholm University, Department of Anthropology, 1991.

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                                                                                                                                                                                  Excellent account of the social roles of women and their relation to society in their different life stages.

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                                                                                                                                                                                  • Sadiqi, Fatima. Women, Gender, and Language in Morocco. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 2003.

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                                                                                                                                                                                    Highly readable ethnolinguistic account of women and language use in Morocco. See also Sadiqi’s website for ongoing discussion of gender issues and the Berber movement in Morocco.

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                                                                                                                                                                                    Cities and Urban Life

                                                                                                                                                                                    As in many other parts of the world, Morocco’s population increasingly shifted from rural to urban in the 20th century. An estimated 10 percent of the country’s population was urban in 1900, compared with 56 percent in 2010. Several of Morocco’s walled imperial cities are UNESCO World Heritage sites. Le Tourneau 1949 offers the most comprehensive account of a traditional Moroccan city, nicely complemented in Escher and Wirth 1992. Although in German, the superb maps and diagrams afford an excellent portrait of the city. Villème, et al. 1950, a collection of short sociological essays, was part of a larger colonial project to take stock of how rapidly Morocco’s urban social fabric was changing in the aftermath of World War II. Adam 1968 offers a socio-historical portrait of Morocco’s largest city, Casablanca, complemented in Ossman 1994. Abu-Lughod 1980 combines social history with sociology to present urban development of Morocco’s capital city. Abu-Lughod is especially good in analyzing the consequences of colonial urban planning. Brown 1976 offers a social history of neighboring Salé. Geertz 1979 presents an especially thorough account of ideas of family, kinship, and community in a bourgeois urban family.

                                                                                                                                                                                    • Abu-Lughod, Janet L. Rabat: Urban Apartheid in Morocco. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1980.

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                                                                                                                                                                                      Especially good at analyzing the context of urban planning. The comparison with apartheid is less persuasive, but does not detract from the book’s value.

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                                                                                                                                                                                      • Adam, André. Casablanca. Paris: Editions du Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, 1968.

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                                                                                                                                                                                        A comprehensive although obviously dated two-volume study that remains an effective point of departure for understanding planning and growth in a city especially difficult to manage and shape through government edicts.

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                                                                                                                                                                                        • Brown, Kenneth. People of Salé: Tradition and Change in a Moroccan City, 1830–1930. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1976.

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                                                                                                                                                                                          Especially good on the issue of how prominent extended families, both Muslim and Jewish, established social and economic networks that made life predictable in uncertain times.

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                                                                                                                                                                                          • Escher, Anton, and Eugen Wirth. Die Medina von Fes. Erlangen, Germany: Fränkische Geographische Gesellschaft, 1992.

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                                                                                                                                                                                            Two of Germany’s most eminent geographers describe the economic activities of the traditional walled city (madina) of Fes. The excellent maps and other illustrations are accessible without a knowledge of German.

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                                                                                                                                                                                            • Geertz, Hildred. “The Meanings of Family Ties.” In Meaning and Order in Moroccan Society: Three Essays in Cultural Analysis. Edited by Clifford Geertz, Hildred Geertz, and Lawrence Rosen, 315–391. New York and Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1979.

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                                                                                                                                                                                              The most thorough and accessible account of how ties of kinship and family operate in a well-off traditional urban household.

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                                                                                                                                                                                              • Le Tourneau, Roger. Fès avant le protectorat. Casablanca, Morocco: Société Marocaine de Librairie et d’Édition, 1949.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                The detailed table of contents makes up for the lack of a thorough index. For those who read French, this account is both informative and entertaining.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                • Ossman, Susan. Picturing Casablanca: Portraits of Power in a Modern City. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                  Insightful account of the presentation of self in a modern city and how people seek to discern and navigate networks of influence.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Villème, L., J. d’Étienne, and Stéphane Delisle. L’Évolution sociale du Maroc: Une famille marocaine: Jean d’Étienne: L’Évolution de la vie citadine au Maroc, Louis Villème: Le Prolétariat marocain de Port-Lyautey, Stéphane Delisle. Paris: Peyronnet, 1950.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                    Three excellent essays written by a state-commissioned research team that sought to assess Morocco’s rapid social and economic change in a period of rising nationalism.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                    Human Rights

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Morocco under French colonial rule saw substantial human rights variations, although the term “human rights” came into common usage only later. The early decades of the rule of Hassan II (1961–1999) are now known as the “years of lead” (les années du plomb), although by the 1990s conditions improved. Under the rule of Muhammad VI (1999–) Morocco became the first North African country to establish a Justice and Reconciliation Commission in 2004. Slyomovics 2005 provides the best overall guide to issues, and Waltz 1995 provides an earlier survey of all North Africa. Lakhsassi 1998 contrasts how popular Berber and Arab songs portrayed a national scandal. Mouride 2000, by a former political prisoner, portrays in comic book form his ordeals in one of Morocco’s most notorious prisons. The memoirs of former political prisoners have proliferated, including Marzouki and Dalle 2001 and BineBine 2009. Orlando 2010 discusses well-known female prisoners, and Boukhari 2002 narrates the author’s life as a perpetrator of police abuses in the 1960s.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    • BineBine, Aziz. Tazmamort. Paris: Denoël, 2009.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                      A searing account of arrest, detention, and torture under Hassan II. “Tazmamart,” the name of the prison, is transformed in the title into “Taz ma mort,” meaning “Taz my death” in English.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Boukhari, Ahmed. Le secret: Ben Barka et le Maroc: Un ancien agent des services spéciaux parle. Neuilly-sur-Seine, France: Lafon, 2002.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                        The author claims involvement in the kidnapping from France and torture of Mehdi Ben Barka (b. 1920–disappeared 1965), a former teacher of Hassan II who became a leader of Morocco’s leftist opposition.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Lakhsassi, Abdelrahmane. “Scandale nationale et chanson populaire.” In Miroirs maghrébins: Itinéraires de soi et paysages de rencontre. Edited by Susan Ossman, 99–119. Paris: CNRS Éditions, 1998.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                          A leading ethnolinguist assesses popular Amazighi and Arabic musical commentary on a major Moroccan scandal of 1993, the arrest and public trial of a senior police officer who was charged with the kidnapping and rape of over two thousand women.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Marzouki, Ahmed, and Ignaz Dalle. Tazmamart, cellule 10. Paris: Ripon, 2001.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                            Tazmamart was a prison specially constructed under the orders of Hassan II to house those suspected of participation in a coup attempt against him. Marzouki is a former military officer and Dalle a respected long-term French journalist in Morocco.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Mouride, Abdelaziz. On affame bien les rats! Casablanca, Morocco: Tarik Éditions, 2000.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                              The author uses the format of the comic strip to describe his arrest as a student and subsequent long-term detention.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Orlando, Valérie K. “Feminine Spaces and Places in the Dark Recesses of Morocco’s Past: The Prison Testimonials in Poetry and Prose of Saïda Menebhi and Fatna El Bouih.” Journal of North African Studies 15.3 (September 2010): 273–288.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                DOI: 10.1080/13629380902745884Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Analyzes the prison writings of two leading female ex-political prisoners.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Slyomovics, Susan. The Performance of Human Rights in Morocco. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2005.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Sensitive and thorough account of the origins and development of Morocco’s human rights movement.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Waltz, Susan E. Human Rights and Reform: Changing the Face of North African Politics. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Comprehensive and reliable comparative account of human rights in North Africa.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Education and Youth

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    In Morocco, 57 percent of the population was under thirty in 2010 and 37 percent of the fifteen- to-twenty-nine-year-old population is unemployed. In both rural and urban areas, education has become more accessible, and ideas of education are closely tied to changing ideas of self and society. Adam 1963, Pascon and Bentahar 1971, and Davis and Davis 1989 provide useful benchmarks for understanding how younger rural and urban Moroccans think of their society and prospects. Eickelman 1985 deals with the changing role of Islamic education in Moroccan society and ideas of valued knowledge. Wagner 1993 discusses the various social contexts of literacy and illiteracy in multilingual Morocco. Cherkaoui 2011 offers an incisive overview of contemporary higher education in Morocco. Bennani-Chraïbi 1995 is the best available account of how Moroccan youth think about religion, family, politics, sexuality, and education in an era of underemployment, changing family patterns, and the erosion of traditional values. Bowen, et al. 2008 provides a practical example of how a modest technological change enables a major change in gender roles and blurs the distinction between public and private space.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Adam, André. Une enquête auprès de la jeunesse musulmane du Maroc. Aix-en-Provence, France: La Pensée Universitaire, 1963.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                      One of Morocco’s first survey questionnaires on youth aspirations and opinions, conducted in Casablanca in the first decade after independence.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Bennani-Chraïbi, Mounia. Soumis et rebelles: Les jeunes au Maroc. Casablanca, Morocco: Éditions Le Fennec, 1995.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                        A crisply written, almost lyrical account of the attitudes of educated Moroccan youth toward themselves and society.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Bowen, Donna Lee, Alexia Green, and Christiaan James. “Globalisation, Mobile Phones and Forbidden Romance in Morocco.” Journal of North African Studies 13.2 (June 2008): 227–241.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          DOI: 10.1080/13629380801996562Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Discusses how the humble cellular telephone facilitates more flexible gender roles in Moroccan society.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Cherkaoui, Mohammed. Crise de l’Université: Le nouvel esprit académique el la sécularisation de la production intellectuelle. Geneva, Switzerland: Librairie Droz, 2011.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Brilliant study of the present state of higher education in Morocco, combining an examination of personal with institutional trajectories and the challenge of shifting from an elite system in the mid-20th century to one of mass higher education.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Davis, Susan Schaefer, and Douglas A. Davis. Adolescence in a Moroccan Town: Making Social Sense. New Brunswick, NJ, and London: Rutgers University Press, 1989.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Like Bennani-Chraïbi 1995 in scope but focuses on a small town in a rural setting. Explores the ideas and practices of family, sexuality, work, education, and social responsibility in a provincial center.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Eickelman, Dale F. Knowledge and Power in Morocco: The Education of a Twentieth-Century Notable. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1985.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Explores the role of religious intellectuals in linking rural with urban Morocco and with changing ideas of social justice and responsibility. Offers a thorough bibliography to sources on Islamic education and ideas of Islamic learning.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Pascon, Paul, and Mekki Bentahar. “Ce que disent 296 jeunes ruraux.” In Études Sociologiques sur le Maroc. Edited by Abdelkebir Khatibi, 145–287. Rabat, Morocco: Bulletin Économique et Social du Maroc, 1971.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Offers a comprehensive survey of eighty-four “semi-open” questions of, as the title indicates, 296 young rural Moroccan males. Yields both a statistical profile and interview excerpts. A remarkable document, now available online through Morocco’s Bibliothèque Nationale.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Wagner, Daniel A. Literacy, Culture, and Development: Becoming Literate in Morocco. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1993.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Comprehensively explores the implications of literacy and multilingualism in a variety of rural and urban settings.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Southern Morocco and the Western Sahara

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    In 1975 Spain ceded control of the Spanish Sahara to joint Mauritanian-Moroccan control. Shortly thereafter, Morocco assumed full control of the former colony, and the Algerian-supported Polisario resisted this integration. The sovereignty of the territory remains contested, and since 1988 the United Nations has supervised a truce between Polisario and Morocco. Caro-Baroja 1955 profiles the Spanish Sahara in the last years of Spanish rule. Damis 1983 and Hodges 1983 provide thoughtful overviews of the conflict through the 1980s, and Zartman 1989 suggests how the contesting parties could break the negotiating impasse. Shelley 2004, Slimi 2009, and Mundy and Zunes 2010 provide contemporary appraisals, and Cherkaoui 2007 offers a thoughtful way of using the distribution of marriage ties as a way of determining how the Sahrawi population is related to wider society.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Caro-Baroja, Julio. Estudios Saharanios. Madrid: Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, 1955.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      One of the most distinguished Spanish anthropologists of his generation, Caro-Baroja (b. 1914–d. 1995) was invited by the Spanish government to conduct an anthropological study of the Sahara, which he did from November 1952 through early February 1953. In spite of the brevity of this field research, the result is a useful snapshot of the Sahara under Spanish domination.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Cherkaoui, Mohammed. Morocco and the Sahara: Social Bonds and Geopolitical Issues. Oxford: Bardwell, 2007.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Using apolitical family court documents, the author, a distinguished Moroccan sociologist, shows the intricate family ties between inhabitants of the Sahara and families and tribes in Morocco’s northern provinces.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Damis, John. Conflict in Northwest Africa: The Western Sahara Dispute. Stanford, CA: Hoover Institution, 1983.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          A short book that succinctly summarizes the issues at stake in the conflict over the Sahara.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Hodges, Tony. Western Sahara: The Roots of a Desert War. Westport, CT: Lawrence Hill, 1983.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Based on four years of interviews and research, the author, a former Economist Intelligence Unit journalist, produces a riveting account of the events leading up to the Saharan dispute.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Mundy, Jacob, and Stephen Zunes. Western Sahara: War, Nationalism, and Conflict Irresolution. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 2010.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The account includes declassified US documents pertaining to the dispute.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Shelley, Toby. Endgame in the Sahara: What Future for Africa’s Last Colony? London: Zed Books, 2004.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The title indicates the polemic nature of the account, but it remains a significant contribution.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Slimi, Abdel-Rahim Al-Manar. “The United States, Morocco, and the Western Sahara Dispute.” 2009.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Concise account of the impact of the Saharan dispute on US-Moroccan relations.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Zartman, I. William. “Conflict in the Sahara.” In Ripe for Resolution: Conflict and Intervention in Africa. By I. William Zartman, 19–81. New York: Oxford University Press, 1989.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    A balanced analysis of how the continuing dispute might be resolved.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Arts and Literature

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Moroccan “arts” include crafts, although since the mid-20th century there has also been a vibrant local art market as well. “Literature” here encompasses French, Spanish, Arabic, and now Tamazight. Outside of France itself, Morocco is the largest market for French books in the Francophone world, so the French subsidize French book production in Morocco. Touimi, et al. 1974 reviews Morocco’s literary scene in the colonial era. Orlando 2009 deals only with literary production in French. Golvin 1957 deals with craft production throughout French North Africa. Becker 2006 covers the range of arts, body adornment, ritual, and poetry. Boughali 1987 brilliantly reviews Moroccan and French representations of Moroccan society. Choukri 1973 expands the idea of “literature” in Morocco. Illiterate as a youth, Choukri dictated stories in colloquial Arabic to writer Paul Bowles in Tangier. Hamdouchi 2008, who also writes dramas for Moroccan television, represents police novels, a literary genre present in no other Arab country. Taïa 2012 is written by one of Morocco’s first openly gay authors. See the section on Human Rights for prison literature.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Becker, Cynthia J. Amazigh Arts in Morocco: Women Shaping Berber Identity. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2006.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Comprehensive study of women’s contributions through art, body adornment, and poetry to Amazigh identity.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Boughali, Mohamed. Espaces d’Ecriture au Maroc. Casablanca, Morocco: Afrique Orient, 1987.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Evocative assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of accounts of Moroccan society as seen by key French and Moroccan writers.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Choukri, Mohamed. For Bread Alone. Translated by Paul Bowles. London: Peter Owen, 1973.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Choukri’s controversial first novel.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Golvin, Lucien. Aspects de l’artisanat en Afrique du Nord. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1957.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Excellent, well-illustrated guide to traditional Moroccan craft production.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Hamdouchi, Abdelilah. The Final Bet. Translated from the Arabic by Jonathan Smolin. New York: American University in Cairo Press, 2008.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Morocco is the only Arab country in which detective fiction has thrived in both French and English. The translator’s afterword places the book in its wider context.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Orlando, Valérie K. Francophone Voices of the “New” Morocco in Film and Print: (Re)presenting a Society in Transition. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                DOI: 10.1057/9780230622593Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Good for its coverage of recent Francophone literature and cinema. Unfortunately it disregards parallel developments in Arabic.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Taïa, Abdellah. An Arab Melancholia: A Novel. Translated by Frank Stock. Los Angeles: Semiotext(e), 2012.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  A good autobiographical novel by Morocco’s first openly gay author. Taïa traces his life over two decades, seeking identity through love and writing.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Touimi, M. B., Abdelkebir Khatibi, and Mohammad Kably, eds. Ecrivains Marocains du protectorat à 1965. Paris: Sindbad, 1974.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Solid collection edited by a trio of Moroccan writers and academics.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Trends in Interpretation

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Scholars in the social sciences and the humanities regularly take stock of current and past interpretive approaches. Houroro 1988 focuses on a pivotal French sociologist, Édouard Michaux-Bellaire (b. 1857–d. 1930), who was a resident in Morocco since 1884. Hardy 1926 reviews how Moroccan society was represented in French literature of the time. Bourqiya and al-Harras 1993 presents reappraisals of the scholarship of Edward Westermarck (b. 1862–d. 1939), who conducted some of the first anthropological studies of Morocco. Khatibi 1967 reviews Moroccan sociological literature through the 1960s. Eickelman 1985 focuses on alternative approaches to doing anthropology in Morocco, and Eickelman 2002 deals with Morocco in the wider context of Middle Eastern, Central Asian, and Islamic studies. Al-Mundib 2006 indicates how approaches to the anthropological understanding of religion in Morocco are presented in Arabic. Slyomovics 2009 is a reappraisal of the work of Clifford Geertz, whose work on Morocco in the 1960s and 1970s inspired an entire generation of anthropological thought.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Bourqia, Rahma, and Mokhtar al-Harras, eds. Westermarck et la société Marocaine. Rabat, Morocco: Faculté des lettres et des sciences humaines de Rabat, 1993.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Offers important reappraisals of Westermarck’s work and contemporary significance. Contributions are in both French and English.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Eickelman, Dale F. “New Directions in Interpreting North African Society.” In Contemporary North Africa: Issues of Development and Integration. Edited by Halim Barakat, 164–177. London: Croom Helm, 1985.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Compares the dominant approaches to understanding Moroccan society through the 1980s, including French colonial ethnography, Clifford Geertz, and Ernest Gellner.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Eickelman, Dale F. The Middle East and Central Asia: An Anthropological Approach. 4th ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2002.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Comprehensive review of the state of art in Middle Eastern studies, with significant focus on Morocco.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Hardy, Georges. L’Ame marocaine d’après la litterature Française. Paris: Larose, 1926.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The author, director-general of public instruction in Morocco at the time this book was published, offers a psychologically oriented ethnography of Moroccan society. Important for grasping French colonial understandings of Moroccan society and the limits of colonial sociology.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Houroro, Faouzi M. Sociologie politique coloniale au Maroc: Cas de Michaux-Bellaire. Casablanca, Morocco: Afrique Orient, 1988.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Readable and objective reassessment of a French sociologist whose work shaped early colonial understandings of Morocco.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Khatibi, Abdelkebir. Bilan de la sociologie au Maroc. Rabat, Morrocco: Publications de l’Association pour la Recherche en Sciences Humaines, 1967.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Khatibi (b. 1938–d. 2009), a leading Moroccan playwright, novelist, and sociologist, directed Morocco’s short-lived Institut de Sociologie, which closed in 1968.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • al-Mundib, Abd al-Ghani. Al-Din wa al-mujtama’a: Dirasa susiyulugiyya li-l-tadayyun bi-l-maghrib. Casablanca, Morocco: Afrique Orient, 2006.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Combines a review of major anthropological approaches to the study of religion in Morocco with the author’s own anthropological research. One of the first books to address these subjects in Arabic, which reaches a wider element of the Moroccan student community, rather than French.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Slyomovics, Susan. Special Issue: Clifford Geertz in Morocco. Journal of North African Studies 14.3–4 (2009).

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    An important collection of articles that assesses Clifford Geertz’s contributions to anthropological studies in Morocco.

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