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Introduction

Globalizing the History of French Decolonization

Jessica Lynne Pearson

studying the history of France and its empire, this special issue encourages scholars of French decolonization—or decolonizations, plural—to draw inspiration from the recent transnational and global turns as a way of facilitating a deeper engagement with

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Decolonizing “La Brousse

Rural Medicine and Colonial Authority in Cameroon

Sarah C. Runcie

and rural health in Cameroon as a window into the global politics of decolonization in Africa. French government officials and doctors in Cameroon saw the enthusiasm of the Cameroonian government for WHO proposals and the development of the medical

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“Brothers from South of the Mediterranean”

Decolonizing the Jewish “Family” during the Algerian War

Naomi Davidson

Almost all of Algeria's estimated 140,000 Jews had immigrated to France by the end of the Algerian War in 1962, many of them to the Paris region. Their arrival was a source of ambivalent hope for metropolitan Jewish religious and community leaders. This article demonstrates that the period of decolonization was one in which metropolitan Jewish leaders tried to simultaneously celebrate and efface Algerian Jewish difference. This struggle took place in local religious sites, where French and Algerian Jews were accustomed to a variety of liturgies, melodies, and behaviors. The tensions that erupted when Algerian Jews asserted their right to religious particularism should be read as evidence of the paradoxes of decolonization. While a near-century of colonial citizenship had made many Algerian Jews “French,” decolonization and migration to the metropole made them Arab in the eyes of many metropolitan Jews.

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Margareta von Oswald and Verena Rodatus

The decolonization of research won’t be possible without the decolonization of minds. … I think that we [as a research team] took a step in the right direction, but one can’t say that this will continue or become regular. It’s only going to be

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Giuliana Chamedes and Elizabeth A. Foster

Scholarly attention to decolonization in the French Empire and beyond has largely focused on the political transitions from colonies to nation-states. This introduction, and the essays in this special issue, present new ways of looking at decolonization by examining how religious communities and institutions imagined and experienced the end of French Empire. This approach adds valuable perspectives obscured by historiographical emphasis on French republican secularism and on the workings of the colonial state. Bringing together histories of religion and decolonization sheds new light on the late colonial period and the early successor states of the French empire. It also points to the importance of international institutions and transnational religious communities in the transitions at the end of empire.

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The “Eurasian Question”

Solved by Migration?

Liesbeth Rosen Jacobson

This article examines the arrangements that authorities put in place for populations of mixed ancestry from two former colonies in Asia—the Dutch East Indies and British India—and compares them with those of French Indochina during decolonization. These people of mixed ancestry, or “Eurasians,” as they were commonly called at the time, were a heterogeneous group. Some could pass themselves off as Europeans, while others were seen as indigenous people. The arrangements were negotiated during round table conferences, at which decolonization in all three colonies was prepared. Which agreements were made, what consequences did they have, and how and why did these differ across the three colonial contexts? To answer these questions, I use material from governmental archives from all three former colonial contexts. The article shows that information on the paternal ancestry of Eurasians was decisive in the allocation of European citizenship and admission to the colonizing country.

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A Bridge Across the Mediterranean

Nafissa Sid Cara and the Politics of Emancipation during the Algerian War

Elise Franklin

Algerian nationalists’ argument for independence. 41 The French colonial government therefore felt compelled to offer Algerian women the same rights as their newly decolonized neighbors. The 1956 Tunisian reforms to the status of Muslim women, known as the

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Le Rallye Méditerranée-le Cap

Racing towards Eurafrica?

Megan Brown

postindependence economic planning. While the Eurafrican push for improved roadways and hotels died in the early 1960s, newly independent states maintained the assumption that tourism was a key industry. After the wave of decolonization in the early 1960s, and

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Periphery and Intimacy in Anti-Imperial Culture and Politics

From French Others to Othering Frenchness

Burleigh Hendrickson

(Fanon), West Africa (Sembène), and the Maghreb (Lellouche Othmani)—when conflicts over the politics of decolonization in the empire were at their most intense (from World War II to the 1970s). They also cut across complex gender, racial, and religious

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The Three Burials of Aslak Hætta and Mons Somby

Repatriation Narratives and Ritual Performances

Stein R. Mathisen

decolonization. An important part of these practices redefines ideas and practices in museums and challenges the long-established identity of ethnographic museums. Repatriation has become an important element in decolonizing discourses over the past decades