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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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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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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 French Empire Goes to San Francisco

The Founding of the United Nations and the Limits of Colonial Reform

Jessica Lynne Pearson

would map onto new international institutions and vice versa. 8 Whereas the British were reasonably hopeful about the prospect of using the UN to forestall decolonization, their French counterparts were substantially less confident. Torn between their

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Think Global, Fight Local

Recontextualizing the French Army in Algeria, 1954–1962

Terrence G. Peterson

confront decolonization as a specifically global process and why those efforts in turn resonated internationally. As they honed their operational doctrines in Algeria, French military thinkers looked abroad not only to understand the war in Algeria, but

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By Sentiment and By Status

Remembering and Forgetting Crémieux during the Franco-Algerian War

Jessica Hammerman

citizens who practiced Judaism. Within a few weeks’ time in spring of 1962, the French state orchestrated to “reject the Muslims” from the decolonized French Republic, even as they accepted Jews and pieds noirs . 7 In the move toward decolonization