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Thursday, 11 February 2021

Bread and Circuits: Illness, Food, and the Course of Empire in Algeria

EPISODE 109
Bread and Circuits:
Illness, Food, and the Course of Empire in Algeria

In the midst of ongoing drought, famine, and epidemic disease in the 1860s, a few settlers in Algiers got sick with a mysterious illness. Investigations determined that the culprit was construction debris from the Haussmannization of Paris, shipped across imperial channels and then used as fuel in a few Algiers bakeries. Lead pain become poison in loaves as this material combusted in colonial bread ovens. The modernization of the imperial metropole, that is, turned into toxic debris in the colony. In this podcast, Dr. Brock Cutler takes a look at how this story about poisoned bread can expose the filaments that tied together an imperial space in the western Mediterranean, along the way illuminating the role bread played in performances of modern imperialism.


Dr. Brock Cutler is an Associate Professor in the Department of History at Radford University. He is the author of numerous articles and book chapters dealing with ecology and history in North Africa. His forthcoming book, "Crisis Ecologies: Imperialism, Death, and Debris in Algeria," centered around a massive ecological disaster in which 800,000 Algerians died between 1865 and 1872, explores how the new eco-social dynamics in the late nineteenth century cleaved societies from environments and people from society, creating the new insides and outsides of modernity and imperialism.

 

This episode is part of “Health and Humanities in the Maghrib” a lecture series by the American Institute for Maghrib Studies (AIMS), organized by the  Centre d'Études Maghrébines à Tunis (CEMAT) and the Centre d'Études Maghrébines en Algérie (CEMA), in close collaboration with the Tangier American Legation Institute for Moroccan Studies (TALIM). It was recorded on the 15th of October 2020 between Oran, Radford (VA), St. Petersburg (FL) and Tunis. Dr. Adam Guerin, Associate Professor in the Department of History at Eckerd College, moderated the lecture and debate.




Download the Podcast:  Feed  iTunes  / Podbean

We thank Dr. Jonathan Glasser, Cultural Anthropologist at the College of William & Mary for his istikhbar in sika on viola for the introduction and conclusion of this podcast. 
 
Realization and editing:  Hayet Lansari, Librarian, Outreach Coordinator, Content Curator (CEMA).

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Suggested Readings

 

Abu-Lughod, Janet. 2014. Rabat: Urban Apartheid in Morocco. Princeton: Princeton University Press.


Algérie: Conseil Supérieur de Gouvernement (Session de 1878). Exposition de la situation de l'Algérie (par le Général Chanze, Gouverneur Général Civil, 12 novembre 1878. Alger: Imprimerie de l'Association ouvrière. 


Bataillard, J. 1869. Histoire de la boulangerie. Besançon: Imprimerie de J. Roblot.


Bell, David and Gill Valentine, Eds. 1997. Consuming Geographies: We Are What We Eat. London: Routledge.


Berteuil, Arsène. 1856. L'Algérie française: Histoire, moeurs, coutumes, industrie, agriculture, tome 1. Paris: Dentu. 


Braudel, Fernand. 1972. The Mediterranean and the Mediterranean World in the Age of Philip II, vol. 1. New York: Harper.


Cappot, Jean-Gabriel. 1856. L'Algérie française: Son passé, son avenir. Paris: Henri Plon.


Carron, Eustache-Alexandre. 1859. Voyage en Algérie. Châlons-sur-Marne: Laurent Imprimeur.


Davis, Diana K. 2007. Resurrecting the Granary of Rome: Environmental History and French Colonial Expansion in North Africa. Athens: Ohio University Press.


Département d'Alger. 1950. « Statistiques des ports maritimes de commerce. Port d'Alger. Année 1949 ». Paris: Imprimerie nationale.


Delis, Apostolos. 2012. "Mediterranean Wooden Shipbuilding in the Nineteenth Century: Production, Productivity and Ship Types in Comparative Perspective." Cahiers de la Méditerranée 84: 349-366.


Durmelat, Sylvie. 2015. "Introduction: Colonial Culinary Encounters and Imperial Leftovers." French Cultural Studies 26(2): 115-129.


Dursteler, Eric. 2014. "Bad Bread and the 'Outrageous Drunkenness of the Turks': Food and Identity in the Accounts of Early Modern Travelers to the Ottoman Empire." Journal of World History 25(2-3): 203-228.


Earle, Rebecca. 2012. The Body of the Conquistador: Food, Race, and the Colonial Experience in Spanish America, 1492-1700. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.


Fallet, Céline. 1856. Conquête de l'Algérie (Rouen: Mégard et Compagnie).


Fanon, Frantz. 2005. The Wretched of the Earth. Richard Philcox, Trans. New York: Grove Press.


Ganzin, Eugène (Minotier d'Alger). 1856. Léthargie de la boulangerie parisienne causée par les décret, arrêtés et ordonnances qui en constituent le privilège. Paris: Paul Dupont.


de Girardin, Émile. 1860. Civilisation de l'Algérie. Paris: Michel Lévy Frères.


Gouvernement Générale Civil d'Algérie. 1877. Statistique générale de l'Algérie. Années 1873 à 1875. Paris: Imprimerie nationale. 


Guernier, Eugène, Ed. 1946. L'Encyclopédie coloniale et maritime: Algérie et Sahara vol. 2. Paris: Encyclopédie de l'Empire Française.


Herbert of Lea, Mary Elizabeth. 1881. L'Algérie contemporaine illustrée. Paris: Victor Palmé. 


Horii, Toshio. 1970. « La Caisse de la boulangerie du Département de la Seine sous le Second Empire. » Thèse pour le doctorat du 3ème cycle, Faculté des Lettres et Sciences Humaines, Université de Paris.


Jallon, Benoît, Umberto Napolitano and Franck Boutté. 2017. Paris Haussmann : Modèle de ville / A Model's Relevance. Paris: Pavillon de l'Arsenal; ZurichL Park Books.


Janvier, Jules and Joseph-Antoine Lefèvre. 1857. Compte rendu des études sur le meunerie et la boulangerie faites dans un voyage en France, en Angleterre et en Belgique. Paris: Marine et Colonies, Imprimerie administrative de Paul Dupont. 


Jordan, David P. 2004. "Haussmann and Hausmannization: The Legacy for Paris." French Historical Studies 27(1): 87-113.


______. 1995. Transforming Paris: The Life and Labors of Baron Haussmann. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.


Lecat, Jean-Michel. 2006. La grande histoire du pain et des boulangers. Paris: Éditions de Lodi.


Lemonnier, Henry. 1881. L'Algérie. Paris: Librarie central des publications populaires.


McDougall, James. 2017. A History of Algeria. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.


Merouche, Lemnouar. 2007. "Le siècle du blé," taken from his Recherches sur l'Algérie à l'époque ottoman II: La course, mythes et réalité. Paris: Éditions Bouchène.


Prochaska, David. 1990. Making Algeria French: Colonialism in Bône, 1870-1920. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.


Rapport présenté à M. le Sénateur, Préfet de la Seine, par le directeur de la Caisse de la boulangerie sur les résultats du nouveau régime de la boulangerie pendant les années 1866 et 1867. 1868. Paris: Charles de Bourgues Frères.


Reudy, John. 2005. Modern Algeria: The Origins and Development of a Nation, 2nd ed. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.


Roy, Parama. 2010. Alimentary Tracts: Appetites, Aversions, and the Postcolonial. Durham: Duke University Press.


Suranyi, Anna. 2006. "Seventeenth-Century English Travel Literature and the Significance of Foreign Foodways." Food and Foodways. 14(3-4): 123-149.


Thomas, Benjamin E. 1957. "Trade Routes of Algeria and the Sahara." University of California Publications in Geography. 8(3): 165-228.


Tompkins, Kyla Wazana. 2012. Racial Indigestion: Eating Bodies in the 19th Century. New York: New York University Press.


Touati, Ismet. 2014. "L'Algérie au 'Siècle du blé' (1725-1815)." Conférence donnée au Centre d'Études Diocésaines d'Alger (23 janvier).


Vian, Louis, Ed. 1863. L'Algérie contemporaine. Paris: Challamel Ainé.


Wahl, Maurice. 1882. L'Algérie. Paris: Librarie Germer Baillière.


Wick, Alexis. 2016. "History, Geography, and the Sea." International Journal of Middle East Studies 48(4): 743-745.


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Slides

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