Paperback / softback
April 3, 2009
90 color illus.
10.00 Inches (US)
7.00 Inches (US)
1.75 Pounds (US)
$40.00 USD
v2.1 Reference

Walls of Algiers

Narratives of the City through Text and Image

Walls of Algiers examines the historical processes that transformed Ottoman Algiers, the "Bulwark of Islam," into "Alger la blanche," the colonial urban showpiece - and, after the outbreak of revolution in 1954 - counter-model of France's global empire. In this volume, the city of Algiers serves as a case study for the analysis of the proactive and reactive social, political, technical, and artistic forces that generate a city's form. Visual sources - prints, photographs, paintings, architectural drawings, urban designs, and film - are treated as primary evidence that complements and even challenges textual documents.

The contributors' wide-ranging but intersecting essays span the disciplines of art history, social and cultural history, urban studies, and film history. Walls of Algiers presents a multifaceted look at the social use of urban space in a North African city. Its contributors' innovative methodologies allow important insights into often overlooked aspects of life in a city whose name even today conjures up enchantment as well as incomprehensible violence.

Contributors include Julia Clancy-Smith, Omar Carlier, Frances Terpak, Zeynep Celik, Eric Breitbart, Isabelle Grangaud, and Patricia M. E. Lorcin.


"The collection does an excellent job of demonstrating the richness of visual and material sources for urban and colonial history and will provide a valuable resource to scholars."—Victoria E. Thompson, Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East, Vol. 31(1) 2011

"The picture of Algiers that emerges from the Walls of Algiers is one that fulfills the ambitions of its authors and the book and the different contributions that are made offer much to both the casual reader and the specialist. It is a fascinating collection that should be read by anyone interested in Algeria and the multivariate processes of Algeria's colonization."—Reviews in History


"Walls of Algiers is cultural history at its best, a compelling interdisciplinary collection of essays on Algiers by leading scholars, analyzing the city's Ottoman and Colonial urban spaces, architectures, streets, and city planning as well as its imagery in art, film, and photography. Providing sparkling new accounts from a diversity of post-colonial perspectives, this timely and important book is indispensable for the study of empires and their legacies."—Deborah Cherry, University of Amsterdam

"In this richly documented volume, the people, images, and places of the city of Algiers come alive. A group of outstanding scholars have been brought together to consider Ottoman, French colonial, and post-independence Algerian history through photography, popular culture, visual studies, religion, and language. Their scholarship reveals how the inhabitants actually live in Algiers, how social relations were and are conducted, what are the symbols of political authority and the boundaries of religious space, and how the city, then and now, is delineated through memory and identity."—Susan Slyomovicseditor, author of The Living Medina in the Maghrib: The Walled Arab City in Literature, Architecture, and History

University of Washington Press

9780295988689 : walls-of-algiers-celik-clancy-smith-terpak
Paperback / softback
288 Pages
$40.00 USD

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