The Politics of News in Colonial Algeria

Postcard depicting new centre of Algiers c.1910. Left, the pseudo-mosque is the headquarters of the largest newspaper in Algeria, La dépêche algérienne (1904-6), on the right, the other neo-mauresque palace is the Grande Poste (1910), the central post office where telegraphic dispatches arrived first from France and which remains the monumental centre of Algiers (author's personal collection).

Postcard depicting new centre of Algiers c.1910. Left, the pseudo-mosque is the headquarters of the largest newspaper in Algeria, La dépêche algérienne (1904-6), on the right, the other neo-mauresque palace is the Grande Poste (1910), the central post office where telegraphic dispatches arrived first from France and which remains the monumental centre of Algiers (author’s personal collection).

Episode 295 of the Ottoman History Podcast with Arthur Asseraf,
hosted by Nir Shafir

“We often assume that as we become increasingly connected to ever larger networks of information and news we become part of larger and more cohesive polities. In this episode, Arthur Asseraf discusses how the introduction of new networks of communication in colonial Algeria generated friction and unevenness instead of expansive flows. Looking at telegraphs, newspapers, cinemas and more we discuss not only the types of intermediaries that flourished in this new environment, but also how news led to new and imagined forms of Muslim belonging in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. From a discussion of telegrams and coffee shops we jump into discussions of pan-Islamism, colonial conspiracy theories, and the nature of polities.” (Source: Ottoman History Podcast)

Listen to Arthur’s contribution via the Ottoman History Podcast.

Arthur Asseraf and Nir Shafir were participants of our Transregional Academy “Deframing the Mediterranean” that was held 19-29 September 2016 in Rethymno (Crete).


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