The Moroccan Soul


The Moroccan Soul

French Education, Colonial Ethnology, and Muslim Resistance, 1912-1956

Spencer D. Segalla

France Overseas: Studies in Empire and Decolonization Series

344 pages


May 2009


$60.00 Add to Cart
eBook (EPUB)
Ebook purchases delivered via Leaf e-Reader

June 2019


$30.00 Add to Cart

January 2018


$30.00 Add to Cart
eBook (PDF)
Ebook purchases delivered via Leaf e-Reader

May 2009


$30.00 Add to Cart

About the Book

Before French conquest, education played an important role in Moroccan society as a means of cultural reproduction and as a form of cultural capital that defined a person’s social position. Primarily religious and legal in character, the Moroccan educational system did not pursue European educational ideals. Following the French conquest of Morocco, however, the French established a network of colonial schools for Moroccan Muslims designed to further the agendas of the conquerors. The Moroccan Soul examines the history of the French education system in colonial Morocco, the development of French conceptions about the “Moroccan Soul,” and the effect of these ideas on pedagogy, policy making, and politics.
Fueled in large part by French conceptions of “Moroccanness” as a static, natural, and neatly bounded identity, colonial schooling was designed to minimize conflict by promoting the consent of the colonized. This same colonial school system, however, was also a site of interaction between colonial authorities and Moroccan Muslims, and became a locus of changing strategies of Moroccan resistance and contestation, which culminated in the rise of the Moroccan nationalist movement. Spencer D. Segalla reveals how the resistance of the colonized shaped the ideas and policies of the school system and how French ideas and policies shaped the strategies and discourse of anticolonial resistance.

Author Bio

Spencer D. Segalla is an assistant professor of history at the University of Tampa. His articles have appeared in French Colonial History, Journal of North African Studies, and Edith Wharton Review.


"Segalla should be congratulated for an enlightening study that stimulates the reader's mind far beyond the topic suggested in the title."—Samia I. Spencer, French Review

"This clearly written book captures the elaborate crosscurrents of its history."—David H. Slavin, American Historical Review

"The Moroccan Soul is a welcome contribution to the history of French imperialism in North Africa."—Sahar Bazzaz, The Historian

"The Moroccan Soul will offer much to both undergraduate and graduate audiences. It should command the attention of all historians of empire and historians of education, and anyone interested in the modern construction and reconstruction of French and Moroccan identities."—John Strachan, H-France

Table of Contents

Note on Arabic Spellings
List of Abbreviations Used in the Text
1. Empire and Education
2. An Uncertain Beginning
3. The West African Connection
4. A New Pedagogy for Morocco?
5. A Psychological Ethnology
6. "A Worker Proletariat with a Dangerous Mentality"
7. Elite Demands
8. Nests of Nationalism
9. Legacies and Reversals

Also of Interest