The New White Race


The New White Race

Settler Colonialism and the Press in French Algeria, 1860–1914

Charlotte Ann Legg

France Overseas: Studies in Empire and Decolonization Series

304 pages
9 figures, index


June 2021


$55.00 Add to Cart
eBook (EPUB)

June 2021


$55.00 Add to Cart
eBook (PDF)

June 2021


$55.00 Add to Cart

About the Book

The New White Race traces the development of the press in Algeria between 1860 and 1914, examining the particular role of journalists in shaping the power dynamics of settler colonialism. Constrained in different ways by the limitations imposed on free expression in a colonial context, diverse groups of European settlers, Algerian Muslims, and Algerian Jews nevertheless turned to the press to articulate their hopes and fears for the future of the land they inhabited and to imagine forms of community which would continue to influence political debates until the Algerian War. The frontiers of these imagined communities did not necessarily correlate with those of the nation—either French or Algerian—but framed processes of identification that were at once local, national, and transnational.

The New White Race explores these processes of cultural and political identification, highlighting the production practices, professional networks, and strategic-linguistic choices mobilized by journalists as they sought to influence the sentiments of their readers and the decisions of the French state. Announcing the creation of a “new white race” among the mixed European population of Algeria, settler journalists hoped to increase the autonomy of the settler colony without forgoing the protections afforded by their French rulers. Their ambivalent expressions of “French” belonging, however, reflected tensions among the colonizers; these tensions were ably exploited by those who sought to transform or contest French imperial rule.

Author Bio

Charlotte Ann Legg is a lecturer in French studies at the University of London Institute in Paris.


"Legg's fresh, cogent, nuanced reading of race, language, and issues around women and anti-Semitism as expressed in the press makes this a useful reference for a number of disciplines, including history, literature, and cultural or ethnic studies."—H. Bahri, Choice

“Legg’s book opens new directions for research. She reinvigorates approaches to using journalistic publications as the primary source base by bringing them to bear on the generative contact zone between ‘imperial turn’ and transnational historiographies. Legg’s expansive research is particularly compelling because of the multilingual source base on which she draws.”—Todd Shepard, coeditor of French Mediterraneans: Transnational and Imperial Histories

“Engaging and important. One of this book’s real strengths is the consistent attention to and analysis of questions of race and gender, which are embedded throughout the discussion rather than confined to particular chapters or segments. [Legg] also skillfully highlights the diversity within each of these ‘marginal’ groups, which complements the attention paid to the heterogeneous nature of settler populations.”—Claire Eldridge, author of From Empire to Exile: History and Memory within the Pied-Noir and Harki Communities, 1962–2012

Table of Contents

List of Figures    
1. The New White Race: Journalism and Civilization in French Algeria
2. The Settler Colonial Family Romance: Political Imaginaries under the Second Empire and the Third Republic
3. Foreigners into Frenchmen?: The Press and the Algerian Antijuif Movement
4. Pages without Borders: Local Publications in Global Networks
5. Algerians of Any Nationality: Articulating Communities in Multilingual Publications

Also of Interest