Version classiqueVersion mobile
OpenEdition Books

Biographies et récits de vie

Kmar Bendana
Katia Boissevain
Delphine Cavallo

Résumés : études


Texte intégral

Sabina LORIGA. The historian’s doubt

1In the last decades, the notion of historical truth has become more and more fragile. History seems to be perceived as a discretionary discipline, always projecting present time images onto the past. As last century’s great novelist Italo Svevo wrote, the dominant feeling is such that « present time conducts the past like a conductor his musicians ». The reasons which this belief is based on are numerous and complex. I shall confine myself to two of them. First of all, memory limits (in a particular manner) the extraordinary explosion of biographical and local memoirs. In the second place, the reason is the awareness of the links between historian and present time.

André RAYMOND. The Andalusian's installation in Tunis in the xviith century: a second neighbourhood in Bâb Suwayqa?

2Strong features of the social and economic structure of big Arab cities can become apparent through cartography. The study of the road network in the northern suburb of Tunis (Bab Suwayqa) shows the existence of a zone characterized by a regular pattern of roads which may well be the spatial recollection of the settlement of Andalusian immigrants in the early xviith century. A map, drawn in 1764, appears to confirm this hypothesis.

Jean-Luc ARNAUD. Drawing up a map of Tunis in the 1860's

3In the early 1860’s, in a time where no precise cartography of Tunis exists, a detailed map is prepared, in order to enable the authorities to supply the city with water.

4Two French engineers are put in charge of this operation by the beylical administration. At the time, the coffers of the State are empty. After a few interruptions, and despite a delay of twenty months, the map is finally handed over at the end of 1863. The way in which public services entertain the hopes of the engineers about their payment throughout this period, illustrates a particular manner of functioning which, despite administrative reforms and the regency’s relative autonomy from the Sublime door, reminds us of other ottoman’s practices.

5The faulty conception of the map, drawn up according to a French model pursuing a different aim, leads to an enormous waste: despite the fact that with a few modifications the map could have constituted a superb tool of control and planification, it will never be printed. And this happened only a few years after the founding of the first municipal authority.

Pierre Robert BADUEL. Re-reading Said? Beyond Occident in the universalization of social sciences

6This article revisits a famous piece of work, Orientalism, and also interrogates the entirety of the work of its author, Edward Said, particularily the question of the status of area studies. It develops elements of his thesis defended in Said’s first book which, presenting orientalism both as a representation and an area of study, reveals the overlapping of different knowledges and powers, of culture and imperialism, tracks down the long lasting expedients induced by this original collusion, exposes up to now the general backwardness of this field of occidental knowledge on the general course of human and social sciences even though orientalism has accomplished its revolution by integrating these sciences in the frame of area studies. Resituating the moment of his Orientalism within the subsequent evolutions of the production of Said, this article insists on the analysis of the cognitive foundations of the radical critic of area studies beyond that of orientalism. It aims to “take seriously” the whole of the saïdian’s endeavour, beyond the fundamental polemic character of this first work. This article is also a critical analysis of a collection of work which is today closed. This analysis resituates this work within the scientific debate, past and present, and while showing its specificity, defines the limits of Said’s intellectual posture.

© Institut de recherche sur le Maghreb contemporain, 2005

Conditions d’utilisation :