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The Atlantic Maghrib: 16th Century Morocco and the Dawn of Racial Capitalism

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Event Details:

During the early modern period, the Maghrib region stood at the heart of global developments. Despite its geographic integrality as the converging point for the Atlantic, Mediterranean, Africa, and Europe, dominant disciplinary categories of order have relegated the Maghrib to the margins. But what if we consider a framework that upends the notion of marginality and embrace one of centrality? Can the Maghrib provide us with insight into histories beyond the region itself? This talk addresses these questions by arguing that 16th century Morocco serves as a generative of site for understanding the early formations of racial capitalism. This project moves away from traditional approaches to Maghribi history as ancillary to Africa, the Middle East, and the Mediterranean. Instead, this project orients the Maghrib toward the Atlantic. In doing so, the structural and material violence of anti-Blackness in North Africa today can be understood as the result of a shared history that is not solely limited to the Western side of the Atlantic.

Speaker Biography:

Samia Errazzouki is a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the Stanford Humanities Center and History Department. She holds a PhD in history from the University of California, Davis and a masters in Arab Studies from Georgetown University. She currently serves as an editor with the Journal of North African Studies. Samia formerly worked as a Morocco-based journalist, where she reported for the Associated Press, and later, with Reuters. She is an advocate for press freedom in North Africa and has published on current affairs in the Washington Post, Foreign Policy, the Guardian, and the Carnegie Endowment, among others.