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The Pattern of the Past in North Africa

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Speaker(s): Dr James McDougall

Recorded on 2 February 2012 in D702, Clement House.

South Asia, China, Europe, North America, sub-Saharan Africa: most major world regions have histories that can be clearly characterised. The Maghrib, despite being perhaps historically the first region to be provided with a model of historical development (by Ibn Khaldun), remains to a large degree unidentifiable with its own distinctive 'pattern of the past'. This may be changing as scholarship focuses more on global, cross-regional, and interactive histories in which North Africa, as a 'hinge' at the edge of three continents, can easily and productively be placed. But does this approach risk misconstruing North Africa's own particularities? How can regional and global histories together best account for North Africa's place in world history?

Dr James McDougall| is Laithwaite Fellow and tutor in modern history at Trinity College. His research interest includes Modern and contemporary Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, African and Islamic history, especially Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco.

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