OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

Historian to Offer Perspective on Conquest of North Africa

01/27/2009

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Edmund Burke III, a leading historian of French colonialism, will deliver the 26th annual George and Dorothy Carson History Lecture at Oregon State University on Monday, Feb. 9.

The talk begins at 7 p.m. at the C&E Auditorium of OSU’s LaSells Stewart Center, 26th Street and Western Boulevard in Corvallis. Titled “Extreme Ethnography: French Exploration and the Conquest of North Africa,” the lecture is free and open to the public.

Holder of the Presidential Chair at the University of California at Santa Cruz and director of the Center for World History, Burke is author and editor of numerous books, including the newly published anthology “Genealogies of Orientalism: History, Theory, Politics” (University of Nebraska Press, 2008). His book “Prelude to Protectorate in Morocco: Precolonial Protest and Resistance, 1860–1912” (University of Chicago, 1976) is regarded as a landmark contribution to the historiography of North Africa.

In his lecture, Burke will examine ways in which the academic pursuit of knowledge may contribute to the acquisition of political power. Beginning with Napoleon’s invasion of Egypt in 1798 and culminating in the French protectorate in Morocco in 1912, much of North and Subsaharan Africa came under French control. Alongside the armies, there were explorers and ethnographers.

Burke’s lecture follows the 30th anniversary of the publication of Edward Said’s controversial book, “Orientalism,” and offers a reconsideration of the relationship of knowledge and power.

The Carson lectures were founded in honor of the late George Carson, for many years professor of Russian history at Oregon State University, and his wife Dorothy.