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Towards Social Progress and Post-Imperial Modernity? Colonial Politics of Literacy in the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, 1946-1956

Abstract : This article explores the politics of literacy in late colonial Sudan. Drawing upon hitherto untapped archival sources in English and Arabic, it focuses on two key-questions: what were the purposes and uses of literacy in the eyes of colonial authorities? What means were used to spread literacy skills among Sudanese people? Replacing these issues in the context of British imperial policy in Africa, I argue that mixed teams of British and Sudanese educationalists came to view literacy as a central tool to foster social progress and political modernity. The analysis puts special emphasis on literacy campaigns and follow-up literature as experimental means used to promote and perpetuate Arabic literacy in the Northern Sudan. Examining both "nation-wide" and provincially based magazines, it highlights their multifaceted role as pedagogic materials, vehicles of political, cultural and ideological representations, social networks, as well as public platforms of expression for young Sudanese literates.
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https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00510845
Contributor : Iris Seri-Hersch <>
Submitted on : Saturday, March 2, 2019 - 7:00:56 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, March 6, 2019 - 1:08:30 PM
Long-term archiving on: : Friday, May 31, 2019 - 1:25:37 PM

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Iris Seri-Hersch. Towards Social Progress and Post-Imperial Modernity? Colonial Politics of Literacy in the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, 1946-1956. History of Education, Taylor & Francis (Routledge), 2011, 40 (3), p. 333-356. ⟨halshs-00510845⟩

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