Home— Princeton, NJ. Abdellah Hammoudi is an anthropologist and ethnographer whose research and teaching interests include colonialism, French ethnographic theory, the relationship between history and anthropology, and symbols of power. A native of Morocco, Hammoudi also concentrates on the social and geopolitical aspects of the Middle East and North Africa. Much of his academic work has centered on the ethnohistory of Morocco, and he has written on such Moroccan-centered topics as agricultural policy and the relationship between tribal society and religion. Hammoudi's ethnographic work has also served as the basis of several television films. In the first part of the book, Hammoudi critiques earlier French anthropological analyses of the festival and masquerade.
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Jump to navigation. Abdellah was born in humble circumstances in rural Morocco, the youngest son in a large family. Even before completing his Ph. Throughout the s and s, Abdellah held consultancies with the Ministry of Agriculture in Morocco, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, and the World Bank among other agencies , advising on issues of rural and urban development across North Africa, while simultaneously advancing through the professorial ranks in the Department of Social Sciences at Mohammed V University.
Publishing widely in English and French throughout those years, Abdellah wrote extensively on themes related to his research on development, political economy, civil society, authority, legitimacy, democracy, and religious experience — themes at once practical and theoretical, and central to the modernization of anthropology as a world discipline. Steeped in the scholarly literatures of several traditions, and immersed in the multicultural experience of his ethnographic sites in Morocco, Abdellah developed a distinctive approach to the generativity of cultural difference — indeed, to differences of all kinds.
In the context of an ascendant identity politics within anthropology and the humanities generally, Abdellah has always eschewed any easy identifications, whether for himself or for others.
This idea of culture as a formation across difference rather than difference itself permeates his scholarship. His book La Victime et ses Masques Editions du Seuil, was a transformative ethnographic reinterpretation of a Moroccan ritual tradition involving seemingly opposite movements toward sacrifice and bacchanal; Abdellah showed their mutually corollary relation.
Translated as The Victim and Its Masks , this book was an instant classic. During this same period, he held fellowships in the School of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study, and at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin.
Abdellah came to Princeton first as a visiting professor of anthropology, in , joining the permanent faculty in His publications in this period demonstrate the extraordinary acuity of his field ethnography and, at the same time, his deepening engagement with questions central both to our understanding of the Maghreb as a cultural region, and to issues fundamental to anthropology and the human sciences. He wrote extensively on issues of monarchy, authority, political change, and Islam in North Africa not just as issues of regional importance, but also as points of departure for rethinking the relationship between politics and religion, and difference and cooperation.
His work in this period culminated in an extraordinary project of commitment and experimentation, as he undertook the hajj as a personal and ethnographic journey. This book, too, has now been widely translated.
He writes eloquently on anthropological practice. In recent memory, most graduate students in anthropology will have had the good fortune of encountering Abdellah in their first semester, as he often taught the opening semester of the pro-seminar, as well as courses on sacrifice and French social theory.
No matter where they found Abdellah, from him, they learned to read slowly, closely, curiously, and generously — and collegially. The authenticity of this critique within the Arab world required that he personally share the fate of those about whom he wrote, thus he refused French or American citizenship or dual citizenship.
In negotiating these various locations, he is far more than observer or analyst though he is both of these. He cultivates in himself a deliberately thin skin, allowing the external world to enter him rather than steeling himself from it. This thin skin is his great gift — a gift repaid in the extraordinary sensitivity of his ethnography, teaching, and collegial relations.
In his research, Abdellah explores everything phenomenologically, paying attention to the fine psychic and sociological details of encounters with the external world in ritual sacrifice, in religious pilgrimage, and in the development of authoritarian political form that has characterized the Middle East of the last century. He is a Moroccan subject, not just in relation to the sovereign but more fundamentally, in relation to Islam and his life experience of crossing cultures, classes, and institutional contexts.
He is fluent in three languages Arabic, French, and English and speaks two others Spanish and Berber. In Arabic he engages the community into which he was born and the larger Middle East, in French his childhood education in a Catholic missionary school and the intellectual community of his anthropological training, and in English the community of which Princeton is a part.
In the spoken word, his English is multivoiced. For example, when he gives a talk in English, unlike in Arabic or French, he usually has written it out. But then he never reads out loud his English text; rather, he summarizes in his mind what he has written, and then in an oral register speaks a version of this written text.
What goes on in the process is a series of mysterious, nondiscrete cognitive and perceptive operations, moving back and forth from written to oral and from Arabic and French to English. Princeton University. Abdellah Hammoudi Abdellah Hammoudi, professor of anthropology, will advance to emeritus status on July 1, Annual Emeriti Booklet Excerpt:.
Abdellah Hammoudi Book.
Abdellah Hammoudi, Morocco
It is the story of an approach towards the truth of existence, because there is no existence without origin, or without a past, a present and a future, and at the end of the journey there is success or failure. He received his doctorate in anthropology from the Sorbonne in His homeland Morocco is also a research subject for Hammoudi; he has written about themes such as agricultural policy La question agraire au Maroc , Rabat , with N. Bouderbala and P. His research has also formed the basis for television productions, on which he has worked. He comes to the conclusion that the authoritarian power structures are a transferral of the student-teacher relationship, that can be found in private and public spheres, onto the political level.
Hammoudi, Abdellah 1945-
Abdellah Hammoudi born in is a Moroccan anthropologist, ethnographer, and emeritus professor of anthropology at Princeton University. Abdellah was born in El Kelaa des Sraghna in Before moving to the United States of America as a Faisal Visiting Professor for Anthropology at Princeton University in , and he joined permanently faculty in , a post which he held until his retirement on 1 July when he was given the title emeritus professor. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Abdellah Hammoudi. El Kelaa des Sraghna , Morocco. The Hajj: Pilgrimage in Islam.
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