May 25 | Christelle Taraud, “‘Native’ Women on Stirrups”

May 25, 2017
4.30pm - 6pm
CSRPC / CSGS, 5733 S University Ave

free and open to the public; facebook event

Christelle Taraud, “'Native’ Women on Stirrups: Hygienic Discourse and Violence Through Photography in Colonial Morocco during the 1930’s”

This talk is based on a corpus of photographs representing prostitutes and published in a book on French medicine in Morocco during the 1930s. This series of images explored both the regulation of prostitution in colonial context, and the control and repression of prostitutes at the heart of hygienist discourses and racial segregation. The talk addresses in particular the violence contained in these images, from the trivialized use of naked "indigenous" to the invasive and mandatory medical inspections of prostitutes. It argues that the photographer himself participated not only to the construction of an apologetic discourse about French colonial medicine, but also to the degradation of "native" women, through the very act of photographing. As such, these images convey, just like written archives, masculine and colonial domination over prostitutes. Photography, then, constituted a key element in colonial ideology, as it helped to promote medical, moralist, and racist discourses. 

Professor Christelle Taraud is a historian of modern and contemporary Maghreb. Her areas of specialty include the history of women, gender, and sexualities in colonial contexts. She is a member of the Centre d'histoire du dix-neuvième siècle at the Universities of Paris I and Paris IV and the author of several monographs on the history of gender and sexuality in French North Africa, including La Prostitution coloniale: Algérie, Tunisie, Maroc, 1830-1962 (Paris Payot, 2003 and 2009); Mauresques: Femmes orientales dans la photographie coloniale, 1860-1910 (Paris: Albin Michel, 2003); Femmes d'Afrique du Nord: Cartes postales, 1885-1930 (Paris: Editions Bleu Autour, 2006 and 2011); and Amour interdit: Prostitution, marginalité et colonialisme. Maghreb 1830-1962 (Paris: Payot, collection Petite Bibliothèque Payot, 2012).
Organized by the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality, with support from the Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture (CSRPC), and the Center for Middle Eastern Studies. 


This venue is physically accessible and has a gender-neutral restroom. Please contact the CSRPC at 773.702.8063 with any questions or accommodation requests.