in La rivista di Arablit, a. VIII, n. 15, giugno 2018, pp. 7-30.
This paper examines the attitude towards European coloniality expressed in one of the earliest Nahdawist1 works. It argues that this attitude is inextricably connected to the problematics of indigenizing European modernity and the consequent epistemological effects of this process. The discussion is centered on al-Ṭahṭāwī’s text because of its foundational status, thus highlighting the strategies of assimilation that al-Ṭahṭāwī employs in his account of his visit to France (1826-1831). Mignolo’s coloniality/modernity complex serves as the theoretical basis for tracking the various discursive strategies used by al-Ṭahṭāwī to negotiate the difficulties posed by the political mandate of his patron, Muḥammad ‘Alī Bāšā (b. 1769, d. 1849), who endeavored to indigenize, strategically and selectively, European modernity.
Read the article