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Race and Slavery in the Middle EastHistories of Trans-Saharan Africans in 19th-Century Egypt, Sudan, and
the Ottoman Mediterranean$
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Terence Walz and Kenneth M. Cuno

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9789774163982

Published to Cairo Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5743/cairo/9789774163982.001.0001

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The Study of Slavery in Nineteenth-century Egypt, Sudan, and the Ottoman Mediterranean

(p.1) Introduction
Race and Slavery in the Middle East

Terence Walz

Kenneth M. Cuno

American University in Cairo Press

The centrality of slavery in U.S. history and of race in American culture drives scholarly research in these subjects in the American field. The slave trade to Egypt and the Ottoman Mediterranean ended more than a century ago, and narratives by former slaves comparable to those in North America have yet to be recovered. Notions that may be described as “racial” were constructed differently than in the Americas as a result of historical differences. The relatively small proportions of the slave populations in Egypt and other Ottoman successor states also suggests why slavery does not loom as large in their collective memories as it does in the Americas. National historiography projects the nation backward in time, along with its presumed unity and uniformity.

Keywords:   slavery, Ottoman, slave, racial notions, uniformity

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