Institut für den Nahen und Mittleren Osten



The (Re-)Making of Anthropology and African Studies in Post-Revolutionary Tunisia

After the fall of Ben Ali´s Regime in Tunisia, the university as center of producing knowledge seems to gain more autonomy and independence. The election of university presidents and deans of faculties was the first step to separate knowledge from state-imposed-power and the control of intellectuals. The university opened up to more projects of cooperation and transfer of knowledge. The following papers analyses two case studies of implementing new disciplines at Tunisian institutions namely anthropology and African Studies. The first discipline started 2014 and the second one is still in the making and will start in 2017. The main question is how anthropology has been implemented in Tunisia? How does the establishment of this “new” discipline differ – or resemble – to anthropology’s establishment in Western countries? What were the reaction(s) within the Tunisian system of high education? And how has anthropology prepared the ground to African studies? If anthropology is at least known and linked to other disciplines in humanities, African studies are absolutely non-existent in Tunisia. On the one side, this paper tends to give a historical overview of this field especially in relationship to colonial and post-colonial studies in Europe and US. On the other one, it reflects how this area can be implemented in Tunisia and how it can be developed in Academia.