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Circulating modernity: the role of student missions sent to Europe in the scientific and social modernization of pre-colonial Morocco (1873-1912) (EuroMoroccanScience)
Date du début: 1 juin 2013, Date de fin: 31 août 2015 PROJET  TERMINÉ 

The proposed project will analyze the scientific and social modernization of pre-colonial Morocco resulting from the circulation of young medical, scientific and engineering students in Europe in the period 1873-1912. This general aim will be achieved by: I. Mapping the identity, family background, social extraction and previous education of Moroccan students; II. Determining the actual scientific education and training they received in various European host institutions. III. Determining the context and actual impact of their re-insertion in Morocco. IV. Establishing the contribution of European-trained scientists to Moroccan nationalist and anti-colonialist movements. Four case-studies will be considered, corresponding to student missions sent by the Moroccan government to institutions of Great Britain, France, Spain and Italy. Methodologically, this project is strongly interdisciplinary, combining approaches from the history of science, history of education, colonial history and modernization theory. It follows a tradition of prosopographic studies, though further develops it through a circulation perspective. It also breaks the scholarly tendency to work exclusively on idealized knowledge by focusing on person-oriented and practice-oriented research. Finally, it intends to promote a greater internationalism by analyzing and comparing several national settings. The project's relevance stems from its being a strong historical example able to inform reflection on the design of current European cooperation policies in science & technology development and democratization in Mediterranean partern countries. It will also raise public awareness on the long-running importance and impact of European scientific expertise in the world. Lastly, it will be in tune with current challenges in the field of history of science: the need of understanding scientific research and practice in a circulatory and global perspective