Lost Nationalism

September 2015
7 black and white, 2 line illustrations
333 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
Eastern Africa Series
Library eBook
James Currey
BISAC HIS001020, POL031000, POL045000

Lost Nationalism

Revolution, Memory and Anti-colonial Resistance in Sudan

Elena Vezzadini

Winner of the African Studies Association 2016 Bethwell A. Ogot Book Prize

A lively account of the 1924 Revolution in Sudan and the way in which the colonial situation has affected its representation, a case in point in the histories of nationalist anti-colonial movements in Africa and the Middle East.
The 1924 Revolution was a watershed in Sudanese history, the first episode of anti-colonial resistance in which a nationalist ideology was explicitly used, and part of a global wave of anti-colonial movements after the First World War that can be seen as the "spring of the colonial nations".
This detailed account of the uprising, and its eventual failure, explores the cosmopolitan nationalism embraced by the White Flag League, the movement that sparked the revolution, and its ability to attract people from diverse origins, classes and professions. It examines the international genesis of the movement; the strategies put in place to spread it in different areas of Sudan and among different groups; the movement's inclusive ideology and its definition of the Sudanese nation, as well as the limitations to its inclusiveness; and the way in which this episode reveals deeper questions relating to origins, social hierarchies and power. The book also unravels the complex history of the memory of 1924, the politics of its representation and the underlying power struggles that saw 1924 largely lost from the historical record.
Elena Vezzadini is a historian of modern Sudan affiliated to the Centre for Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies, University of Bergen, and Institut des Mondes Africains, Paris.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Nationalism and Memory, A Lost Revolution - PART 1: THE NATIONALIST MOVEMENT IN SUDAN 1919-1923: Transnational Perspectives
Rethinking Nationalism in Colonial Sudan
The Spring of the Colonial Nations - PART 2: THE REVOLUTION OF 1924: Organization of the Movement and its Spread to the Provinces
The 1924 Revolution
The White Flag League: The Structure of the Nationalist Movement
1924 in Port Sudan and El Obeid - PART 3: IDEOLOGY AND STRATEGIES
"The word is for the Nation alone": Telegrams, Petitions and Political Writings
A Community of Protestors: Symbols, Songs and Emotions - PART 4: THE 1924 PROTESTORS: Reconsidering Social Bonds after the First World War
The Sociology of Colonial Education and the 1924 Insurgents
A Military Elite: the Army in the 1924 Revolution
"I was very famous in suq al-'arabi": Nationalism and Sudanese Workers
Epilogue: The Colonial Gaze, History and the Archives


[A]s a well-documented case study utilizing major conceptual frameworks for analysis, Lost Nationalism is a useful contribution to understanding nationalism and revolution in the modern world. CANADIAN JOURNAL OF AFRICAN STUDIES The Arabic and English, textual and visual, primary and secondary sources on which Vezzadini was able to draw for this study, while extraordinarily rich and abundant, were also challenging and complex. Her painstaking analysis of them in their Sudanese contexts as well as from the vantage point of a wide range of relevant comparative and theoretical scholarship is nothing less than impressive. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF AFRICAN HISTORICAL STUDIES

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