Unruly Marshes: Obstacles or Agents of Empire in French North Africa?


Environmental historians struggle to describe the contact zone between nature and society. It has become a home of sorts, although it is unruly—full of complex changes, subtle flows, and sudden collisions. Through a short account of French reclamation in Algeria, this paper shows that it is between two divergent notions of environmental agency—environments acted upon and environments acting—that unruliness emerges as a provocative and potentially useful theme for environmental historians.

DOI: doi.org/10.5282/rcc/7315