Concrete Futures: Technologies of Urban Crisis in Colonial and Postcolonial Morocco


Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships




This project explores the link between colonial concepts of urban crisis and the socio-technical work of remaking Morocco's urban housing and infrastructures by tracing the movements of construction technologies through different regulatory systems, ecological relationships, and regimes of value. During the French Protectorate in Morocco and the country’s postcolonial transition, experts, officials, and urban residents developed a series of crisis technologies as solutions to problems of housing, public health, unemployment, and popular unrest. These crisis technologies included materials such as cinder blocks, forms of worksite organization such as housing cooperatives, and financial mechanisms such as small, low-interest loans. By examining the final decades of the Protectorate and the process of decolonization, this project argues that crisis technologies of construction, demolition, and financialization remade relations between states and subjects, bodies and environments, and labor and capital in Morocco.