Abstract/Details

Slaves of fortune: Sudanese soldiers and the River War, 1896-1898


2010 2010

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Abstract (summary)

Although the Anglo-Egyptian reconquest of the Sudan has been chronicled numerous times, we still know little about the Africans who participated in the campaign. In particular, the role of Sudanese soldiers in the Egyptian Army has been ignored, or misrepresented, in most accounts. In effect, these men are depicted as no more than military automatons cum battalion numbers—nameless, faceless, imperial pawns, liminal figures that possessed neither identity nor agency, neither culture nor history. Making use of unpublished official and private primary sources located in the United Kingdom and the Sudan, as well as numerous published sources, this dissertation is at its core a historiographical restoration. It argues that nineteenth-century Sudanese slave soldiers were social beings and historical actors, shaping both European and African destinies, just as their own lives were being transformed by imperial forces in the process.

The dissertation begins by providing a background history of Sudanese soldiers in the Egyptian Army, from the early days of the Turkiyya to the launch of the Nile Campaign in 1896. In so doing, it reveals that despite military reforms and British circumlocution, for Sudanese soldiers the transition from "old" to New Egyptian Army in the 1880s, and from that of "slave" to "volunteer," represented regional and institutional continuity more than it did change. The dissertation proceeds to explore the complex nature of Sudanese soldier identity and social condition, as well as daily life and conditions of service. It then examines the unique character and scope of interactions between Sudanese soldiers and their British military brethren during the 1896-1898 Nile Campaign, or "River War," as Churchill famously penned it. It goes on to highlight not only the decisive military role played by Sudanese troops throughout this war, but also the many non-combat roles these men occupied during the campaign, as translators, military recruiters, and ethnic ambassadors. The dissertation concludes with a detailed narrative of the 1900 Sudanese mutiny at Omdurman, discussing its multiple causes, various outcomes, and broader implications.

Indexing (details)


Subject
African Studies;
African history;
Military history
Classification
0293: African Studies
0331: African history
0722: Military history
Identifier / keyword
Social sciences; Egyptian army; Military history; Nile campaign; River War; Slave soldiers; Sudan
Title
Slaves of fortune: Sudanese soldiers and the River War, 1896-1898
Author
Lamothe, Ronald M.
Number of pages
397
Publication year
2010
Degree date
2010
School code
0017
Source
DAI-A 71/05, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
ISBN
9781109727241
Advisor
McCann, James C.
University/institution
Boston University
University location
United States -- Massachusetts
Degree
Ph.D.
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Language
English
Document type
Dissertation/Thesis
Dissertation/thesis number
3405986
ProQuest document ID
275964061
Copyright
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
http://search.proquest.com/docview/275964061
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