NIU history professor Ismael Montana pens book on abolition of slavery in North Africa

Montana to speak about book Friday, Sept. 20

Ismael Montana

Ismael Montana

Ismael Montana, an NIU professor in the Department of History, has authored a new book on Tunisia, the first Muslim country to abolish slavery in the modern period.

Montana will deliver a talk on the book – titled “The Abolition of Slavery in Ottoman Tunisia” (University Press of Florida) – at 2:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 20, at the Thurgood Marshall Gallery in Swen Parson Hall.

The groundbreaking work fully explicates the complexity of Tunisian society and culture and reveals how abolition was able to occur in the 1840s in an environment hostile to such change.

Book cover of "The Abolition of Slavery in Ottoman Tunisia" by Ismael M. MontanaMontana shows how European capitalism, political pressure and evolving social dynamics throughout the western Mediterranean region helped shape this seismic abolition process. The result is a study that reassesses the impact of the broader transformations in this period on black slavery throughout North Africa and the Mediterranean lands of Islam.

Julia Clancy-Smith, an award-winning historian of North Africa from the University of Arizona, also will address the importance of Montana’s book.

Additionally, Clancy-Smith will speak earlier in the day on her own work. Her talk, titled “From Sidi BouZid to Sidi Bou Sa`id: Reflections on the North African Revolutions,” will begin at 1 p.m. in Altgeld Hall Room 315.

For more information, call (815) 753-0131 or email history@niu.edu.

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