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  • Cited by 7
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  • Comparative Studies in Society and History, Volume 52, Issue 1
  • January 2010, pp. 66-99

Modern Magic and the War on Miracles in French Colonial Culture

  • Graham M. Jones (a1)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 24 December 2009

On 16 September 1856, gentleman illusionist Jean-Eugène Robert-Houdin embarked from Marseille on the steamship Alexandre bound for the embattled French colony of Algeria. Thirty-six hours later, a detachment of French soldiers met him in the port of Algiers. Recently retired as an entertainer to pursue research in optics and the emerging field of applied electricity, Robert-Houdin was about to return to the stage in a series of magic performances that a French general purportedly called the most important campaign in the pacification of indigenous Algeria (Chavigny 1970: 134).

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Dedre Gentner . 1983. Structure-Mapping: A Theoretical Framework for Analogy. Cognitive Science 7: 155–70.

Tomoko Masuzawa . 2000. Troubles with Materiality: The Ghost of Fetishism in the Nineteenth Century. Comparative Studies in Society and History 42, 2: 242–67.

Peter Nardi . 1984. Toward a Social Psychology of Entertainment Magic. Symbolic Interaction 7, 1: 2542.

Laikwan Pang . 2004. Magic and Modernity in China. Positions 12, 2: 299327.

Michael Saler . 2006. Modernity and Enchantment: A Historiographic Review. The American Historical Review 111, 3: 692716.

Emilio Spadola . 2008. The Scandal of Ecstasy: Communication, Sufi Rites, and Social Reform in 1930s Morocco. Contemporary Islam 2, 2: 119–38.

Randall Styers . 2004. Making Magic: Religion, Magic & Science in the Modern World. New York: Oxford University Press.

George R. Trumbull IV. 2007. “Au Coin des Rues Diderot et Moïse”: Religious Politics and the Ethnography of Sufism in Colonial Algeria, 1871–1906. French Historical Studies 30, 3: 451–83.

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Comparative Studies in Society and History
  • ISSN: 0010-4175
  • EISSN: 1475-2999
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