Joshua Picard

Postdoctoral Researcher, Princeton Geniza Project and Handwritten Text Recognition

My research focuses on the period of "emancipation" in North Africa, that of the abolition of the dhimma and the negotiation between local custom, the Tanzimat reforms and European imperialism in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. I expand the historiography of this period with the incorporation of diverse Judaeo-Arabic materials alongside state and diplomatic archival materials, seeking to explain the processes of change in Jewish communities during the long nineteenth century. My thesis focuses on Tunisia and in particular, the Bathou Sfez affair, the passage of the Pacte Fondamentale, and their reverberations within the Jewish community into the colonial period.