Researcher page: William Gallois
Phone: 0208 392 5793
I recently finished a book entitled 'Time, Religion and History', which I hope constitutes a major addition to the fields of historiography and the philosophy of history. The book argues that historians have tended to ignore the central prop of their discipline (time), and that examination of religious cultures reveals the atypical qualities of the western, empirical model of time upon which the discipline depends. The book was published by Longman in October 2007 and has been described by Markus Daeschel as 'breathtakingly ambitious and crystal clear in its argumentation' and by Pene Corfield of Royal Holloway as 'Thought-provoking, ambitious, immensely learned'. I have also recently completed a monograph entitled 'The Administration of Sickness: Medicine and Ethics in Colonial Algeria', which Palgrave will publish in November 2008. This book contends that the history of medicine affords us a great opportunity to understand the ethics of the modern colonial encounter. Using previously-unstudied documents from the French colonial archives, I argue that French medicine, which was founded on rather narrow Hippocratic ethics, encountered a much more complex medical ethical culture in Algeria. This meeting, and the misunderstanings it generated, became emblematic of the French colonial experience in Algeria. I am also publishing in a number of areas of intellectual history which look at the movement of ideas from the Arab-Islamic world to western Europe, especially the ideal and practice of cosmopolitanism. My next two books will look at, respectively, the history of goodness and badness. The first will look at the ways in which the rulers of the Iberian kingdom of Navarre protected their Jewish and Muslim subjects in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, while my work on badness will look at massacres in nineteenth-century Algeria. The projects are intentionally twinned and form a part of my overarching aim of developing the field of moral history. I also have plans to continue my work in the history of capitalism, most particularly in the study of the Gulf.