In this evocative and well-crafted monograph, Marie Grace Brown recounts a history of Sudan with women’s bodies and dress as her record. The title of the book, Khartoum at Night, is taken from the name of a popular 1950s tobe, the traditional dress of Sudanese women. Throughout Brown charts how narratives of Sudanese women’s aspirations, values, and experiences under imperial rule unfold through their tobes. Scholars have written about Sudan under imperial rule, but none have addressed Sudanese women’s fashion and their bodies during this period. Thus Khartoum at Night can be considered a valuable contribution for placing Sudanese women as active agents of their history.

Colonizers regarded the Sudanese female body as a measure of civility and progress. Brown examines how, under the pretext of reform and progress, Anglo-Egyptian imperial governments exercised social and...

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