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Performing Gender, Performing the Past: Memories of French Colonialism in French and Algerian Literatures Post-1962

Ivey, Beatrice Amelia (2017) Performing Gender, Performing the Past: Memories of French Colonialism in French and Algerian Literatures Post-1962. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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Abstract

This thesis examines examples of post-1962 cultural production in French (literature, theatre, film) from France and Algeria which contribute to the cultural memory of French colonialism in Algeria and its various transnational legacies. It develops recent theories of the transnational and transcultural nature of memory, that I call 'connective' memory, to define the ways in which memories are not simply discrete or self-contained but can forge connections with other histories and remembering subjects. The major focus of the thesis will be to show how 'connective' cultural memory, as an act of cultural imagination, is gendered. Although memory studies and gender theory have both undergone 'performative turns' in the last three decades, there has been no sustained effort to consider the intersecting performativity of gender and memory. The thesis is divided into five chapters. After an introduction to the historical and theoretical background to this thesis, each chapter is a case study and detailed narrative analysis which explores how the interactions of memory and gender in French and Algerian cultural production are inflected in different ways with various transnational dynamics and political outcomes. The first chapter analyses Assia Djebar's cinematic and written works to demonstrate performative strategies for articulating Algerian women's memories outside nationalist forms of commemoration. The second chapter shifts the focus onto how gender can be a framework for the transcolonial movement of memory, in this case through an analysis of Hélène Cixous's transposition of colonial memory from Algeria to India. The third chapter draws attention to the implicit naturalisation of masculine perspectives in certain 'connective' narratives of memory via a close literary analysis of biographical and fictional works by Ahmed Kalouaz. The fourth chapter examines Malika Mokeddem's performative reinvention of gendered norms in her novels set in the Mediterranean, where memory is gendered but plays a role in highlighting political responsibility in the present. The final chapter analyses three novels by Nina Bouraoui in which memory, as an affective engagement with the past, can be acquired and produced through performative articulations of masculinity and femininity. Overall, this thesis suggests that performative gender is central, not additional, to our understandings of 'connective' forms of cultural memory.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: Cultural Memory, Gender Performativity, Algeria, France, Francophone, Literature, Holocaust, Colonialism, Djebar, Cixous, Kalouaz, Mokeddem, Bouraoui
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures (Leeds) > School of Languages Cultures and Societies (Leeds)
The University of Leeds > Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures (Leeds) > School of Languages Cultures and Societies (Leeds) > French (Leeds)
The University of Leeds > Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures (Leeds) > School of Languages Cultures and Societies (Leeds) > French (Leeds) > Centre for Francophone Studies (Leeds)
Depositing User: Miss Beatrice Ivey
Date Deposited: 20 Mar 2018 10:32
Last Modified: 15 Oct 2018 13:21
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/19652

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