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Reading women in the construction of a new Algeria: the work of Assia Djebar during the Independence War (1954-1962)

Grant number: 19/10791-1
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): August 01, 2019
Effective date (End): July 31, 2020
Field of knowledge:Humanities - History - Modern and Contemporary History
Principal Investigator:Raquel Gryszczenko Alves Gomes
Grantee:Bruna Perrotti
Host Institution: Instituto de Filosofia e Ciências Humanas (IFCH). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil


The period of Algerian decolonization was decisive in the recent history of this country, generations that were exposed to colonial culture through a strongly assimilationist educational system encountered or even composed nationalist movements that would take center stage in the War of Independence (1954-1962). The writer Assia Djebar lived this turbulent context in the early years of her career and this research intends to analyze two of her early works in the period: La Soif (1958) and Les Enfants du Nouveau Monde (1962). Both novels bring the tensions of an author divided between two different cultural paradigms. We have as a starting point in this analysis the idea that the particularity of the oppressions suffered by women in the colonial context influences their responses and ways of engagement. The research aims, therefore, from the focus on the works of Djebar written during the war, to investigate the continuities and innovations between the two selected works, seizing: how was the process of engaging of the author and other women in the cause of independence; what is the specificity of the participation of female writing in the literary construction of discourses that dialogue with the nationalist movements in emergency and action; and finally, what was Djebar's critical reception: whether the author succeeded or not in finding for herself a space of speach.

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