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Women’s Anamnesia: Re-Membering the Forgotten Hi/story of Algerian Civil War
December 6, 2010 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Névine El- Nossery
Resident Fellow (2010-2011)
French and Italian, UW-Madison
Since the outbreak of violence that started in Algeria in the 90s with the rise of Islamic fundamentalism, Algerian women authors have coped with this inexorable, and yet inconceivable reality through a form of ‘urgency writing’ that resists dominant versions of official historical discourses. In order to exhume the buried memories and through a dynamic process of Anamnesia, the women writers that I chose to work on exploit a variety of counter-memories that challenge the ‘whitening’ of history by interweaving individual and collective hi/stories; past and present ‘folds’ (Deleuze); factual and fictional structures, which recall once again the complex and yet dynamic process of re-membering the past. Moreover, this book-length project examines the relationship between writing and memory, literature and history, and notably women’s representation of violence in self-writing exploration. The fictional works of Assia Djebar, Malika Mokeddem, and Leila Marouan are studied in parallel with other testimonial narratives written by Leila Aslaoui, Malika Boussouf, Khalida Messaoudi, among others, aiming to discern where the boundaries between factual and fictional representation of reality tend to blur.
Névine El Nossery is Assistant Professor of Francophone Literature in the Department of French and Italian. Her research focuses on North African literature, women’s writing and history, self-writing and memory. She published several articles and book chapters in international journals on Assia Djebar, Abdelkébir Khatibi, Malika Mokeddem, Amin Maalouf, Nancy Huston. El Nossery (University of Cairo (BA), University of Cairo (M.A), Université de Montreal (Ph.D.)) has translated Nancy Huston’s essay, Nord perdu (Losing the North) into Arabic and was published in 2005.