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A Bridge Across the Mediterranean

Nafissa Sid Cara and the Politics of Emancipation during the Algerian War

Elise Franklin

Abstract

During the Algerian War, Nafissa Sid Cara came to public prominence in two roles. As a secretary of state, Sid Cara oversaw the reform of Muslim marriage and divorce laws pursued by Charles de Gaulle’s administration as part of its integration campaign to unite France and Algeria. As president of the Mouvement de solidarité féminine, she sought to “emancipate” Algerian women so they could enjoy the rights France offered. Though the politics of the Algerian War circumscribed both roles, Sid Cara’s work with Algerian women did not remain limited by colonial rule. As Algeria approached independence, Sid Cara rearticulated the language of women’s rights as an apolitical and universal good, regardless of the future of the French colonial state, though she—and the language of women’s rights—remained bound to the former metropole.

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Christopher E. Forth

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L’impact de « mai-juin 1968 » sur la régulation sociale

Le cas de deux entreprises d’État en Haute-Garonne (1960–1975)

Clair Juilliet and Michael Llopart

Abstract

The social crisis of “May-June 1968” was part of a longer era of disruption and transformation in France. If much of the 1968 story is well known, we know less about how the events and their aftermath were experienced in various industrial sectors directly subject to the state’s authority. To explore this territory, this article examines the aeronautical firms and chemical companies in the département of the Haute-Garonne. These two sectors exemplify contrasting industrial trajectories through the 1960s and 1970s.

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Manufacturing a Multifunctional Countryside

Operational Landscapes, Urban Desire, and the French State, 1945–1976

Venus Bivar

Abstract

Rural France was instrumental to the experience of les trente glorieuses. Not only did rural France fuel economic growth and urbanization through increases in agricultural efficiency, but it also served as an imaginary counterpoint to the hustle and bustle of a new mass consumer society. In the first two decades of the postwar period, a productivist logic of agricultural output dominated rural land use policy. By the 1970s, however, after experiencing problems of surplus, the state turned toward a multifunctional approach. Rural lands were used to create regional parks, environmental preserves, and vacation properties. As both a site of agricultural production and urban consumption, rural France was operationalized to further the economic growth that defined les trente glorieuses.

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Objects of Dispute

Planning, Discourse, and State Power in Post-War France

Edward Welch

Abstract

During the presidency of Charles de Gaulle (1958–1969), state-led spatial planning transformed the Paris region. The aim of the Schéma directeur d’aménagement et d’urbanisme de la région de Paris (1965) was to improve urban life through modernization; but its scale and ambition meant that it came to represent the hubris of state power. This article examines the role of discourse and narrative in state planning. It explores the role of planning discourses in the production of space, as well as stories told about planning by the planners and those who live with their actions. It investigates perceptions of power in post-war France, placing the Gaullist view of the state as a force for good in the context of contemporary critiques of state power. Addressing the relationship between power, resistance, and critique, it sees the environments produced by spatial planning as complex objects of dispute, enmeshed in conflicting hopes and visions of the future.

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Nicolas Mariot

Abstract

The First World War has been described as an exceptional moment of comradeship, so great that it was able to break even the strongest class barriers. Were social distances and class hierarchies temporarily forgotten or abolished for the millions of Frenchmen of diverse origins who were called to arms in defense of their country? The article is about this novel experiment, provoking encounters and contacts on a huge scale and often for the first time, between an overwhelming majority of manual workers and petty employees of humble extraction, and a small number of bourgeois and intellectuals. It tells the story of the discovery, by the French bourgeoisie of the Belle Epoque, of the ordinary people who fought in the trenches.

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“Algeria for the Algerians”

Public Education and Settler Identity in the Early Third Republic

Kyle Francis

Abstract

This article uses an 1881 revolt by settler students at the normal school of Algiers to explore issues of settler identity formation, anticlericalism, and racism. It argues that in the early Third Republic, settlers began to see the public school as a key site for creating a distinctly “Algerian” identity, one that excluded both Algerian Muslims and even new arrivals from the metropole. In this effort, settlers sought to implement radical versions of French republicanism and anticlericalism that were in reality highly restrictive, as they combined both metropolitan disdain for Catholicism and colonial scorn towards Islam. The investigations precipitated by the revolt reveal a colony and metropole whose fundamental concepts took shape in circuit between France and Algeria. The version of republicanism that emerged in Algeria served as an important precursor for the exclusive republicanism and its prohibitions on the public expression of faith in the ascendency in France today.

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Black October

Comics, Memory, and Cultural Representations of 17 October 1961

Claire Gorrara

Abstract

The brutal police repression of the demonstration of 17 October 1961 stands as a stark reminder of the violence of French colonialism. A continuing official reluctance to acknowledge these traumatic events has led individuals and groups to seek alternative routes for recognition. This article explores one of these alternative routes: the comic book, and specifically Octobre Noir, a collaboration between writer Didier Daeninckx and graphic artist Mako. By analyzing the reframing of 17 October 1961 within the comic form, this article argues that Octobre noir offers a site for interrogating the relationship between history and memory. This is achieved by exchanging a cultural narrative of police brutality and Algerian victimization for a narrative of legitimate protest and Algerian political agency. Octobre noir exemplifies the value of the comic book as a vector of memory able to represent the past in ways that enrich historical analysis and inter disciplinary debate.

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Hannah Callaway, Alec G. Hargreaves, and John P. Murphy

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By Sentiment and By Status

Remembering and Forgetting Crémieux during the Franco-Algerian War

Jessica Hammerman

Abstract

Jewish leaders during the Franco-Algerian War (1954–1962) drastically changed their statements on Jewish-Algerian identity, history, and status. Below, we examine this shift by analyzing their statements about Adolphe Crémieux, the namesake of the decree that gave Algerian Jews French citizenship in 1870. Between 1954 and 1962, Jewish leaders went from adulation to dismissal as they discussed the man and his legacy. Analyzing statements about Crémieux brings into sharp relief the Jews’ legal situation in Algeria, which arbitrarily changed at certain moments. A look at these statements also reveals the instability of the French colonial system in Algeria. The first part of this article argues that the Crémieux Decree—already fundational to Jewish-Algerian identity—took on a new importance after the Second World War into the 1950s. The second part looks at reversals in attitudes toward Crémieux a few years later.