Algeria is never far from the center of Albert Camus's life and work—no further, in effect, than Ithaka is from the center of Odysseus's thoughts. In fact, Camus tended to see his native country through his readings of ancient Greek myth and tragedy. This article traces the ways in which Camus, with materials provided by ancient Greece, not only represented his native land, but also elaborated a “Mediterranean” school of thought—la pensée du Midi—that emphasizes the role of moderation or “measure.” There is an undeniable aspect of nostalgia to Camus's rendering of his country and its past, but this does not undermine its validity. By making use of Svetlana Boym's fruitful distinction between reflective and restorative forms of nostalgia, I suggest that the combination of the two categories lies at the heart of Camus's “philosophy of limits.”
Deportees in France and Algeria and the Re-Making of a Modern Empire, 1846-1854
Allyson Jaye Delnore
In 1847–1848, two well-publicized events ended in colonial and metropolitan deportees crisscrossing the Mediterranean between France and Algeria. In the first, Abd al-Qadir surrendered to French forces in the colony after a protracted resistance and was deported to the metropole in January 1848. Then, after the bloody reprisals of the June Days months later, the National Convention sentenced thousands of Parisian insurgents to “transportation,” eventually settling on Algeria as their destination. In both cases, the sentence of deportation seemed to satisfy both the penal and imperial goals of post-Revolutionary France: political stability, public order, and imperial expansion. But in practice, both episodes of deportation also heralded a new era. After 1854, the French government began consolidating punishment at the colonial peripheries while at the same time subjecting more individuals to deportation, signaling a shift in the relationship between colony and metropole that complemented emerging theories of crime and punishment.
Hub of the Nationalist Underground, Paris 1926–1962
While a general social history of the Algerian community in France during the War of Independence has yet to be written, some aspects of such a project have begun to take shape through work on the shantytowns and the everyday life of the 350
Medical Auxiliaries, Smallpox, and the Colonial State in the Communes mixtes
It is a rain-soaked November afternoon in the city of Constantine in eastern Algeria. I am ensconced in the regional archives, searching for records relating to colonial-era disease control in Algeria’s communes mixtes . In place from 1858 to 1956
The Croix de Feu/Parti Social Français Confronts French Jewry, 1931-1939
Refuting claims made by several historians that the Croix de Feu/Parti social français were non-exclusionary, this article demonstrates the prevalence of anti-Semitism and xenophobia throughout the league's metropolitan and Algerian sections. CDF/PSF leadership and rank-and-file alike prioritized the notion of the enemy, and their plans for les exclus augured similar developments under the Vichy regime. Although less rabidly xenophobic than his colleagues, whose opinions variously promoted denaturalization and outright elimination, group leader Colonel Françaois de la Rocque was nonetheless prone to racist and exclusionary doctrine, arguing that foreign Jews and immigrants were the enemies of la patrie, and should necessarily be expunged from the new nation. The article describes the wide range of xenophobia present in group actions and discourse, while positioning the CDF/PSF within the broader context of French and Algerian society.
Let me start with an apparent aside. In the midst of his dialectical demolition of Foucault’s Histoire de la folie, in “Cogito et histoire de la folie,” Derrida argues that although Foucault wants to do an archeology of madness’s silence, an archeo-logy is a logically ordered work (465), and that even though Foucault wants to protest against reason’s sequestration of madness, “reason in the classical age” can only be brought before the tribunal of Reason in general (466), which could then rule on the unreasonableness of classical reason.
Focusing on the gendarmerie forces of the three French Maghreb territories, this article explores the relationships between paramilitary policing, the collection of political intelligence, and the form and scale of collective violence in the French Empire between the wars, and considers what, if anything, was specifically colonial about these phenomena. I also assess the changing priorities in political policing as France's North African territories became more unstable and violent during the Depression. The gendarmeries were overstretched, under-resourced, and poorly integrated into the societies they monitored. With the creation of dedicated riot control units, intelligenceled political policing of rural communities and the agricultural economy fell away. By 1939 the North African gendarmeries knew more about organized trade unions, political parties, and other oppositional groups in the Maghreb's major towns, but they knew far less about what really drove mass protest and political violence: access to food, economic prosperity, rural markets, and labor conditions.
Comics, Memory, and Cultural Representations of 17 October 1961
The events of 17 October 1961 have come to stand as a reference point for debates on the extent and nature of French colonial violence. * The brutal police repression of a demonstration of Algerian protesters on the streets of Paris that day cast
Relevance for Understanding the Postcolonial Situation
Precisely because the Maghreb rejects if not the contribution at least the spirit of the colonial period and claims to have access, above and beyond that period, to more ancient continuities, it invites the observer to meditate on certain constants we had lost sight of, and on the temporal vicissitudes that affect those constants. — Jacques Berque, 1965
Recent Histories of State Violence in France and Algeria in the Twentieth Century
Historians cannot resist violence.* Not simply because of a voyeuristic interest in the dramatically lethal, but also because many of the most vexing questions about the writing of history converge in the crucible of violent events. Historians are attracted to the subject because they hope that it might tell them something about the fundamental problems in their discipline: questions about causality, agency, narrative, and contingency; about the readability of the past and the conclusions that one can draw about complex social phenomena from fragmentary and often one-sided bits of evidence.