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After the Exodus

Catholics and the Formation of Postcolonial Identity in Algeria

Darcie Fontaine

As French officials negotiated the terms of Algerian independence with the Provisional Government of the Republic of Algeria (GPRA) in 1961–62, among the issues discussed was the future of the Christian population. After colonial occupation and armed struggle, in which the defense of “Christian civilization” in Algeria had been a major ideological justification for French violence against the Algerian population, the future of Christianity in postcolonial Algeria was not self-evident. This article examines how European Catholics negotiated their position in post-independence Algeria. I demonstrate that Catholic attempts to “become Algerian” and decolonize the Church were intertwined with global religious politics, economic necessities, and colonial history. Yet their continued presence in Algeria demonstrates that the standard narratives of postcolonial rupture between the European and Algerian populations do not hold up, for, in the early years of post-independence Algeria, European Catholics played an active role in the construction of the postcolonial nation.

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Rethinking Children's Independent Mobility

Revealing Cultures of Children's Agentic and Imaginative Mobilities through Emil and the Detectives

Lesley Murray

The concept of “children's independent mobility,” which originates in a study carried out between 1971 and 1990, underpins much of the research on children's mobilities. The study used particular criteria, based on parental determination of children's abilities and freedoms, to construct a notion of independence. This article contributes to previous work challenging the assumptions underlying this conceptualization of independence and suggests a rethinking of children's mobilities to more firmly incorporate children's agency and imagination. It does so first by critically reviewing existing scholarship and second by engaging with an example of a fictional story, Emil and the Detectives, which itself sets out to privilege both of these key aspects of children's mobilities.

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Maria Goloubeva

The need to find an epistemological framework for analyzing the discourses of identity in the Baltic States since the regaining of their independence makes it necessary to examine a cross-section of Baltic perceptions of the ‘West’ evinced during travels from the 1790s to the present.

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Editorial

A Thematic Issue about Central and Eastern European Societies

Zuzana Reptova Novakova and Laurent van der Maesen

of cronyism and corruption. Poland's ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party has only been in power for five years but has also mounted an assault on judicial independence and rule of law in that time. — The Guardian , 9 December 2020 Bearing this

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The Muslim Veteran in Postcolonial France

The Politics of the Integration of Harkis After 1962

Sung Choi

During the Algerian War of Independence (1954-1962), France mobilized tens of thousands of native Algerian soldiers, known as the harkis, for counterinsurgent operations directed against their own countrymen of the National Liberation Front. As recruits for the French army, the harkis were given French status, which was then revoked when Algeria gained its independence. France later accepted the harkis as veterans and “repatriates,” only to confine them in camps until the 1970s. The abuse of the harkis has been noted as a “forgotten” episode in French postcolonial history. This article argues that the harkis were far from having been “forgotten,” and in fact were considered important throughout the Fifth Republic as a powerful counterpoint to the more problematic immigrant Algerian population in France. The harkis represented the key tension in postcolonial France between the notion of an irrevocable civil status and a national identity that favored a Eurocentric culture.

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Moshe Berent

Ernest Gellner notes that the quarrel between himself and Anthony Smith could be summarized by the question: do nations have navels? According to his modernist outlook, while some nations might have navels, others do not, and in any case it is not important; while in Smith's conception, navels constitute an 'ethnic core', essential for nation-building. Yet in the pre–independence nation-building process, what Smith considers Israel's ethnic core—mainly the concepts of the 'Chosen People' and 'Holy Land'—either did not have the same meaning or did not play the important role that Smith attributes to them. Indeed, Smith's account of Zionism is a post–independence invention and in this respect a further corroboration of modernism.

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Camus et la « littérature algérienne »

Une notion stratégique dans l’espace littéraire francophone

Tristan Leperlier

Abstract

This article offers a socio-historical approach to analyzing the genesis of the notion of “Algerian literature” and its structural relationship to “French literature”—unstable notions that have been subject to fierce debate. I show how “Algerian literature” has been nationalized and ethnicized during the twentieth century. These transformations are linked to Algerian writers’ literary and political struggles with one another. Their approaches to affirming or denying the very existence of “Algerian literature” during the colonial era, or its ethnic character after Algerian independence, depended on their political convictions, but also on their recognition within the French-Algerian literary space. A structural analysis of the kind offered here allows us to see new historical continuities and ruptures between French colonial literature and the literature of post-independence Algeria. It reveals too that the figure of Albert Camus has remained in the heart of the debates even to this day.

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Nadine Feyder

In the Human Development Report of 2010, 135 countries representing 92% of the world population had a higher Human Development Index than in the 1970s. Three countries were an exception to the rule: Zambia, Zimbabwe, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). As it celebrates its 50th anniversary of independence, the DRC rates itself 168th out of a total of 169 countries on the Human Development Index scale.

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How Not to be a 'Dickhead'

Partisan Politics in Richard Ford's Independence Day

Tamas Dobozy

Richard Ford's Independence Day (1995) was the first novel to win both the Pulitzer Prize and the PEN/Faulkner Award. The novel continues the story of Frank Bascombe, begun in Ford's 1986 novel, The Sportswriter. By the time of Independence Day, Bascombe has given up sports-writing for real estate (and a sideline business of running a hot-dog stand, where he employs a Republican by the name of Karl Bemish). While significant portions of the novel involve Bascombe practising his trade, the novel's primary storyline involves his tour of various sports halls of fame with his son, Paul, over the course of the 4th of July weekend in 1988. The aim of the pilgrimage is to connect with Paul – a teenager who has run foul of the law and his stepfather, Charley O'Dell, who has married Bascombe's ex-wife, Ann – but it allows Bascombe to digress on the merits of real estate, 'The Declaration of Independence', marriage/divorce/parenting, and, most important for this paper, the differences between liberalism and conservatism.

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Do (Not) Follow in My Footsteps

How Mothers Influence Working-Class Girls’ Aspirations

Melissa Swauger

This article examines how working-class mothers influence their daughters' aspirations. Data was gathered from focus groups and interviews with twenty-one white and African American working-class girls and fifteen of their mothers from Southwestern Pennsylvania, United States. Research revealed that the mothers' advice is gendered, class-based, and racialized, and that it emphasizes the importance of caregiving, living near family, and financial independence and security. Qualitatively examining the messages related to work and family that working-class mothers relay to their daughters and how daughters take in these messages shows the contradictions that emerge when working-class mothers support aspiration formation.