Institute of African Studies - Columbia University

Assia Djebar: Patterns of Resistance

Event Details

Assia Djebar: Patterns of Resistance
Conference at the Columbia Maison Française
October 16, 2015 - 10:00am to 6:00pm
East Gallery, Buell Hall

The death of the Algerian writer and filmmaker Assia Djebar in February 2015 represents the loss of a major voice of world literature and one of the last great literary representatives of the age of decolonization. For half a century, Djebar explored her country’s past and present in novels, essays and films that combine poignant lyricism with theoretical sophistication. Counter-narratives to official nationalism, her works highlight the experiences of Algerian women before, during and after colonialism. In this one-day conference, an international group of leading scholars reflect on Djebar’s poetics, politics and legacies.

Conference Agenda

10 a.m. Opening Remarks:  Madeleine Dobie

10:15-11:45 Panel 1: Overtures and Departures

Amr Kamal (CUNY), The Prologues and Epilogues of Assia Djebar

André Benhaim (Princeton), Djebar’s Odyssey

11:45-1 p.m. Lunch break

1-2:30 Panel 2: Memory and Mourning

Erin Twohig (Georgetown University), Investigating a Disappearance: Multilingualism and Linguistic Erasure in La disparition de la langue française

Catherine Rioux-Miklovich (Université de Clermont-Ferrand – CELIS ; Institut d'histoire du temps présent - CNRS, Paris)  Les endeuillé-e-s d'Assia Djebar

Kamal Salhi (Leeds), Djebar at the Académie Française: building on the legacy post-canonical memorie

2:30-2:45 Coffee Break

2:45-4:15 Panel 3: History and Fantasy

Réda Bensmaïa (Brown), L’Amour, La Fantasia or the Letters of History

Moneera al-Ghadeer (Columbia), The Foreign as an Operatic Spectacle in Assia Djebar

4:30-6 Keynote

Gayatri Spivak, Patterns of Resistance

Introduction by Souleymane Bachir Diagne


Co-sponsored by the Columbia Maison Française, the Columbia University Middle East Institute, the Columbia University Institute for Comparitive Literature and Society, and the Columbia University Institute for Research on Women, Gender and Sexuality. Funding made possible by the Knapp Family Foundation.