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Title: Representing the Algerian woman in Francophone literature of the late-colonial period : une dissymétrie s'évoque
Author: Still, Edward
ISNI:       0000 0004 6497 0292
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2016
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This thesis seeks to discuss the ways in which canonical Francophone Algerian authors, writing in the late-colonial period (1945 - 1962), namely Kateb Yacine, Mohammed Dib, Mouloud Feraoun, Mouloud Mammeri and Assia Djebar, approached the representation of Algerian women through literature. The thesis, divided into five chapters, each focusing on the late-colonial oeuvre of one writer, initially makes use of Bourdieusian conceptions relating to a gendered "dissymétrie fondementale" and concomitant Spivakian notions of representation, to argue that a masculine domination of public fields of representation contributed to, if not ensured, a post-colonial marginalization of women and a reduction of their public role. However, it is the principal argument of this thesis that the canonical writers of the period, who were mostly male, both textually acknowledge their inability to articulate the experiences and subjectivity of the feminine Other, to represent women, and deploy a remarkable variety of formal and conceptual innovations in an attempt to tentatively produce evocations of Algerian femininity that seek to upset or highlight the structural imbalance of masculine symbolic hegemony in literary and socio-political milieux. Though this thesis does not shy from investigating those aspects of its corpus that produce ideologically conditioned masculinist representations, it chiefly seeks to articulate a shared reluctance concerning representativity and an omnipresent literary subversion of a masculine subject pole. It deploys formal narrative analysis, Lacanian psychoanalytical frameworks and a conceptualisation of "pessimistic" form to achieve these ends and to argue that the texts of its corpus discreetly militate for a communal feminine self-representation to be inaugurated, before outlining in its conclusion a post-colonial Algerian feminine literary tradition, in particular contemporary symbolic conduits such as la bande dessinée that might serve as effective motors for progression in gender relations.
Supervisor: Hiddleston, Jane Sponsor: Arts and Humanities Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Postcolonialism in literature ; Women's studies ; Algerian literary studies ; Francophone literary studies ; Mohammed Dib ; Pierre Bourdieu ; representation ; Kateb Yacine ; Jacques Lacan ; Mouloud Mammeri ; Assia Djebar ; Mouloud Feraoun