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Portrait of the Algerian Jew as a Berber: Postcolonial Imaginaries in Contemporary Jewish Algerian Literature

Dr. Tsivia Frank Wygoda, Center for Jewish Studies, Harvard University

February 27, 2020 · 4:30 pm6:00 pm · 103 Chancellor Green

Department of French and Italian

How was Algerian Jews’ position as the “indigenous foreigners” of French Algeria to make sense after the independence in 1962? As they massively emigrated to France, Algerian Jews were left with an essentially and inherently paradoxical identity: at once immigrants and repatriates, foreigners and French citizens, in exile and at home. Recent formulations in literature of a Jewish Algerian identity predicated upon Algerian Jews’ ancient connection with Berbers, are a means of recreating Algeria as a territory of belonging. They also embody the difficulties to grapple with the afterlife of colonial mythologies.

Co-sponsored by Department of Near Eastern Studies, Department of Comparative Literature, and Program in Judaic Studies

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