This is a cohesive collection that brings together the most recent and innovative scholarship on the subject of memory and identity in the France-Algeria colonial and postcolonial relationship, exploring topics from history and photography to culture and religion. The relationship between Algeria and France that formed during the 132 years of colonial rule did not end in 1962 when Algeria gained its independence. This long period of occupation left an indelible mark on the social fabric of both societies, one that continues to influence their cultures, identities, and politics. Wide-ranging in scope yet complementary in focus, the essays deftly convey the extent to which the French colonial experience in Algeria resonates on both sides of the Mediterranean. Young and established scholars shed light on the linguistic, cultural, and social mechanisms of violence, remembrance, forgetting, fantasy, nostalgia, prejudice, mythmaking, and fractured identity. The book's three major sections center on particular aspects of identity, memory, or nostalgia: "Identity Reconsidered," "Memory or Forgetting," and "Nostalgia."
Addressing the nature of Franco-Algerian relations through such topics as migration, displacement, settler colonialism, racism, and sexuality, these essays provide an important contribution to postcolonial studies, cultural studies, and North African history. With renewed public debate surrounding the two countries' shared past and their interwoven communities today, this volume will be indispensable for anyone with an interest in the relations between Algeria and France and the literature on memory and nostalgia.