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Performative Masculinity and the ‘Connective’ Memory of Colonialism in Algeria

Tuesday 1 May 2018, 17:10
Baines Wing 3.06

French Research Seminar

Dr Beatrice Ivey (University of Leeds)


This paper will explore the interactions of memory and gender in a comparative analysis of literary works by French-Algerian writers Ahmed Kalouaz and Nina Bouraoui. It will develop recent theories of the transnational and transcultural nature of memory, that she refers to as 'connective' memory, to define the ways in which memories are not simply discrete or self-contained but can forge connections with diverse histories and remembering subjects. The main focus of this presentation will be to show how 'connective' cultural memory, as an act of cultural imagination, is gendered. Although memory studies and gender theory have both undergone 'performative turns' in the last three decades, there has been no sustained effort to consider the intersecting performativity of gender and memory. It will draw attention to the implicit naturalisation of masculine perspectives in certain 'connective' narratives of memory by Kalouaz, before exploring how memory, as an affective engagement with the past in Bouraoui’s writing, can be acquired and produced through performative articulations of masculinity.