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Memory, Knowledge and Resistance: the impact of the Algerian War on French thought

Orr, Kevin (2008) Memory, Knowledge and Resistance: the impact of the Algerian War on French thought. In: Discourse, Power and Resistance 7: cultures in resistance, 18th – 20th March 2008, Manchester Metropolitan University. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

The Algerian War of independence (1954-1962) led directly to the fall of six French prime ministers, an attempted military coup and the collapse of the Fourth Republic. It lasted longer than the Vietnam War and involved as many conscripted soldiers.
The fight against Algerian independence was justified in France by evoking socialism, modernisation and even humanism, and until the 1980s the savagery and scale of the war was largely hidden. Despite the lived experience of hundreds of thousands of French conscripts, and the resistance not only of Algerians but of many French, the powers in France consciously constructed a truth about Algeria, and so closed down memory.
This paper will argue that the Algerian War and how it was experienced, reported and remembered profoundly affected a generation of influential French intellectuals and how they consider the construction of knowledge, truth and power. This group includes Derrida, Foucault, Lyotard, Deleuze and Bourdieu, who all had some connection with Algeria, and whose subsequent writing carries the discernible imprint of the war.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D204 Modern History
D History General and Old World > DC France
Schools: School of Education and Professional Development
School of Education and Professional Development > Centre of Lifelong Learning and Social Justice
School of Education and Professional Development > Centre of Lifelong Learning and Social Justice > Teaching, Public Pedagogies and Professionalism Research Group
Depositing User: Cherry Edmunds
Date Deposited: 19 Feb 2009 14:15
Last Modified: 06 Aug 2013 11:38
URI: http://eprints.hud.ac.uk/id/eprint/3433

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