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French Thought and Algeria



 
 
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  #1  
Old May 2nd, 2004, 02:57 PM
Mr
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default French Thought and Algeria

Hey ppl,
How r u all?I am new at this newsgroup so i wud like to give a brief
introduction of myself before i seek help of ne1 of you. Actually i am
a Phd student working on my thesis these dayz. The topic of my
research in the same as the subject of my post i.e. "french thought
and algeria". I have a list of a books and quite a few references but
wat i'm really looking for is, any individual who has already done
some kind of research in this very area. I came across this newsgroup
one day and thought of posting a message here. I wud b very obliged if
some1 cud help me out here.
Thanks in advance!
Best of regards,
Ahmad.

p.s. I am attaching a synopsis of my research with my post. Thought
this might give you ppl an idea of wat i am really looking for here.

ABSTRACT

Sartre's preface to Fanon's "Wretched of the earth" and Bourdieu's
foreword to Sueur's "Uncivil war" after an interval of forty years
approves of only one factuality and that is French fixation with
Algeria
or in other words consistency in the French intellectual quarters with
regards to the French Algeria; such consistent a thought, a
phenomenon that it has become a "NOSTALGERIA" with almost whole
of France and especially with the intellectuals. The Algerian
experience
has been quite successful in exerting influence upon its perpetrators
which other colonies could not especially the Indian colony which
could
boast of being even much bigger a colony in every respect than Algeria
but with meager or no effect on its colonizers, which develops as a
result of happy or unhappy commingling of any two nations. French
fixity with Algeria had an assenting effect on the French thinkers so
diverse and confirmatory that it can be observed in the writings of
innumerable writers theorists and philosophers like FRANZ FANON,
ALGERT CAMUS, ALBERT MEMMI, JEAN PAUL SARTE, SIMONE DE
BOUVOIRE, PIERRE BOURDIEU, and countless others. It's no wonder then
that the foremost anti colonial slogan was raised in France by Fanon
and Sartre followed the suit by writing " COLONIALISM AND
NEOCOLONIALISM"; and the idea of Black nationhood was
reformulated and revitalized by SENGHOR and CESAIRE while living in
France. No doubt these voices were primarily articulated by men of
letters and thinkers who were Black, the ideas were however soon
taken up by philosophers and theorists who belonged to the colonizing
class i.e. they were White.

The French excuse for colonizing Algeria was similar to the other
colonial pleas viz. 'mission civilisatrice' under the garb of civility
and
sobriety they maltreated and butchered the natives of the land in the
similar manner as other colonizers did. However, the reaction by the
intellectual of the colonizing power was quite considerate and humane.
The Algerians were undermined and brutalized physically,
psychologically and politically by the French government and the Pied
Noirs. On the contrary, the French thinkers, philosophers and writers
felt the very Algerian pulse and shared their pains and miseries as if
these were their own. The intellectual response to the Algerian
situation shows that the French scholars were not indifferent and
apathetic to the things happening around them. They did not simply
think about their own selves or about the false pride of their country
and countrymen; instead they raised voice against the brutalities of
their own government in favour of those who had been declared "others"
by their masters.

Algeria gave to the French thought a new idea of, Nation and
Nationalism, a new vision towards Colonialism and Neo Colonialism, a
new anthropological outlook. And it is no wonder that the new
decentralized theory of post structuralism, de-centering the whole of
Western Tradition was the brainchild of an Algerian born French
philosopher Jacques Derrida.

French thinkers always found in the occupation of Algeria the negation
of the cardinal principles of French revolution (Guy De Maupassant's
remarks over the colonization event can be given as an example, and
the very same tradition was followed in the succeeding years), viz.,
liberty, equality and fraternity. The French colonizers had subjugated
the Algerians and put an end to their liberty, sought fraternal ties
with their countrymen alone and not with the people of the land among
whom they were living and as regards equality it ceased to exist the
moment French entered into Algeria and undermined the native
population treating them as second or even third rate citizens on
their own soil and superseding COLONS over them. It was, however, not
before the German occupation of France that the French thinkers
started knowing the meaning of liberty, an in-absentia realization of
phenomenon, a recognition and reassessment only when it was denied to
them.

Fanon's anti-colonial thoughts, Sartre's inspiration of Fanon as
envisaged in his preface to the "Wretched of the Earth" and later on
in his famous "Colonialism and Neo Colonialism", Camus' whole
collection of existentialist work, Pierre Bourdieu's sociological and
anthropological findings, the idea of "HABITUS" all have their origin
in the Algerian experience.

France remained the center of all philosophical and literary
activities, a hub of "CONTINENTAL PHILOSOPHY" & "LITERARY CANON"
throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The process had
started with Auguste Comte and Emile Durkheim. French contribution to
the philosophical and literary realm has been immense and spectacular.
From Structuralism to Post Structuralism and Positivism to Post
Modernism all the theories emerged in France. French thinkers gave an
innovative aura to the philosophies and methodologies taking birth
some elsewhere and acquiring an entirely new and radical a shape in
France like its contribution to Marxism and Psychoanalysis. It is
interesting to note that while all these theories and philosophies
were emerging on the intellectual front the Algerian question was at
the back of almost all the thinkers and theorists leaving behind an
Algerian imprint (Comte's Antitotalitarisme', Maupassant's Bel Ami
etc). My research shall be outside the realm of the "Oriental Studies"
or "Extra Oriental" we may call them as it is going to focus on those
epistemological and ontological factors, which are considered purely
western, or "Occidental" in the Postcolonial jargon.

In order to comprehend the whole phenomenon the French Algerian rule
can be vaguely divided into four parts:

1830 1870 - from the French occupation to the end of Napoleon III
empire
1870 1939 - comparatively longer period till the beginning of
World War II
1930 1954 - the Inter War and Post War period
1954 1962 - the struggle period resulting into Algerian
independence

It is the last period that shall be the focus of my research also
taking into consideration some of the Post Independence or
Decolonization effects. Moreover, it may be connected to the previous
three periods while analyzing the change of views on such phenomenon
as IDENTITY, RACE, ETHNOGRAPHY, and NATIONALISM etc.

The prospective plan of action would be the analysis of the Algerian
impact, as they passed through that struggle phase for independence,
on French intellectuals mainly through Fanon and Camus and as it went
ahead what influence it did have on overall French thought besides
generating a general disgust among scholars for colonialism.
Bourdieu's sociological and anthropological workings, existentialist
out pourings of both Camus and Sartre, Barthe's inclusion of certain
myths regarding the French colonization in his famous work
"MYTHOLOGIES", the impact of Algerian question on men like Levi
Strauss, Albert Memmi, Jean Amrouche etc; whether Derrida's
deconstructive theory is actually a depoliticized, dehistoricized
theory or it does have its political and historical roots? Are these
roots in any way based in Algeria? (As Derrida spent the first
nineteen years of his and received his early education in Algeria and
was again affected when Jews were expelled from Algeria). These are
not merely far-fetched speculations, seen especially in the light of
Derrida's recent views in which politics no more remains a barred or
proscribed subject. Also related to this field of research is an
interesting phenomenon of "Intellectual Engagement" unique only to the
French thinkers and academicians, later on imitated by the Americans.
The intellectuals engaged in such an activity of not detaching
themselves from their surroundings and the socio political occurrences
were called l' intellectuel engage', who did not sit in an Ivory Tower
instead remained engaged in Public Life for Social Change and Social
Justice. This movement got impetus during the Algerian Nationalist
Movement and engaged such thinkers as Sartre, Bourdieu and Havel (the
actual movement started during the famous "Dreyfus affaire'" and
involved men like Zola).

This research shall define that the French Algerian war occupies a
seminal place in the Postcolonial studies and played a definitive role
in shaping the Postcolonial theory and giving aid to much of the
Literary Canon and Critical Theory.

The research shall be divided into different categories evaluating
Algerian influence on each major movements like Structuralism, Post
Structuralism, Existentialism, Feminism etc. The other method can be,
that four or five major thinkers shall be selected taking at least one
major work of each of them and seeking Algerian impact on these works,
then, if possible, expanding it to the whole set of theories in
general, to find out a cumulative effect (if any) of it on the general
thinking. The work can be further delimited after the actual research
work is launched and the contours of research come to the fore. That
factors pertaining to the Algerian life, the social, political,
economic, and psychological and various other factors, how potent they
were in leaving an impress upon the French thought? Along side, the
works of famous Algerian native writers and thinkers (both Arab and
Kabyle) shall also be tabulated and their impact on French
intellectual life shall be assessed.


SIGNIFICANCE

The contribution of the colonized has always been undermined declaring
him as ignorant, fool, lecherous, retrogressive, mentally and
spiritually debilitated, hence unable to add something to the welfare
of the humanity. This research shall be intended to remove the
obscurantist image of the erstwhile colonized proving that it does
partake in the human activity somewhat tacitly (perhaps somewhere
timidly) but does not remain out rightly ineffective, vain, sterile
and un productive as western history portrays and proves them to be.


OBJECTIVES

To formulate a New Code helpful in assessing the contribution the
denigrated and suppressed nations of the world (under both the
Colonial and Neocolonial hegemonies of the so called enlightened and
civilized powers)


To impart to the oppressed nations of the world, through the medium
of Postcolonial Studies, confidence and a sense of honour regarding
their role, marred, obliterated and distorted by their "MASTERS"

To further enhance these studies both in scope in matter finding the
very same strains in other certain issues, countries and men
ascertaining their role towards the betterment of mankind.




BIBLIOGRAPHY



"Colonialism and Neo Colonialism" by Jean Paul Sartre Routledge

"Uncivil War: Intellectuals and Identity Politics During the
De-Colonisation of Algeria" by James D Le Sueur

"France and Algeria: A History of De-colonisation and
Transformation" by Philip Chiviges Naylor, University Press of Florida

"Journal 1955 1962: Reflections on French Algeria War" by Mouloud
Feraoun, Mary Ellen Wolfe

"Algeria 1830 2000: A Short History" by Benjamin Stora

"A Savage War of Peace: Algeria 1954 1962" by Alistair Horne

"Imperial Identities: Stereotyping, Prejudice and Race in Colonial
Algeria by P.M.E. Lorcin I.B. Tauris Publishers

War and the Ivory Tower: Algeria and Vietnam by David Schalk
Oxford Press
  #2  
Old May 2nd, 2004, 02:59 PM
Wayne Harrison
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default French Thought and Algeria


"Mr" wrote

and just when you think you've seen it all...

sweet baby jesus.


  #3  
Old May 2nd, 2004, 03:31 PM
George Cleveland
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default French Thought and Algeria

On Sun, 02 May 2004 13:59:31 GMT, "Wayne Harrison"
wrote:


"Mr" wrote

and just when you think you've seen it all...

sweet baby jesus.



I'd give him a B-.


g.c.
  #4  
Old May 2nd, 2004, 07:02 PM
Jarmo Hurri
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default French Thought and Algeria


Ahmad How r u all?I am new at this newsgroup so i wud like to give a
Ahmad brief introduction of myself before i seek help of ne1 of
Ahmad you. Actually i am a Phd student working on my thesis these
Ahmad dayz. The topic of my research in the same as the subject of my
Ahmad post i.e. "french thought and algeria". I have a list of a
Ahmad books and quite a few references but wat i'm really looking for
Ahmad is, any individual who has already done some kind of research
Ahmad in this very area. I came across this newsgroup one day and
Ahmad thought of posting a message here. I wud b very obliged if
Ahmad some1 cud help me out here.

Thus, we have finally arrived at a position where it is
straightforward to reverse the roles of
1. on-topic posts about an esoteric lifestyle called fly-fishing
2. off-topic political posts.

For more information, see [1].

[1] The ROFF political discussion forum. Official transcripts
available at http://tinyurl.com/2nrt4 (ISI impact factor 24.34.)

--
Jarmo Hurri

Commercial email countermeasures included in header email
address. Remove all garbage from header email address when replying,
or just use .
  #5  
Old May 3rd, 2004, 01:45 AM
Asadi
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default French Thought and Algeria

hiol0o. Iams phdammi studint. wurking on da projek


"Mr" wrote in message
om...
Hey ppl,
How r u all?I am new at this newsgroup so i wud like to give a brief
introduction of myself before i seek help of ne1 of you. Actually i am
a Phd student working on my thesis these dayz. The topic of my
research in the same as the subject of my post i.e. "french thought
and algeria". I have a list of a books and quite a few references but
wat i'm really looking for is, any individual who has already done
some kind of research in this very area. I came across this newsgroup
one day and thought of posting a message here. I wud b very obliged if
some1 cud help me out here.
Thanks in advance!
Best of regards,
Ahmad.

p.s. I am attaching a synopsis of my research with my post. Thought
this might give you ppl an idea of wat i am really looking for here.

ABSTRACT

Sartre's preface to Fanon's "Wretched of the earth" and Bourdieu's
foreword to Sueur's "Uncivil war" after an interval of forty years
approves of only one factuality and that is French fixation with
Algeria
or in other words consistency in the French intellectual quarters with
regards to the French Algeria; such consistent a thought, a
phenomenon that it has become a "NOSTALGERIA" with almost whole
of France and especially with the intellectuals. The Algerian
experience
has been quite successful in exerting influence upon its perpetrators
which other colonies could not especially the Indian colony which
could
boast of being even much bigger a colony in every respect than Algeria
but with meager or no effect on its colonizers, which develops as a
result of happy or unhappy commingling of any two nations. French
fixity with Algeria had an assenting effect on the French thinkers so
diverse and confirmatory that it can be observed in the writings of
innumerable writers theorists and philosophers like FRANZ FANON,
ALGERT CAMUS, ALBERT MEMMI, JEAN PAUL SARTE, SIMONE DE
BOUVOIRE, PIERRE BOURDIEU, and countless others. It's no wonder then
that the foremost anti colonial slogan was raised in France by Fanon
and Sartre followed the suit by writing " COLONIALISM AND
NEOCOLONIALISM"; and the idea of Black nationhood was
reformulated and revitalized by SENGHOR and CESAIRE while living in
France. No doubt these voices were primarily articulated by men of
letters and thinkers who were Black, the ideas were however soon
taken up by philosophers and theorists who belonged to the colonizing
class i.e. they were White.

The French excuse for colonizing Algeria was similar to the other
colonial pleas viz. 'mission civilisatrice' under the garb of civility
and
sobriety they maltreated and butchered the natives of the land in the
similar manner as other colonizers did. However, the reaction by the
intellectual of the colonizing power was quite considerate and humane.
The Algerians were undermined and brutalized physically,
psychologically and politically by the French government and the Pied
Noirs. On the contrary, the French thinkers, philosophers and writers
felt the very Algerian pulse and shared their pains and miseries as if
these were their own. The intellectual response to the Algerian
situation shows that the French scholars were not indifferent and
apathetic to the things happening around them. They did not simply
think about their own selves or about the false pride of their country
and countrymen; instead they raised voice against the brutalities of
their own government in favour of those who had been declared "others"
by their masters.

Algeria gave to the French thought a new idea of, Nation and
Nationalism, a new vision towards Colonialism and Neo Colonialism, a
new anthropological outlook. And it is no wonder that the new
decentralized theory of post structuralism, de-centering the whole of
Western Tradition was the brainchild of an Algerian born French
philosopher Jacques Derrida.

French thinkers always found in the occupation of Algeria the negation
of the cardinal principles of French revolution (Guy De Maupassant's
remarks over the colonization event can be given as an example, and
the very same tradition was followed in the succeeding years), viz.,
liberty, equality and fraternity. The French colonizers had subjugated
the Algerians and put an end to their liberty, sought fraternal ties
with their countrymen alone and not with the people of the land among
whom they were living and as regards equality it ceased to exist the
moment French entered into Algeria and undermined the native
population treating them as second or even third rate citizens on
their own soil and superseding COLONS over them. It was, however, not
before the German occupation of France that the French thinkers
started knowing the meaning of liberty, an in-absentia realization of
phenomenon, a recognition and reassessment only when it was denied to
them.

Fanon's anti-colonial thoughts, Sartre's inspiration of Fanon as
envisaged in his preface to the "Wretched of the Earth" and later on
in his famous "Colonialism and Neo Colonialism", Camus' whole
collection of existentialist work, Pierre Bourdieu's sociological and
anthropological findings, the idea of "HABITUS" all have their origin
in the Algerian experience.

France remained the center of all philosophical and literary
activities, a hub of "CONTINENTAL PHILOSOPHY" & "LITERARY CANON"
throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The process had
started with Auguste Comte and Emile Durkheim. French contribution to
the philosophical and literary realm has been immense and spectacular.
From Structuralism to Post Structuralism and Positivism to Post
Modernism all the theories emerged in France. French thinkers gave an
innovative aura to the philosophies and methodologies taking birth
some elsewhere and acquiring an entirely new and radical a shape in
France like its contribution to Marxism and Psychoanalysis. It is
interesting to note that while all these theories and philosophies
were emerging on the intellectual front the Algerian question was at
the back of almost all the thinkers and theorists leaving behind an
Algerian imprint (Comte's Antitotalitarisme', Maupassant's Bel Ami
etc). My research shall be outside the realm of the "Oriental Studies"
or "Extra Oriental" we may call them as it is going to focus on those
epistemological and ontological factors, which are considered purely
western, or "Occidental" in the Postcolonial jargon.

In order to comprehend the whole phenomenon the French Algerian rule
can be vaguely divided into four parts:

1830 - 1870 - from the French occupation to the end of Napoleon III
empire
1870 - 1939 - comparatively longer period till the beginning of
World War II
1930 - 1954 - the Inter War and Post War period
1954 - 1962 - the struggle period resulting into Algerian
independence

It is the last period that shall be the focus of my research also
taking into consideration some of the Post Independence or
Decolonization effects. Moreover, it may be connected to the previous
three periods while analyzing the change of views on such phenomenon
as IDENTITY, RACE, ETHNOGRAPHY, and NATIONALISM etc.

The prospective plan of action would be the analysis of the Algerian
impact, as they passed through that struggle phase for independence,
on French intellectuals mainly through Fanon and Camus and as it went
ahead what influence it did have on overall French thought besides
generating a general disgust among scholars for colonialism.
Bourdieu's sociological and anthropological workings, existentialist
out pourings of both Camus and Sartre, Barthe's inclusion of certain
myths regarding the French colonization in his famous work
"MYTHOLOGIES", the impact of Algerian question on men like Levi
Strauss, Albert Memmi, Jean Amrouche etc; whether Derrida's
deconstructive theory is actually a depoliticized, dehistoricized
theory or it does have its political and historical roots? Are these
roots in any way based in Algeria? (As Derrida spent the first
nineteen years of his and received his early education in Algeria and
was again affected when Jews were expelled from Algeria). These are
not merely far-fetched speculations, seen especially in the light of
Derrida's recent views in which politics no more remains a barred or
proscribed subject. Also related to this field of research is an
interesting phenomenon of "Intellectual Engagement" unique only to the
French thinkers and academicians, later on imitated by the Americans.
The intellectuals engaged in such an activity of not detaching
themselves from their surroundings and the socio political occurrences
were called l' intellectuel engage', who did not sit in an Ivory Tower
instead remained engaged in Public Life for Social Change and Social
Justice. This movement got impetus during the Algerian Nationalist
Movement and engaged such thinkers as Sartre, Bourdieu and Havel (the
actual movement started during the famous "Dreyfus affaire'" and
involved men like Zola).

This research shall define that the French Algerian war occupies a
seminal place in the Postcolonial studies and played a definitive role
in shaping the Postcolonial theory and giving aid to much of the
Literary Canon and Critical Theory.

The research shall be divided into different categories evaluating
Algerian influence on each major movements like Structuralism, Post
Structuralism, Existentialism, Feminism etc. The other method can be,
that four or five major thinkers shall be selected taking at least one
major work of each of them and seeking Algerian impact on these works,
then, if possible, expanding it to the whole set of theories in
general, to find out a cumulative effect (if any) of it on the general
thinking. The work can be further delimited after the actual research
work is launched and the contours of research come to the fore. That
factors pertaining to the Algerian life, the social, political,
economic, and psychological and various other factors, how potent they
were in leaving an impress upon the French thought? Along side, the
works of famous Algerian native writers and thinkers (both Arab and
Kabyle) shall also be tabulated and their impact on French
intellectual life shall be assessed.


SIGNIFICANCE

The contribution of the colonized has always been undermined declaring
him as ignorant, fool, lecherous, retrogressive, mentally and
spiritually debilitated, hence unable to add something to the welfare
of the humanity. This research shall be intended to remove the
obscurantist image of the erstwhile colonized proving that it does
partake in the human activity somewhat tacitly (perhaps somewhere
timidly) but does not remain out rightly ineffective, vain, sterile
and un productive as western history portrays and proves them to be.


OBJECTIVES

To formulate a New Code helpful in assessing the contribution the
denigrated and suppressed nations of the world (under both the
Colonial and Neocolonial hegemonies of the so called enlightened and
civilized powers)


To impart to the oppressed nations of the world, through the medium
of Postcolonial Studies, confidence and a sense of honour regarding
their role, marred, obliterated and distorted by their "MASTERS"

To further enhance these studies both in scope in matter finding the
very same strains in other certain issues, countries and men
ascertaining their role towards the betterment of mankind.




BIBLIOGRAPHY



"Colonialism and Neo Colonialism" by Jean Paul Sartre Routledge

"Uncivil War: Intellectuals and Identity Politics During the
De-Colonisation of Algeria" by James D Le Sueur

"France and Algeria: A History of De-colonisation and
Transformation" by Philip Chiviges Naylor, University Press of Florida

"Journal 1955 - 1962: Reflections on French Algeria War" by Mouloud
Feraoun, Mary Ellen Wolfe

"Algeria 1830 - 2000: A Short History" by Benjamin Stora

"A Savage War of Peace: Algeria 1954 - 1962" by Alistair Horne

"Imperial Identities: Stereotyping, Prejudice and Race in Colonial
Algeria by P.M.E. Lorcin I.B. Tauris Publishers

War and the Ivory Tower: Algeria and Vietnam by David Schalk
Oxford Press



 




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