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DHIS 2075A - Revolutions, socialism and Islamism in North Africa. Algeria beyond the War (1962-present)

Type d'enseignement : Elective

Semester : Spring 2017-2018

Number of hours : 24

Language of tuition : English


The language of the course is English. The bibliography is mostly in English with also a few additional readings in French. A few sources may also be in, but we will work around them for those who are not fluent in French.

Course Description

During the “Arab springs”, Algeria gave the impression of remaining impervious to regional dynamics. Algerians however claimed they recognized in the Tunisian and Egyptian revolts, democratization, rise of Islamism, and later threat of the return of dictatorship, their own experiences. An outlier to current events in the Maghreb, and perhaps a precursor, Algeria is an excellent case study for students to acquire a deeper historical understanding of the region. Based on texts, images, and film sources, and with constant comparison to other Maghribi countries, this course will lead us from the enthusiasm of independence in 1962, Third-worldism, and socialist utopia to the collapse of the Eastern Bloc, the rise of Djihadi Islam and the first of it's kind civil war between the army and the armed Islamists in the 1990, and its aftermath.


RAHAL, Malika (Chargée de recherche)

Course validation

- Participation in collective discussions based on weekly reading and preparation (weekly readings, reading and viewing of sources for the weekly presentation, a couple of “quick questions” to prepare for each week will bring in a comparative element to the discussions) (10%) - Student presentation based on sources (40%) - End of semester coursework to be handed in via both Urkund and Moodle (50%)

Required reading

  • For a historical overview broader than the course but necessary: Stora, Benjamin, 1950-. Algeria, 1830-2000: A Short History. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2001.
  • For an analytical approach: Rahal, Malika. “Fused Together and Torn Apart: Stories and Violence in Contemporary Algeria.” History & Memory 24, no. 1 (2012): 118–51 (available here :
  • About Third Worldism and Algeria as a model: Malley, Robert. The Call from Algeria: Third Worldism, Revelation, and the Turn to Islam. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996. (chapters 4-5-6)
  • Overview of Algerian history post-1988: Phillips, John, and Martin Evans. Algeria: Anger of the Dispossessed. Yale University Press, 2007 (beginning with Chap. 3. Previous chapters go over pre-1962 history and can also be useful according to your needs/interests.)

Additional required reading

  • Film: William Klein, Panaf 1969 (documentary film)
  • Film: Merzak Allouache, Le repenti (et-tâ'ib), 2012 (available here with French subtitles:
  • Film: Lyes Salem, L'Oranais (el-Wahrani), Oct. 2014 (currently in theaters in Paris.)
  • Litterature: Novels by Yasmina Khadra are available in French or English, you may also read Kamel Daoud's short stories (Le Minotaure 504) in French.
  • Social networks: On Twitter, for info about contemporary Algeria, follow: @daoud_kamel, @HuffPostMaghreb, @LeilaBeratto (in French), @themoornextdoor, @tweetsintheM, @HananeBintBanan, @adamshatz (in English, focused on North Africa more broadly), @RahalMal.
  • Blogs: Textures of Time: (in French, English and Arabic) about writing contemporary history of Algeria. Ed McAllister's series “Algeria's Belle Époque”, in English, is very good, and Natalya Vince also writes in English.