Middle East Studies

Madeleine Dobie

Professor of French and Comparative Literature at Columbia University

Madeleine Dobie is a professor of French and Comparative Literature at Columbia University. A scholar of Francophone colonial and postcolonial literature and culture, she is the author of, Trading Places. Colonization & Slavery in Eighteenth-Century French Culture, Foreign BodiesGender, Language & Culture in French Orientalism, and, with Myriam Cottias, Relire Mayotte Capécia : une femme des Antilles dans l’espace colonial français, 1916-1955, as well as many articles on literature and culture in the Maghreb and Maghrebi diaspora. She edited the Romanic Review issue, Remembering Assia Djebar, and, with Kaiama Glover, the Yale French Studies volume, Maryse Condé, a Writer for our Times. She is also the editor of the forthcoming, Comparative Literary History of Slavery, Vol. 1: Slavery, Literature & the Emotions. She is currently working on a book titled, After Violence: Society, Politics and the Algerian New Wave.

Images of Algeria, 1962-2022: the Stakes of Historical Comparison
Visual traces of violence and resistance, colonial domination and national consciousness in formation, photographs of the Algerian Revolution tantalizingly capture a defining moment of struggle and hope. Yet it is hard to view these images today without nostalgia, especially when we juxtapose them to photographs that record more recent situations of power and resistance in Algeria—photographs with which they often share compositional features. This presentation considers some of the stakes of historical comparison, drawing on the exhibition of photographs by Mohamed Kouaci as well as recent projects such as 1990-1995: Alger, Chronique photographique and Ton oeil dans ma main, in which photography is the medium of a reflection on Algerian history.