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History and memory within the pied-noir and harki communities, 1962–2012

French rule in Algeria ended in 1962 following almost eight years of intensely violent conflict, producing one of the largest migratory waves of the post-1945 era. Almost a million French settlers - pieds-noirs - and tens of thousands of harkis - native auxiliaries who had fought with the French army - felt compelled to leave their homeland and cross the Mediterranean to France. Tracing the history of these two communities, From Empire to Exile explores the legacies of the Algerian War of Independence in France. It uses the long-standing grassroots collective mobilisation and memory activism undertaken by both groups to challenge the idea that this was a ‘forgotten’ war that only returned to public attention in the 1990s. Revealing the rich and dynamic interactions produced as pieds-noirs, harkis and other groups engaged with each other and with state-sanctioned narratives, this study demonstrates the fundamental ways in which postcolonial minorities have shaped the landscapes of French politics, society and culture since 1962. It also helps place the current ‘memory wars’ deemed to be sweeping France in their wider historical context, proving that the current competition for control over the representation of the past in the public sphere is not a recent development, but the culmination of long-running processes. By reconceptualising the ways in which the Algerian War has been debated, evaluated and commemorated in the five decades since it ended, this book makes an original contribution to important discussions surrounding the contentious issues of memory, migration and empire in contemporary France.

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Claire Eldridge

revival of passionate debates over France’s colonial past more generally, combined with sustained and often sensationalised media interest lend credence to the idea that the current period is qualitatively distinct, in tone and intensity, even from the rapid developments of the 1990s. For Benjamin Stora, the ‘memory wars’ phenomenon was intimately connected to the previous absence of the conflict from the public realm. ‘Amnesia can work like a fragmentation bomb’, he wrote. ‘If hatreds and bitterness remain confined for too long in private space, they risk exploding in

in From empire to exile
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Claire Eldridge

repentance, all of which have experienced a heightened visibility both in France and globally. Exploring the champs de bataille, or ‘battlefields’, on which the ‘memory wars’ are currently being ‘fought’ helps to illuminate the interplay between the domestic and international contexts in which the communities concerned are operating. Binding together these different elements is an overarching preoccupation with the question of transmission as both pied-noir and harki activists consider how best to pass on the past to subsequent generations and thus ensure the longevity of

in From empire to exile
Remembering incest in A Thousand Acres (1991), Exposure (1993) and Beautiful Kate (2009)
Rebecca White

reconstructed characterises debates about incest and memory. A Thousand Acres and Exposure were published within a context of conflict, during the ‘Memory Wars’ that divided psychological and legal discourse throughout the 1990s. The women’s liberation movement, shaped during the 1970s, enabled female victims to voice their stories, their empowerment challenging the culturally sanctioned concealment of

in Incest in contemporary literature
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Carrie Hamilton

This chapter sums up the key findings of this study on the role of women in the history of the Euskadi ta Askatasuna (ETA) and radical Basque nationalism. The book has shown that women's recruitment into and participation in ETA differed from those of men in the organisation's first few decades, as well as how these differences were shaped by the historical conditions of late Franco and transitional Spain, and how the gender politics of radical nationalism have shifted since the 1960s. This chapter also discusses gender politics of post-nationalism, and explains how the history of women in ETA can contribute to understandings of Spain's ‘memory wars’ at the turn of the millennium.

in Women and ETA
Transnational resistance in Europe, 1936–48
Editors: and

This work demonstrates that resistance to occupation by Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy during the Second World War has to be seen through a transnational, not a national, lens. It explores how people often resisted outside their country of origin because they were migrants, refugees or exiles who were already on the move. It traces their trajectories and encounters with other resisters and explores their experiences, including changes of beliefs, practices and identities. The book is a powerful, subtle and thought-provoking alternative to works on the Second World War that focus on single countries or on grand strategy. It is a ‘bottom up’ story of extraordinary individuals and groups who resisted oppression from Spain to the Soviet Union and the Balkans. It challenges the standard chronology of the war, beginning with the formation of the International Brigades in Spain and following through to the onset of the Cold War and the foundation of the state of Israel. This is a collective project by a team of international historians led by Robert Gildea, author of Fighters in the Shadows: A New History of the French Resistance (Faber & Faber, 2015). These have explored archives across Europe, the USA, Russia and Israel in order to unearth scores of fascinating individual stories which are woven together into themed chapters and a powerful new interpretation. The book is aimed at undergraduates and graduates working on twentieth-century Europe and the Second World War or interested in the possibilities of transnational history.

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Sarah Wright

inherently passive wide-eyed gaze of the child, the notion of the child and the monster as prosthetic allows for a critical reflection on the spectres and monsters of Spain’s past. The cinematic child, then, does not necessarily suggest a politics of victimhood in representations of the past, but can imply critical engagement and confrontation. The moral positions of these films are not fixed but depend on engagement to produce meaning. Prosthetic memories therefore have a lot to contribute to ‘memory wars’, whilst the child is a potent motif both for the loss of

in The child in Spanish cinema
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A comparison of episodic war narratives during the Revolt in the Low Countries
Jasper van der Steen

the same material as Jasper van der Steen, Memory Wars in the Low Countries, 1566–1700 (Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2015) but its analysis of the material is purposefully redirected to, and contextualised in, the topic of this volume: the phenomenon of episodic war narratives in early modern Europe.   2 ‘Besluit vernieuwde kerndoelen WPO’ and ‘Besluit kerndoelen onderbouw VO’: https:// (accessed 12 November 2018).   3 Maria Grever, ‘Nationale identiteit en historisch besef. De risico’s van een canon in de postmoderne samenleving’, Tijdschrift voor

in Early modern war narratives and the Revolt in the Low Countries
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Claire Eldridge

’ [une grosse connerie], on 9 December President Jacques Chirac publicly announced the creation of a commission to evaluate the action of parliament in the domains of history and memory.9 Less than a month later, Chirac made the following declaration:  ‘The current text divides the French. It must be rewritten.’ By 25 January 2006, he had gone against his own party and abrogated Article 4, using his presidential veto powers to avoid a new parliamentary debate on the matter.10 introduction 3 ‘Memory wars’ Ostensibly centred on the right, or otherwise, of the state to

in From empire to exile
Kris Brown

the meaning and rationale of the period of hostilities itself, and the legitimacy of key actors’ roles, methods and goals within that period of violence. Memory is often invoked and resuscitated in political competition and contemporary contestation even decades after the guns have fallen silent, as a series of ‘memory wars’ in Europe illustrates (Casanova, 2016 ; Koposov, 2017 ; Stone, 2013 ). This ‘war over memory’ and ‘war using memory’ is still sharper in deeply divided societies only recently emerging from extended periods of violence (McDowell and Braniff

in Troubles of the past?