Le Paris de la mémoire: traces of the Holocaust and the Algerian War in the city of light

Peters, Claire Isla MacLeod (2013). Le Paris de la mémoire: traces of the Holocaust and the Algerian War in the city of light. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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This thesis examines contemporary literary and cinematic representations of Paris in relation to the dynamics of collective memory, arguing that the city emerges as a privileged site in which to explore critical questions of identity, memory and citizenship in France. In this comparative approach to representations of memories of the Holocaust and the Algerian War in France, I identify a shared lexicon of urban space simultaneously hiding and revealing traces of the past in the contemporary city. This study of memories and their urban and palimpsestic representations challenges the tendency to separate the disciplines of postcolonial and post-Holocaust studies, and in so doing contests the conceptual separation of metropolitan, European and colonial histories. As such, it contributes to a growing interdisciplinary field of French and Francophone studies that extends the object of study beyond the purely metropolitan. I draw on and engage with theoretical work in the fields of memory studies, postcolonial studies and post-Holocaust studies to consider how urban space opens up a legitimate new way of engaging with the overlaps and intersections between different memories without undermining the crucial element of difference. Underpinned by poststructuralist concerns, memory emerges here as an inherently constructed concept.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of Languages, Cultures, Art History and Music, Department of Modern Languages
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DC France
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN1993 Motion Pictures
P Language and Literature > PQ Romance literatures
URI: http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/id/eprint/4714


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