Liberating Women, Algeria, and the World: Women Writing from the Margins of the Media


Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships


French and Comparative Literature and Society


This dissertation is a transnational feminist intellectual history of Algeria’s war for liberation (1954-1962) and its first post-independence regime (1962-1965). It explores how female journalists writing in Arabic and French for Algerian nationalist publications wrote women into a global history of anticolonialism. Through close readings of these periodicals, it argues that female journalists’ writings were a space of cultural diplomacy in which they maneuvered their social, political, and cultural positions strategically to navigate patriarchal norms. Not only did they represent Algeria as a leader of the global coalition of revolutionary movements self-identifying as part of the “Third World,” they also represented the liberation of Third World women—portrayed as the protectors of a cultural authenticity uncontaminated by colonialism—as a necessary step in national edification. Cultural authenticity was, as such, a malleable concept that female nationalist journalists helped to shape and used as a unifying force in the context of global anticolonialism.