This project seeks to bring a new perspective to understanding state construction in Algeria after independence. Through a history of the first generations of Algerians who went to university in the 1960s and 1970s, it explores the intersections between political and institutional transformations and social, cultural and economic processes. These processes include increasing literacy, rural to urban migration, migration to study abroad and changes in gender relations and family structures. Bringing together concepts and methodologies from across a number of humanities and social science disciplines, the project will produce a case study setting out new approaches to studying state-building as a dynamic process which takes place at different levels of power (transnational, national and local) and which both shapes, and is shaped by, individual agency and wider processes. The goal is for this approach to be applicable to a range of other post-colonial contexts, challenging teleological readings of post-independence histories and homogenising understandings of post-independence states.
The project is to be carried out in Algeria, France and the UK, with the researcher working with leading experts in the field in each of these countries to create a transnational, interdisciplinary network exploring the central research themes. Through extensive interviewing of former students, this project will create a new body of sources for researchers, which will also, with informants’ consent, be made accessible online. Public engagement is integral to the research design and process of data collection as well as dissemination, with Algerian students from the 1960s and 1970s invited to participate in group testimony sessions, alongside the wider public, throughout the project.
Fields of science
Call for proposal
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