You are here

"Non-lieux" de mémoire: Cartographies of State Terror (Paris 1961)

On October 17, 1961, Algerian protesters were killed by police in the streets of Paris. Today, in the capital and its suburbs, only a handful of discreetly placed memorial plaques testify to this dark episode of Franco-Algerian history. That cities bear physical traces of their history is a commonplace; we have only to think of Benjamin’s “double ground”, or Olivier Mognin’s “ville-palimpseste”. However, given October 17’s material invisibility and its status in public discourse as an “événement occulté,” the work of inscribing the traces of this “state-sponsored terror” has taken place almost exclusively in the realm of representation. Reading key moments of “cartography” and “memorialization” in cultural productions devoted to October 17 (novels and film), this talk engages the representation of an episode of historical trauma that has failed to find purchase in the urban environments that witnessed it. How can we read signs that have been erased, or that never existed? How do works of fiction map rogue memories and monuments onto existing cartographies?Lia Brozgal’s research and teaching encompass a variety of topics in Francophone North Africa as well as contemporary French literature, history and culture. Recent projects include her monograph on Tunisian writer Albert Memmi, in addition to articles on North African cinema, beur (or immigrant) cultural productions, chronicles of the Holocaust in North Africa, and early 20th-century Judeo-Tunisian literature. She is currently working on a book project centered on literary and visual representations of the October 17, 1961 massacre of Algerian protesters in Paris.This series is co-sponsored by the Stanford Forum for African Studies, and sponsored by the Stanford Initiative for Religious and Ethnic Understanding and Coexistence, supported by the President's Fund, CCSRE, Religious Studies, and the Taube Center for Jewish Studies.



Friday, May 15, 2015. 12:00 PM


Pigott Hall (Language Corner), Building 260, Room 252, 450 Serra Mall


Department of French and Italian, Comparative Literature, History Department, Center for African Studies




For questions, please contact the conference organizers, Michaela Hulstyn (, Fatoumata Seck ( and Marie-Pierre Ulloa (