BRIGITTE WELTMAN-ARON - During the academic year 2001-2002, my release from
teaching obligations enabled me to concentrate on
my current book project, Algerian Women in French.
I wrote on the material I had gathered in the previous years.
This work represents two thirds of my ongoing project.
In addition, my research led me to investigate other approaches to my
topic, which will constitute the basis of the rest of the book.
These new lines of inquiry link my project to the work of feminist
philosophers such as Luce Irigaray and Sarah Kofman.
I have also analyzed and discussed studies on colonialism (particularly
in Frantz Fanon and Albert Memmi). Finally,
the time I could devote to reading and reflecting on the works by major thinkers
such as Sartre, Heidegger, Derrida and Deleuze, on the questions of
representation and alterity, has proved invaluable.
I believe that it will contribute to inform my project with a greater
political as well as philosophical relevance.
By capitalizing on that corpus, I have been able to establish
continuities or differences in the literary works of Algerian women writers, who
are themselves drawing on the “colonial” heritage, while inflecting it
I extended one published article into one chapter, and I wrote two others. Part of one of my chapters on “the figure of the Jew in Northern Africa” has been submitted for publication. This paper discusses questions relevant to literature and philosophy (for instance, metaphoricity), as well as pressing political and historical questions, such as the State of Israel.
making significant progress on my book, I read six papers at conferences last
academic year. Two of these papers
were invited lectures. They were generally connected with my project, and reflected
my interest in philosophy and colonial politics.
One of my papers, which have been solicited for publication, analyzes the
work of Deleuze and Derrida regarding the issue of “location”.
This essay stems from my project, and some of its conclusions find their
way in the book as well. I will
also present part of my chapters (one on Hélène Cixous and her subversive
appeal to love, and the other on Assia Djebar and linguistic politics) in two
forthcoming conferences in 2002-2003. These
papers will in turn structure the writing that remains to be done.
I am in the last stages of the project and I gratefully acknowledge that
I owe this possibility to the award of a PDA.